Day 9, 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis

Day 9 of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The Russian leader during the Crisis was Nikita Khrushchev, and he responded directly to President Kennedy’s ultimatum to remove the Russian missiles in a letter of October 24, 1962.  Khrushchev had a much different perspective than Kennedy as to the rights of sovereign nations, including the rights of Cuba.  Perhaps thinking of the US nuclear missiles near his Russian homeland, he wrote “Imagine, Mr. President, what if we were to present to you such an ultimatum as you have presented to us by your actions.  How would you react to it?  I think you would be outraged at such a move on our part.  And this we would understand.”  The Americans and the Russians continued their dangerously close and aggressive maneuvers in the skies and seas of Cuba.  Meanwhile, behind the scenes, American and Russian officials worked feverishly to end the frighteningly dangerous escalation.  (Getty Images of a US warplane flying perilously close to a Russian freighter.)

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