Lead: In the fall of 1962 the United States, Cuba and the Soviet Union crept up to the nuclear precipice and nearly jumped after the discovery of offensive Russian missiles in Cuba.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The three main players in this drama which brought the world so close to war, faced unique problems that governed the role they would come to play. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy considered himself very vulnerable on the question of Cuba. Having scorched his opponent Richard Nixon in the 1960 election accusing the Republicans of allowing communism to fix itself in Cuba, Kennedy was himself was accused of weakness by throwing away an opportunity to take Cuba back at the aborted Bay of Pigs exiles invasion in 1961. When the missiles appeared in late summer 1962 it was clear that the U.S. was facing a new and serious threat very close to his southern border.

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