Cuban Missile Crisis

On October 15, 1962, the Soviet Union was discovered attempting to install nuclear missiles in Cuba. These missiles would have been capable of quickly reaching the United States. President Kennedy responded with a naval blockade. After several days of increasing tensions, the Soviet Union finally agreed to remove the missiles.

In the spring of 1963 the U.S. quietly removed the missiles from Turkey, that equally threatened the Soviet Union. This crisis is regarded as the closest the world has come to a nuclear exchange.

This Government, as promised, has maintained the closest surveillance of the Soviet military buildup on the island of Cuba. Within the past week, unmistakable evidence has established the fact that a series of offensive missile sites is now in preparation on that imprisoned island. The purpose of these bases can be none other than to provide a nuclear strike capability against the Western Hemisphere.

-John F. Kennedy

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National Science FoundationNational Science Digital LibraryNuclear Pathways Member SiteThis project is part of the National Science Digital Library and was funded by the Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation Grant 0434253