This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tense 13-day period in 1962 during which the U.S., Russia and Cuba balanced on the verge of war.
Back to 1962. An American spy plane had discovered Soviet ballistic missile sites in Cuba with the ability to launch nuclear warheads that could hit the U.S. mainland without much warning. After more than a week of negotiations, U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Russian Premier Khrushchev agreed to a deal in which Russia promised to remove the missiles from Cuba and the U.S. guaranteed it would not invade the island.
Peter Golden is a journalist, novelist and cold war historian. Golden's O Powerful Western Star, a history of the Cold War, is now out as is his novel, Comeback Love.