LBJ recalls J. William Fulbright’s call for an invasion of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
From time to time, LBJ liked to use small anecdotes from the Kennedy years to illustrate his points. By the time they got to the telling, though, the stories had become something less than reliable historical recollections and were shaped by LBJ’s distinctive story-telling style.
In this excerpt from a conversation that took place over a year after the Cuban Missile Crisis, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara passed on something that Admiral Hyman Rickover had told him recently: that during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Admiral George Anderson, the Chief of Naval Operations, had been insubordinate during the crisis.
For whatever reason, JFK did not tape his famous meeting with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko on October 18, 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. But nearly a year later, he did tape another Oval Office meeting with Gromyko.
April 2, 1963 » In advance of Opposition Leader Harold Wilson’s visit to the White House, Ormsby-Gore called Kennedy to give him some background.
In this military budget discussion, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara offers his recommendation for how many nuclear missiles are enough for the United States to have.
In this November 29, 1962, discussion, Kennedy thinks through the costs and benefits of allowing Soviet combat troops and their sophisticated weaponry, including short-range, nuclear-capable FROG rockets to stay in Cuba.
November 16, 1962 » General Curtis LeMay wonders what Khrushchev had been up to in the Cuban Missile Crisis and presents military options to President Kennedy.
In this November 9, 1962, telephone call, JFK congratulated California Governor Pat Brown on his reelection. They also spoke about Nixon’s “final press conference.”
In this November 2, 1962, discussion, Kennedy explains why he doesn’t want the issue of the IL-28 negotiations to be discussed in public yet.
In this clip from the JFK tapes, Kennedy instructs the ExComm not to talk to reporters. Only two people were authorized to do so: McGeorge Bundy and Ted Sorensen.
During the ExComm meeting on the morning of November 1, Secretary of State Dean Rusk spoke with Undersecretary of State George Ball by phone.
After Khrushchev backed down on October 28, one of the major issues that dominated the next few weeks was the presence of the IL-28 jet bombers. The bombers were old and, by the standards of the day, slow. But they were capable of carrying nuclear gravity bombs, and the southeastern corner of the continental United […]
In this tapes clip from October 29, 1962, General David Shoup and JFK discuss what might happen if the Soviets used tactical nuclear weapons in Cuba.
In this Oval Office meeting on the 14th day (October 29, 1962) just before lunch, Marine Corps Commandant General David Shoup and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral George Anderson gave Kennedy a sense of what an invasion of Cuba might look like. There were still a lot of unknowns, they said, and they advocated for […]
In this excerpt from the JFK tapes, Kennedy complains about not being able to trust the Soviet ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Dobrynin.
J. William Fulbright, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who came out against the Vietnam War, argued emphatically for an invasion of Cuba.
In this phone conversation just hours before his speech to the nation on October 22, 1962, President Kennedy updates former President Dwight Eisenhower on the latest Cuba developments.
Just hours before his October 22, 1962, speech to the nation, Kennedy convenes a meeting of his Berlin advisers. He wants to make sure that American commanders in Europe won’t fire off their missiles without a direct order from the president himself
October 19, 1962 » General Curtis LeMay, Air Force Chief of Staff and head of the Strategic Air Command, challenges the idea of the quarantine during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
As Senator John F. Kennedy sat alone in his office with his Dictaphone recorder, he wanted to lay out a history of his political career and explain why he found elected office so important and personally rewarding, to explain why it had become a calling and not just a career.