The Cuban Missile Crisis
Not all of our brushes with disaster are the fickle will of Mother Nature, as the Cuban Missile Crisis of the early ‘60s illustrated. In the autumn of 1962, an American U-2 spy plane took photos of what appeared to be the Soviet Union constructing nuclear missile sites in Cuba—an outstanding violation of the Monroe Doctrine’s stipulations. Fearing this could escalate into a third World War, President John F. Kennedy—after 13 days of deliberation with his advisors—ordered a naval blockade of Cuba, preventing the S.U. from bringing supplies into the island country. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev eventually reached a reluctant resolution, dismantling the installations, but never had the U.S. and the world been that close to all-out nuclear warfare.