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The Cuban Missile Crisis and John F Kennedy When given the opportunity to write a term paper on any topic in American history from 1890 to 1980 one has innumerable options World War One and Two the War in Vietnam the Korean conflict and the great depression to name but a few However I have chosen a brief period of two weeks during which the very existence of the United States was seriously threatened To most of my generation the Cuban missile crisis is nonexistent My generation spends so much time looking to the future and does not seem to realize that the future comes from the past If the successes and failures of past generations are not properly analyzed we will be ignorant as to what should be done in the future The anxiety and emotions felt by 200 million Americans as the US was on the brink of nuclear war has since been forgotten These emotions have been replaced by a news byte the November 1962 cover of Time magazine which shows Soviet submarines turning around just off the Cuban coast Munich Pearl Harbor The Iron Curtain The Berlin Blockade Korea McCarthyism Suez-Hungary Sputnik The aforementioned are all shorthand references to incidents in which the United States had failed Munich and appeasement became synonyms for failure to stand firm in the face of aggression Pearl Harbors losses are self-evident Sputnik represented Soviet superiority in space and questioned whether the United States had equal spacecraft building skills President John F Kennedy realized that the United States had failed in so many international missions that it was a necessity that the United States not only avert war with the Soviet Union but emerge as the clear victors The Cuban missile crisis is an important facet of American history for many reasons When Eisenhower yielded the presidency to Kennedy the gross yield of all US weapons
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