President John F. Kennedy announces on national television that military spy planes had discovered the existence of Soviet missile sites in Cuba. He ordered a naval blockade of Cuba and demanded the removal of the missiles.
During the next six days, the crisis escalated to a breaking point as the world tottered on the brink of nuclear war. Finally, on October 28, in exchange for a secret U.S. pledge not to invade Cuba, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev announced his country’s willingness to remove the weapons. The crisis ended as suddenly as it began, and the world breathed a sigh of relief.
In November, Kennedy called off the naval blockade, and the missiles were removed from Cuba by the end of the year.