John F. Kennedy And The Cuban Missile Crisis

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On Monday, October 22, 1962, John F. Kennedy announced to the public that nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union was an impending possibility. In what would come to be known as one of the most daunting presidential addresses during the Cold War, Kennedy informed the public that there was a series of offensive missile sites on the island of Cuba, which had been placed there by the Soviet Union. Kennedy went on to inform his audience that the Soviet Union had been ordered to remove all the missiles from Cuba and a quarantine had been placed on the island. The media played a large role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, mostly working behind the scenes. They worked to publicize President Kennedy’s public address, allowed the two …show more content…
The missiles in Cuba were not placed in there without reason. What the public did not know at the time was that the Kennedy Administration, and previously the Eisenhower Administration, had been concocting a secret plan to take down Fidel Castro. They called their plan Operation Mongoose. Members of the government had been secretly debating the plan since 1961. When Castro came into power in 1959, after overthrowing Cuba’s previous dictator, Fulgencio Batista, he immediately changed things on the island, morphing the island into a “totalitarian communist bastion.” President Eisenhower was aghast by Cuba’s new state, so he started making plans to take down Castro, and he believed invading the island would be the best course of action. Kennedy took office after Eisenhower, and in March of 1961 an invasion of Trinidad, a city along the coast of Cuba, had been planned. Trinidad was never invaded, and a new landing point, called the Bay of Pigs, was chosen instead. Cuban exiles invaded the island in April of 1961. The invasion came to be known as the “Bay of Pigs Invasion,” and the American …show more content…
on October 16, 1962. It was at this time that National Security Advisor, McGeorge Bundy informed President Kennedy about the possibility of a major international crisis. Two days prior, an American U-2 plane had captured photographs of Cuba. Upon deciphering the photos, CIA analysts concluded that the Soviet Union had constructed a missile base on the island of Cuba. The base was being built close San Cristobal and just 90 miles from the Florida coastline, which meant the missiles could easily reach and destroy the United States if they were fired. United States officials predicted that they had precisely one week before the missiles became operational. Since he didn’t have much time, President Kennedy immediately began discussing how to respond. He, along with his foreign policy and national defense officials, came up with two strategies. The first was to conduct an air strike attack on Cuba, and the second was to put a quarantine on the island along with the threat of military attack if the missiles were not removed. At this point, only a select few knew about the crisis. Kennedy would attempt to keep it a secret until his public address several days

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