Mark returns to a discussion of the Cold War and the origins of the conflict between superpowers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union. He pays special attention to the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. This was the two-week confrontation that kept the world on edge and in fear of escalating tensions that could lead to nuclear war. U.S. President John F. Kennedy was in a stand-off with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Kennedy’s goal: make Moscow remove nuclear-armed missiles from the island nation of Cuba.

Above photo: CIA reference photograph of Soviet medium-range ballistic missile (SS-4 in U.S. documents, R-12 in Soviet documents) in Red Square, Moscow.

President Kennedy signs Cuba quarantine proclamation

ST-459-10-62 23 October 1962 President Kennedy signs the Proclamation for Interdiction of the Delivery of Offensive Weapons to Cuba. White House, Oval Office. Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.