Nikita Khrushchev, Fidel Castro, and John F. Kennedy, American University, 2017
Discovery of the Missiles
Soviet long-range missile sites on Cuba were first discovered by U-2 pilot Richard Heyser on October 14, 1962. These missiles were located 90 miles off the coast of Florida and if fired could reach up to the Eastern coast of the United States, Central America, and South America.
MRBM Field Launch Site, October 14, 1962, National Archives
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any
price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to
assure the survival and the success of liberty."
- President John F. Kennedy, Address During the Cuban Missile Crisis, October 22, 1962
During President Kennedy's address to the people of the United States,
he announced the U.S would enact a naval "quarantine" (blockade) on
Cuba. This was finalized on October 23rd, 1962 through the Proclamation
3504. This naval blockade consisted of blocking all Soviet cargo ships directed
towards Cuba and redirecting them away through naval ships and U-2
planes. All of this was done in hopes of pressuring the Premier
Khrushchev into removing the missiles without initiating war.
John F. Kennedy, "Proclamation 3504: Interdiction of the Delivery of Offensive Weapons to Cuba.”, March October 23, 1962
John F. Kennedy, "Radio and Television Report to the American People on the Soviet Arms Buildup in Cuba.”, October 22, 1962
National Security Action Memorandum 196, John F. Kennedy, October 22, 1962
Executive Committee of the National Security Council
On October 22nd, 1962, President Kennedy designated his official
advisory council as the Executive Committee of the National Security
Council for the Cuban Missile Crisis. The main role of this advisory council
was to meet with the president throughout the crisis in order to guide him
on decision-making and how to better approach the situation.