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THIS WEEK IN HISTORY, OCTOBER 22-28

The world is shocked as the president comes on air with news about the state of the nation...

Matthew Wright, Staff Writer

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“Good evening my fellow citizens:

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.”
“To halt this offensive buildup, a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba is being initiated. All ships of any kind bound for Cuba, from whatever nation or port, will if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons, be turned back. This quarantine will be extended, if needed, to other types of cargo and carriers. We are not at this time, however, denying the necessities of life as the Soviets attempted to do in their Berlin blockade of 1948.”
Khrushchev, the secretary of the Soviets responded simply by stating that this would lead to war.
If we look back on this moment now, we can see the sense of danger that this moment could have led to, but could you imagine the fear that the American populace would have felt? Potential war and nuclear death simply from the presence of missiles in Cuba.
However, that was not the end of the story.
On October 26th, John Scali from ABC News had lunch with Aleksandr Fromin, at Fromin’s request.
This man turned out to be Alexander Feklisov, a member of the Soviet defense counsel, and he wanted access to the reporter’s contacts to the Kennedys about a deal.
The deal stated that the Russians would get rid of the missiles, and Cuba would be fine with being told that it wouldn’t be invaded in response with the missiles in Turkey being removed
In the morning of October 27, an American spy plane was shot down over Cuba, heightening the stakes. In the evening of the 27th, envoys from Kennedy and Khrushchev met to discuss the deal circling around. And to the relief of the world, on October 28th, the final messages are sent out. The Soviet government will dismantle the weapons. Kennedy also secretly called for the dismantling of missiles in Turkey and Italy.

The catastrophic event in the making ended as soon as it had started. This event would lead to many different decisions on the part of the US government in the future, including a hotline between the US and Moscow, just to prevent things like this from happening again.

 

For a more in-depth look at the event, check out the Fences event from last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9L4sVprPQc0

Sources: https://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/sUVmCh-sB0moLfrBcaHaSg.aspx

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THIS WEEK IN HISTORY, OCTOBER 22-28