skip to nav skip to content

FPO

The Cold Filtered Ramblings of Gene Mueller

Eyeball to eyeball: shattering some of the myths of the Cuban missile crisis 50 years later

  • Print

 

There's memory, and then there's history.

The way we remember things doesn't always jibe with what actually gets written down.  So it goes with the Cuban missile crisis, the moment when the world came as close as it ever did to a massive nuclear confrontation.

The basics: the Kremlin wanted to install nuclear missiles in Cuba so it could reach US targets (the Soviet arsenal lagged far behind what we had in terms of reach).   Cuba's Fidel Castro liked having them to ward off a potential US attack.   The White House didn't like it.  At all.   When President Kennedy found out on October 16th, 1962, he and his advisors weighed options before deciding on a blockade of Cuba.   The standoff lasted 13 days, with the Kremlin relenting.

There are the great black-and-white images of Soviet ships steaming toward a confrontation with US vessels, of President Kennedy's October 22nd address to the nation during which he unveiled to the world the depth of the crisis. 

  

 

 

And, there are the great lines, among them Secretary of State Dean Rusk's crack about being eyeball to eyeball with the other guy having just blinked. 

How much was true?  How much is myth?

Historian Michael Dobbs is a Cold War expert and wrote this analysis in Tuesday's New York Times.   Myths get shattered.  Schools of thought get challenged.

Who says history is boring?

 

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Milwaukee, WI

Broken Clouds
42°
Broken Clouds
Precip
10%
Humidity
53%
Wind
SE at 24 mph
Alerts
0

Current Promotions

  • 2014 Classic Free Ride

    2014 Classic Free Ride

    Click here to see the 2014 Classic Free Ride information, updates, galleries and more!

  • We Love Wisconsin

    We Love Wisconsin

    Find out where we are as we hit the road to explore the state we love!



More >>>


Submit photos to:

620 WTMJ