October 21, 2013 | SuzyQ
Last year marked the 50th anniversary of one of the most pivotal moments of the Cold War. For 13 days in October 1962, the United States and the former Soviet Union engaged in a political and military standoff over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles in Cuba — just 90 miles off the U.S. coast. President John F. Kennedy notified the country about the presence of the missiles in an historic television address on October 22, 1962. It was during this speech that he explained his decision to enact a naval blockade around Cuba. Because of this many, people believed the world was on the brink of nuclear war. Disaster was averted, however when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles in exchange for the U.S. not invading Cuba, and also removing U.S. missiles from Turkey. The confrontation was officially ended on October 28, 1962.
Maximum danger: Kennedy, the missiles, and the crisis of American confidence by Robert Weisbrot
Thirteen days: a memoir of the Cuban missile crisis by Robert F. Kennedy
Defcon-2: standing on the brink of nuclear war during the Cuban missile crisis by Norman Polmar, John D. Gresham
Awaiting Armageddon: how Americans faced the Cuban Missile Crisis by Alice L. George
"One hell of a gamble": Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964 by Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali