FILE

NATIONAL ARCHIVES - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Washington DC - 22 October 1962

1. Various shots of press in place for US President John F. Kennedy speech

2. Cutaway of President Kennedy before speech

3. SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) John F. Kennedy / US President

"Good evening my fellow citizens, this Government as promised has maintained the closest surveillance of the Soviet military buildup on the island of Cuba. Within the past week unmistakable evidence has established the fact that a series of offensive missile sites is now in preparation on that imprisoned island.

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Washington DC - 17 October 2012

4. SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) Peter Kornbluck, director of the Cuba Documentation Project, at the National Security Archive

"The cuban missile crisis was quite simply the moment in our history when we came closest to nuclear war. It was not only the most dangerous moment of the cold war, it was as Arthur Slezinger aide to John F. Kennedy put it, the most dangerous moment in human history."

FILE: Havana, Cuba - October 1962

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5. Various of U.S. And Cuban Naval ships off the coast of Havana

6. Various of anti-aircraft armament on Malecon Avenue

FILE Vienna, Austria - June 1961

++CLIENTS NOTE: FILE VIDEO IS BLACK AND WHITE++

++AUDIO AS INCOMING++

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7. Mid of US President John F. Kennedy meeting with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev

FILE Unknown location in Cuba - May 1963

++CLIENTS NOTE: FILE VIDEO IS BLACK AND WHITE++

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8. Various of Cuban leader Fidel Castro duck hunting with Khrushchev

FILE: Havana, Cuba - October 1962

++CLIENTS NOTE: FILE VIDEO IS BLACK AND WHITE++

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9. SOUNDBITE (Spanish/With English Translation Added) Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Leader

"The strategic arms are leaving, but the rest of the weapons will all remain in our country."

NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Cuba - 1962

10. Map of the Quarantine of Cuba and US Invasion Plans for October 1962

11. Still photo of missile site in Cuba 1962

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Washington DC - 17 October 2012

12. Map from "To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis." exhibit showing missile sites in Cuba

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Washington DC - 17 October 2012

13. SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) Peter Kornbluck, director of the Cuba Documentation Project, at the National Security Archive

"We had publicly agreed we would sign a non-evasion of Cuba pledge if the Soviets pulled the missile out of Cuba and Krushchev had withdrawn the missiles, but kept secret was the true part of the deal, the Soviets got the United States to secretly agree to remove our missiles from Turkey that were pointed at the Soviet Union, right on the Soviet Union's border, if they removed their missiles from Cuba, so more or less an even swap."

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Washington DC - 10 October 2012

14. Wide pan of exhibit called, "To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

15. Various shots of President Kennedy's notes during the 13-day standoff

16. Various shots of recorder used by President Kennedy

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Washington DC - 17 October 2012

17. SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) Peter Kornbluck, director of the Cuba Documentation Project, at the National Security Archive

"One of the key lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis is that small countries, even an island like Cuba will defend themselves if they feel threatened, and since the United States had invaded once and failed, Castro believe they would invade again and this time really send the Marines in and he accepted the Soviet offer of nuclear weapons as a deterent."

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Washington DC - 10 October 2012

18. Various shots of supplies included in "Civil defense survival supplies"

STORYLINE:

50 years ago, the United States and the Soviet Union spent two weeks on the brink of a nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The standoff began when US President John F. Kennedy learned that Cuba had Soviet nuclear missiles capable of reaching the United States.

"The Cuban missile crisis was quite simply the moment in our history when we came closest to nuclear war," said Peter Kornbluck, director of the Cuba Documentation Project, at the National Security Archive.

"It was not only the most dangerous moment of the cold war...It was the most dangerous moment in human history."

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev ordered the secret deployment of nuclear missiles on the island in the fall of 1962.

President Kennedy was briefed on the missiles sites being developed after a US spy plane took photos over Cuba, on October 14 of that year.

U.S. officials determined from the size of the weapons that the medium-range missiles would be able to reach Washington, Dallas, Texas, Cape Canaveral, Florida, or other sites within 1,000 miles of Cuba, likely within minutes.

Kennedy's team debated how to respond but agreed the missiles would not be tolerated.

Thus began 13 tension-filled days of back-room negotiation and military preparedness.

President Kennedy spoke to the nation on October 22nd, about the discovery of the missiles and announced a quarantine of Cuba to keep any more missiles from being delivered.

"This Government as promised has maintained the closest surveillance of the Soviet military buildup on the island of Cuba," said Kennedy.

"Within the past week unmistakable evidence has established the fact that a series of offensive missile sites is now in preparation on that imprisoned island."

A secret deal struck between Kennedy and Khrushchev gave the Soviet leader enough to save face and he announced the imminent dismantling of offensive Soviet weapons in Cuba.

Khrushchev also got assurance that the United States would not invade Cuba.

In late October 1962, Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro addressed the country announcing the Soviet's change of heart: "The strategic arms are leaving, but the rest of the weapons will all remain in our country," said Castro.

Soon after a US-Soviet presidential hotline was established and the two nations initiated discussions that led to the Limited Test Ban treaty and ultimately the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

"We had publicly agreed we would sign a non-evasion of Cuba pledge if the Soviets pulled the missile out of Cuba and Krushchev had withdrawn the missiles, but kept secret was the true part of the deal, the Soviets go the United States to secretly agree to remove our missiles from Turkey that were pointed at the Soviet Union," said Kornbluch.

Proof of how tense the showdown got between the Soviet Union and the US, can be seen in a new exhibit, "To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis" at the National Archives in Washington.

While the recordings have been available to researchers for years, this is the first public showcase of Kennedy's recordings to replay tense conversations about national security from the Oval Office and Cabinet Room.

"The key lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis is that small countries, even an island like Cuba will defend themselves if they feel threatened," said Kornbluch.

"Castro believed they would invade again and this time really send the Marines in and he accepted the Soviet offer of nuclear weapons as a deterent."

A half-century after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the United States and Russia still keep thousands of nuclear weapons ready for immediate launch against each other.

Nine countries hold 20,000 nuclear weapons - enough to destroy the planet hundreds of times over.

(****END****)

 

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