Study Guide

John F. Kennedy Cuban Missile Crisis

Cuban Missile Crisis

On 16 October 1962, the course of Jack Kennedy's presidency changed forever. At 8:45 in the morning, he was shown a series of photographs documenting the installation of Soviet nuclear missiles in western Cuba. Although JFK was unsure of Khrushchev's intent ("What is the advantage?" Kennedy asked of his advisers)blank">Averill Harriman, to negotiate the terms of the treaty with Soviet officials in Moscow. On 25 July, two rival superpowers reached an agreement to ban the testing of nuclear bombs in air, space, and water—but not underground. For this reason, the treaty is referred to as the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The next day, Kennedy went on television to inform Americans about the proposed treaty and garner support for the agreement, which was ultimately signed in Moscow in August. It was a watershed moment for Soviet-American relations.