The Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cold War was a time in history when intense rivalry overcame two nations. Many historians agree that the Cold War began in 1945, the end of World War II, and lasted through the late 1980’s. The two opposing sides were the Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States. The Cold War was not a battle involving guns; in fact it was more about power and competition between two groups. Each side thought its political and economic systems were superior to the other. The competition between the Soviet Union and the United States increased which made settling disputes difficult.

In the 1960’s the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, faced some major challenges. One major event that took place during his Presidency was the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Cuban Missile Crisis was an extremely intense time for the U.S. They learned that the Soviets set up missile bases in Cuba only ninety miles from Florida1. The American people were surrounded by the threat of nuclear war.

The initial discovery that the Soviets were planning against the United States was in October of 19622. The U.S. learned that forty-two medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles were installed in Cuba. Each missile had the potential of targeting the U.S. with nuclear power twenty to thirty times more destructive than the Hiroshima bomb3. President Kennedy was discouraged and upset by the fact that the Soviet Union would take a risk as big as this one. His own personal decisions were critical, and the United States was relying on his good judgement for their safety.

For the next few days President Kennedy conducted meetings with his advisors trying to come up with the best way possible way to handle this intense...

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...uclear war proved to the U.S. that he was a responsible man. Overall President Kennedy’s hard work and efforts benefited the United States in an incredible way and he will always be remembered.


1. Schlesinger, Arthur M. A Thousand Days (New York: Fawcett, 1965), 740.

2. Sorensen, Theodore C. Kennedy ( New York: HarperCollins, 1965), 672.

3. Sorensen, 672.

4. Schlesinger, 748.

5. Sorensen, 676.

6. Sorensen, 694.

7. Sorensen, 694.

8. Sorensen, 708.

9. Sorensen, 717.


1. Janice Gross, "Five Lessons From the Cold War," Cambridge, August 1995.

2. Timothy Naftali, "Foriegn Relations of the United States, 1961-1963," Bloomington,

December 1998.

3. Arthur M. Schlesinger, JR. A Thousand Days (New York: Fawcett, 1965)

4. Theodore C. Sorensen, Kennedy (New York: HarperCollins, 1965)

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