Tuesday, October 28, 2008


October 28, 1962 - Cuban Missile Crisis: Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev announces that he had ordered the removal of Soviet missile bases in Cuba.

Hitting the real world timeline yet again for the daily Tiddlywinkydink.......

From our comrades at Wikipedia:

The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation between the United States, the Soviet Union, and Cuba during the Cold War. In Russia, it is termed the "Caribbean Crisis," while in Cuba it is called the "October Crisis." The crisis ranks with the Berlin Blockade as one of the major confrontations of the Cold War, and is often regarded as the moment in which the Cold War came closest to a nuclear war.
The climax period of the crisis began on October 8, 1962. Later on October 14th, United States reconnaissance photographs taken by an American U-2 spy plane revealed missile bases being built in Cuba. The crisis ended two weeks later on October 28, 1962, when President of the United States John F. Kennedy and United Nations Secretary-General U Thant reached an agreement with the Soviets to dismantle the missiles in Cuba in exchange for a no invasion agreement and a secret removal of the Jupiter and Thor missiles in Turkey.

Kennedy, in his first public speech on the crisis, given on October 22 1962, gave the key warning,

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 on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.
"The Missiles of October" is a 1974 docudrama about the Cuban missile crisis. Its name comes from the book "The Guns of August" by Barbara Tuchman about the missteps among the great powers and the failed chances to give an opponent a graceful way out leading to the supposedly inevitable World War. The script is based on Attorney General Robert F Kennedy's book "Thirteen Days".
"The Missiles of October" takes us behind the scenes to see the inner workings, disagreements, and ultimate consensus of Kennedy's cabinet to blockade Cuba, rather than attempt to invade to dislodge the just discovered yet partially completed Soviet nuclear missile emplacements in Cuba. It also details US attempts to give the Soviets room to negotiate without appearing to capitulate. Although often dismissed by movie and television critics, the piece scores extremely well in viewer polls.

The made-for-TV movie was directed by Anthony Page with writing credits given to Stanley R. Greenberg and Robert Kennedy.

William Devane ... President John F. Kennedy
Ralph Bellamy ... U.N. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson
Howard Da Silva ... Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev
James Hong ... U.N. Secretary-General U Thant
Martin Sheen ... Att. Gen. Robert F. Kennedy
James T. Callahan ... David Powers, Special Assistant to the President
Keene Curtis ... John McCone, Director CIA
Charles Cyphers ... Press Photographer
Clifford David ... Theodore Sorensen, Special Counsel
John Dehner ... Former Secretary of State Dean Acheson
Peter Donat ... David Ormsby-Gore, British Ambassador to U.S.
Andrew Duggan ... Gen. Maxwell Taylor, Army Chief of Staff
Richard Eastham ... Gen. David M. Shoup, USMC Commandant
Dana Elcar ... Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara
Ron Feinberg ... Gen. Charles De Gaulle
Michael Fox ... Soviet Marshal
Arthur Franz ... Congressman Charles A. Halleck
Larry Gates ... Secretary of State Dean Rusk
Richard Karlan ... Chief of the Presidium
Stacy Keach Sr. ... W.E. Knox, President Westinghouse International
Will Kuluva ... Valerian Zorin
Paul Lambert ... John Scali, ABC Correspondent
Doreen Lang ... Mrs. Evelyn Lincoln, President Kennedy's Secretary
Michael Lerner ... Pierre Salinger, White House Press Secretary
Robert P. Lieb ... Gen. Curtis LeMay, Air Force Chief of Staff
Byron Morrow ... Sen. William Fullbright
Stewart Moss ... Kenneth O'Donnell, Special Assistant to the President
James Olson ... McGeorge Bundy, Special Assistant for National Security Affairs
Dennis Patrick ... Llewellyn Thompson, Former U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union
Albert Paulsen ... Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin
Nehemiah Persoff ... Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko
William Prince ... Secretary of the Treasury, C. Douglas Dillon
John Randolph ... Undersecretary of State George Ball
Kenneth Tobey ... Adm. George W. Anderson Jr., Chief of Naval Operations
George Wyner ... Civillian Aide
Harris Yulin ... KGB Agent Alexander Fomin
Thayer David ... Narrator (uncredited)

I remember watching this back when I was in high school. I felt that it was something I had to see, something of importance. It was one of many instances where my grasp of history, the news, and the world around me was shaped by TV.

Toby O'B

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You watch 'Mad Men', right? They dealt with the Cuban Missile Crisis in the last episode for this season. Pretty timely since it was this past Sunday!