ON THIS DAY IN UNITED STATES HISTORY
October 28, 1962
Cuban Missile Crisis Ends
On this day in 1962 the Cuban Missile Crisis ended. Generally accepted as the closest the world has ever come to
an all-out nuclear war, the Cuban Missile Crisis began when the Soviet Union began to move nuclear armed missiles
into Cuba. The Soviet Union was behind the United States in the arms race and it needed a location closer to the
U.S. in which to launch missiles as a deterent to the U.S. who's missiles could reach any part of the Soviet
At the same time, Fidel Castro was looking for a way to defend Cuba from the U.S. after the Bay of Pigs invasion
the year before. Although the Bay of Pigs invasion failed, Castro was certain there would be another attack. In the
Spring of 1962, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev conceived a plan to place intermediate range missiles in Cuba and
construction of the missiles began in the Summer of that same year.
On October 15, 1962, U.S. reconnaissance photographs revealed the Soviet missiles under construction. U.S.
President John F. Kennedy immediately gathered a group of his most trusted advisors and a week later imposed a
naval quarantine around Cuba. On October 22, Kennedy announced the discovery of the missiles to the public and
demanded that the Soviets remove all their offensive weapons from Cuba.
Finally, on October 28, tensions began to ease when Khrushchev announced that he would remove the missiles from
Cuba in exchange for a promise that the United States would not invade Cuba. Although further negotiations took
place to work out the details, on November 1, President Kennedy announced that the Soviet Union had begun to
dismantle and remove the missiles from Cuba.