Thirteen Days Quotes by Robert F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy Quotes
John F. Kennedy
In October , an American U-2 spy plane secretly photographed nuclear missile sites being built by the Soviet Union on the island of Cuba. President Kennedy did not want the Soviet Union and Cuba to know that he had discovered the missiles. He met in secret with his advisors for several days to discuss the problem. After many long and difficult meetings, Kennedy decided to place a naval blockade, or a ring of ships, around Cuba. The aim of this "quarantine," as he called it, was to prevent the Soviets from bringing in more military supplies. He demanded the removal of the missiles already there and the destruction of the sites.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy is one of the most well-known politicians in modern history. As the 35th President of the United States of America, Kennedy was instrumental in bringing the country out of the stagnation it found itself in following the Second World War. His economic reforms, strong support of civil rights, and commitment to space exploration programmes saw him gain rapid popularity in the country. From the failed attempt to overthrow Castro's regime in Cuba to supporting the Western Bloc in Berlin to the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis without armed conflict, JFK was at the heart of several key historical events during his tenure as the US President. Born on May 29, into one of America's wealthiest families, Kennedy made history on January 20, as the youngest person to ever be sworn in as President of the US. His time in the nation's highest office was, however, cut-short.
The confrontation is often considered the closest the Cold War came to escalating into a full-scale nuclear war. The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards, as all paths are--but it is the one most consistent with our character and courage as a nation and our commitments around the world. The cost of freedom is always high--and Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender or submission. Our goal is not the victory of might, but the vindication of right- -not peace at the expense of freedom, but both peace and freedom, here in this hemisphere, and, we hope, around the world. God willing, that goal will be achieved.
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The President had first learned of the missiles on October 16th, when he was shown aerial photos taken by an American U-2 spy plane over Cuba, located some ninety miles off the coast of Florida. Two days later, the President conferred with Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrei Gromyko, who claimed the weapons were for defensive purposes only. The President then met with top military aides and his brother Robert to discuss possible military options. On Sunday, October 21st, the President spent the entire day conferring with his top advisers considering two principal military options — a surgical air strike against the bases in Cuba, or a Naval blockade of Cuba. The President chose the blockade option, which he labeled in this speech as a "strict quarantine. This Government, as promised, has maintained the closest surveillance of the Soviet Military buildup on the island of Cuba.
See comments. Historians say the world has never been closer to nuclear conflict than it was during the Cuban missile crisis. So close, in fact, that then-U. President John F. Kennedy actually drafted a speech announcing military strikes against Soviet installations in Cuba -- a move that could have triggered World War III. This article was first published in on the 50th anniversary of the Cuban crisis.
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