Cuban Missile Crisis

By Ms. Jenny Namsiriwan Crabb

The National Archives has numerous gems in its collection.  We are discovering more of them as we continue our work in the National Declassification Center.  I discovered one such gem as I was working with a project regarding the Cuban Missile Crisis in February 2012.  The collection in its entirety was intriguing but there were several topics that really struck me.  One of them was reading the actual correspondence between President Kennedy, Khrushchev, Thant and Castro.  It was interesting to see the way that they addressed each other and the language that they used.  It also provided military plans, maps and aerial photographs dealing with such issues as rules of engagement, blockades, Cuban launch sites and the quarantine of Cuba.  The collection revealed how far reaching the Cuban Missile Crisis was because it contained information that related the crisis in Berlin, Germany  There was also a folder on Havana’s International Broadcasting that contained samples of radio propaganda that aimed at inciting countries in Latin America to revolt.  Along those lines there was also information regarding the Brazilian Resolution that showed that the U.S. was concerned with other Latin American and African countries receiving nuclear weapons.  One final topic that was covered briefly was Cuban volunteers in the U.S. Armed Forces and also the Cuban military.  There was a folder regarding how they were recruited, trained and utilized in the U.S. as well as in Cuba.  This collection contains important information regarding the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Countless topics could be gleaned and researched by historians, students and anyone else with an interest in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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