An American U2 spy plane discovered Soviet nuclear missiles on Cuba.
President Kennedy asked his advisers – the Executive Committee of the National Security Council (ExComm) what to do. Their options included:
The USA decided to blockade Cuba. Kennedy went on TV and said that there were Soviet missiles on Cuba.
Soviet ships turned around before reaching the blockade.
Khrushchev sent Kennedy his first letter, promising to remove missiles from Cuba if the blockade was lifted.
Before a response could be made, Khrushchev sent a second letter. He made the additional demand that American missiles in Turkey were also removed.
Kennedy accepted the first letter. In secret, missiles were removed from Turkey later on.
The ‘Moscow-Washington Hot Line’ was created in 1963 so the superpowers could talk more easily.
The USA, USSR and Britain signed the Test Ban Treaty in 1963, which stopped all testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere.
There was a desire to improve relations between the USA and USSR.