Sunday, October 14, 2012

1962 - Cuban Missile Crisis

We step in the WABAC machine this morning and we were still in Key West when we stepped out.  As we go for our walk we notice the newspaper is only a nickel.  Strange the paper is normally fifty cents.  Then we look at the year, it is 1962, fifty years ago.  Dog Dad would be a little boy in kindergarten and the Holmhaven Collie line just starting.  This is an eventful in day in world history. 
The U-2 Pawtograph
On the morning of 14 October 1962, a U-2 piloted by Major Richard Heyser, flies the first U-2 reconnaissance mission for Strategic Air Command (SAC).  Previous U-2 missions were flown by the CIA.  Pawtographs from this mission show Medium Range Ballistic Missiles sites being built in Cuba.  On 16 October President John F. Kennedy is informed.  This is the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Four options are discussed that morning, a surgical air strike, an attack on a number of locations in Cuba, an invasion of Cuba and a naval blockade.  The mood is somber and Robert Kennedy passes a note to his brudder, the President.  The note reads “I now know how Tojo felt when he was planning Pearl Harbor.” 

JFK leaving Naval Air Station Key West, 1962
State Archives of Florida, Cory McDonald Collection
The word quarantine is used instead of blockade.  The USS Essex is directed to make the first interception, to include antisubmarine tactics.  On 22 October JFK addresses the nation on national TV and SAC goes to DEFCON 3.  On 24 October SAC increases alert status to DEFCON 2 for the first and only time in history.  Will the Russian ships run blockade?  Finally on 28 October, Khrushchev announces over Radio Moscow that he has agreed to remove the missiles from Cuba.  The world exhales.  As we get back in the WABAC machine, we look at Dad and wag our tails.  Calm cool reasoning prevailed during this crisis.  JFK was the right man, at the right place at the right time.
SAC Patch
We hope we have the wisdom to elect the right man for the times.  We hope our leaders remember the past and do not repeat the same mistakes.  We pray for them to be wise.

Dog Speed,

Essex & Sherman


Sam said...

We pray for the same thing.

Are you a writer? You've got a magical way with words.


Islay said...

(oops - deleted me comment so here it is again...)

Wisdom and hope are big words for a dog of very little brain (me) - but I do hope for the best. Have a great week!


Dianne SS said...

I certainly remember the Cuban Missile Crisis--I was in Grade 5. I recall the biggest fear a lot of kids had, was whether there would be a Halloween Trick or Treat. I think they showed us films about nuclear attacks and for awhile it looked pretty grim. There aren't any more politicians of the calibre of JFK--he refused to be pushed into things and he was assassinated.


Scruffy, Lacie and Stanley's Place said...

Wow...this post took Mumsie back to the days of weaing dog tags to grade school and wondering why the adults looked so worried...

Thanks for putting this up...we learned a lot and are grateful it all worked out...

Politicians have certainly changed...

XXOO Scurffy, Lacie and Stanny

StevieGrrrWonder said...

Before my time, but do remember this from American History and Government class. But a 5 cent newspaper or 25 cent gas would be nice today, wouldn't it?

oorvi said...

That was truly a time-travel post, my dear friends. I was right there, with you...and I cross paws with you in hoping that America does elect the right man for the times - because America's choice is important for the whole world.

I wasn't happy with the 2nd debate. Despite all the sophistication, it was more of a duel than a debate...

Licks n wags,