Important people during the crisis

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

John F. Kennedy served as the 35th President of the US from 1961 until 1963, when he was assassinated. A Democrat, Kennedy previously represented Massachusetts in US Congress.

Before the Cuban Missile Crisis took place, Kennedy publicly stated that he would not protest against the placement of defensive weapons in Cuba, but he promised a swift and harsh response if offensive weapons were introduced.

This statement would later prove problematic when dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis, as Kennedy did not want to seem weak by making compromises with the Soviets. However, he knew that a forceful response could also cause the Soviets to retaliate, most likely by using nuclear weapons.

The failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion, on which Kennedy consulted only a small number of people, led Kennedy to consult more widely during the Cuban Missile Crisis by creating the ExCom committee.

The invasion’s failure also strengthened his resolve to remove Cuban leader Fidel Castro from power. The Administration subsequently launched Operation Mongoose, a secret plan in which the possibility of assassinating Castro was also taken into consideration.

Kennedy took office with the intention to eradicate poverty in the US and support its space explorations. He was also a supporter of the civil rights movement, but was mostly unsuccessful in passing relevant policies for his goals before his death. However, Congress would pass many of his proposals after his death, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and he remains one of the best-liked US presidents of all time.

On 22nd of November 1963, Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968)

Robert F. Kennedy was an America...

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