17 May 2008

Entry for October 22, 2006

This day in history 1962-- JFK imposes naval blockade on Cuba, beginning missile crisis. US surveillance planes had taken photos of Cuba and identified missles that the Soviet Union was installing. These missiles could take out cities in the United States. Kennedy decided that a blockade, or as he called it a quarantine, was the best way to handle this situation. On 22 Oct. 1962, he addressed the nation:

"To halt this offensive buildup, a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba is being initiated. All ships of any kind bound for Cuba, from whatever nation or port, will, if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons, be turned back. . . .It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union. . . .I call upon Chairman Khrushchev to halt and eliminate this clandestine, reckless and provocative threat to world peace and to stable relations between our two nations. . . . He has an opportunity now to move the world back from the abyss of destruction. . . .My fellow citizens: let no one doubt that this is a difficult and dangerous effort on which we have set out. No one can foresee precisely what course it will take or what costs or casualties will be incurred. Many months of sacrifice and self-discipline lie ahead— months in which both our will and our patience will be tested— months in which many threats and denunciations will keep us aware of our danger. But the greatest danger of all would be to do nothing."

To read about this visit the National Archives .

(Originally posted on my Yahoo 360 blog)

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