In a word . . . scary.

October Mayhem – October 22, 1962

In a word . . . scary.

In a word . . . scary.

Click on the link here for Audio Player – NBC Radio News – NBC Radio Special Report On Cuba Crisis – October 22, 1962 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

News for this day in 1962 was decidedly ominous, and if you had grown up on a diet of Cold War paranoia, it was the worst case scenario come to life. Ever since the revolution in Cuba in 1959, and the overthrow of the Battista government for the one set up by rebel leader Fidel Castro, the fear in Washington was a Cuban alignment with the Soviet Union and what would become a springboard for Communist influence of Latin America.

And from 1959 until October of 1962, a popularity contest of sorts was underway. With such programs as The Alliance For Progress and the Punta del Este Conference as efforts to shore up flagging influence in that region of the world, the U.S. was doing its level best to win hearts and minds in the region.

And then came news of Russian missiles being set up in Cuba, aimed presumably at key American cities and shipments of Russian arms and military supplies en route to Havana.

It sent an alarming signal, and for the next week it sent the U.S. on a war footing not seen since Korea.

So on this October 22, 1962, all ears were glued to radios and all eyes were frozen on TV’s, waiting for word as to when the next shoe was going to drop.

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