What is the definition of the Cuban missile crisis?
Cuban missile crisis. A confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union in 1962 over the presence of missile sites in Cuba; one of the “hottest” periods of the cold war.
In October 1962, 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.
- Cuban Missile Crisis. On October 14, 1962, a U-2 spy plane flying over Cuba discovered nuclear missile sites under construction. These missiles would have been capable of quickly reaching the United States. President Kennedy convened a small group of senior officials to debate the crisis.
- The Cuban Missile crisis comes to a close as Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev agrees to remove Russian missiles from Cuba in exchange for a promise from the United States to respect Cuba's territorial sovereignty.
- The Soviet Union put missiles in Cuba for two primary reasons: (1) to boost the Soviet Union's power, threatening the U.S. with nuclear attack from the Caribbean and (2) to bolster the Soviet Union's bargaining position in its attempts to force West Berlin to join East Germany.
1962: World relief as Cuban missile crisis ends. The world has breathed a collective sigh of relief after the superpowers reached an agreement ending the immediate threat of nuclear war. Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev has agreed to dismantle all Russian missiles based in Cuba and ship them back to the Soviet Union.
- The Cuban missile crisis ended peacefully -- the Soviet Union withdrew the warheads in exchange for Kennedy pulling its own missiles from Turkey -- but came awfully close to sparking World War III, a threat that forever changed Americans' perceptions of the Cold War.
- The Berlin Airlift, 1948–1949. At the end of the Second World War, U.S., British, and Soviet military forces divided and occupied Germany. Also divided into occupation zones, Berlin was located far inside Soviet-controlled eastern Germany.
- On August 5, 1963, representatives of the United States, Soviet Union and Great Britain signed the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibited the testing of nuclear weapons in outer space, underwater or in the atmosphere.
Updated: 2nd October 2019