Documents of the 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.

We have collected some of the documents and reports that have shaped the atomic age.

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