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HISTORIC ARTICLE

HISTORIC ARTICLE

Oct 22, 1962 CE: Kennedy 'Quarantines' Cuba

Oct 22, 1962 CE: Kennedy 'Quarantines' Cuba

On October 22, 1962, United States President John F. Kennedy announced a “quarantine” of Cuba, in retaliation for the discovery of Soviet missile facilities on the island a week earlier.

Grades

5 - 11

Subjects

Arts and Music, Social Studies, World History

On October 22, 1962, United States President John F. Kennedy announced a “quarantine” of Cuba, in retaliation of the discovery of Soviet nuclear weapon facilities on the island a week earlier. This brought the conflict, known as the Cuban Missile Crisis, to a diplomatic height. Kennedy and his advisers (including, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who chronicled the Cuban Missile Crisis in his book Thirteen Days) made sure to announce a “quarantine” and not a “blockade” of Cuba. A blockade prevents all trade and travel taking place in a specific area. A blockade is officially an act of war, and the Kennedy administration did not want to directly confront the United States' political rival, the Soviet Union. A quarantine only prevented “all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba.” U.S. Navy ships were deployed around Cuba to prevent Soviet freighters from delivering nuclear missiles or the material to maintain and launch them. The Cuban Missile Crisis ended less than a week later. The Soviet Union agreed to withdraw all missiles from Cuba, while the United States agreed to withdraw all missiles from Turkey (which bordered the Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan).

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Writer
National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Producer
National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
other
Last Updated

May 20, 2022

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