Events of the Cuban Missile Crisis 1962

14 Oct 1962

An American U2 spy plane discovered Soviet nuclear missiles on Cuba.

16 Oct 1962

President Kennedy asked his advisers – the Executive Committee of the National Security Council (ExComm) what to do. Their options included:

  • invasion of Cuba
  • blockade of Cuba to stop more deliveries from the USSR
  • airstrikes against the missile bases
  • no action

22 Oct 1962

The USA decided to blockade Cuba. Kennedy went on TV and said that there were Soviet missiles on Cuba.

24 Oct 1962

Soviet ships turned around before reaching the blockade.

26 Oct 1962

Khrushchev sent Kennedy his first letter, promising to remove missiles from Cuba if the blockade was lifted.

27 Oct 1962

Before a response could be made, Khrushchev sent a second letter. He made the additional demand that American missiles in Turkey were also removed.

28 Oct 1962

Kennedy accepted the first letter. In secret, missiles were removed from Turkey later on.

Impact on international relations

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.

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