FOUR INTENSE YEARS OF THE COLD WAR: WWIII nearly erupted during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962; Kennedy's assassination made the Soviets fear they would get blamed; and wily Nikita Khrushchev himself was forced out of power in 1964!
From the presentation:
1960: For four years, the Americans had endured the Russian General Secretary’s threats to blow them up.
So they elected an aggressive president would “bear any burden,” “meet any hardship”—and “oppose any foe.”
But the Russians were on a winning streak. Up went the most hated symbol of the Cold War- the Berlin Wall. Meanwhile, yet another American ally went communist.
Cuba was close—90 miles away. Now genuinely afraid, the young president warned hot-tempered Khrushchev not to arm Cuba with nuclear missiles. From the island’s jungles, the Soviets could annihilate D.C. in just seven minutes.
Don’t worry, Khrushchev said to new leader. We would never do that.
But they did. And now the gun to everyone’s head was now fully cocked with a hairpin trigger.
Was there yet time? Or would the clock strike midnight?