The Kennedy presidency was a period of unprecedented tensions between the UNITED STATE and also the Soviet Union. A few of the major events which arisen include:

Jan 1961 - Kennedy assumes Presidency. In his Inaugural Speech, JFK notes: "In the long history of the people, just a couple of generations have been granted the role of deffinishing liberty in its hour of maximum peril."

Apr 1961 - Bay of Pigs intrusion of Cuba by CIA-trained Cuban exiles. Invasion fails; Kennedy"s decision not to administer overt UNITED STATE assist embitters many kind of participants.

You are watching: When was the height of the cold war

Aug 1961 - Berlin wall erected, separating Western-managed percentage of Berlin from East Germany.

Nov 1961 - Operation Mongoose, a surprise regimen of subvariation and sabotage aimed at Cuba, is initiated. General Edward Lansdale is put in charge. General Taylor returns from trip to South Vietnam; recommends combat troops. Kennedy declines, in favor of raised advisory function for army.

Mar 1962 Joint Chiefs of U.S. military sign off on Operation Northwoods, a setup to create genuine and also simulated terrorist strikes which can be blamed on Castro, as a pretext for invading Cuba.

Oct 1962 Satellite photos reveal Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba. The 2 superpowers go "eyesphere to eyesphere." UNITED STATE institutes blockade of naval vessels. Diplomacy resolves crisis.

May 1963 8th SecDef conference on Vietnam lays out timetable for withdrawal of UNITED STATE pressures from Vietnam.

Jun 1963 Kennedy delivers speech at Amerihave the right to University pressing the need for co-presence via the Soviet Union.

Aug 1963 U.S., Britain, and also Soviet Union authorize the Limited Test Ban Treaty, banning nuclear weapons trial and error in the environment, in space, and under water.

Sep 1963 Kennedy pursues "second track" through Castro, exploring rapprochement through intermediaries. One of these, Jean Daniel, is via Castro on Nov 22 when news of Kennedy"s fatality is got.

Oct 1963 NSAM 263 initiates withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam, beginning via 1000 men.

Nov 1963 U.S.-supported coup in South Vietnam leaves Premiere Diem dead. Kennedy assassinated in Dallas.

The Cuban Missile Situation was arguably the height of the Cold War. Kennedy moved to defusage tensions in its after-effects, shutting down anti-Castro operations being run from UNITED STATE soil for instance, and later on initiating key contacts via Castro. His June 10 1963 speech at Amerihave the right to University called for serene co-existence with the Soviet Union, which was a radical idea among many kind of cold warriors of the day:

"So, let us not be blind to our differences--but let us likewise straight attention to our common interests and also to the means through which those differences have the right to be readdressed. And if we cannot finish currently our differences, at least we deserve to aid make the human being safe for diversity. For, in the final evaluation, our many fundamental prevalent link is that we all inhabit this tiny planet. We all breathe the exact same air. We all cherish our children"s future. And we are all mortal."



JFK vs. the Military, by Robert Dallek.

Did the UNITED STATE Military Plan a Nuclear First Strike for 1963?, by James K. Galbraith and also Heather A. Purcell.

The Kennedy-CIA Aberration Over Cuba, by Peter Dale Scott.

The Kennedy Assassination and also the Vietnam War, by Peter Dale Scott.

St. John the Liberal?, by Eric Paddon.

Cold War Context, by Carl Oglesby.

Stranger in a Starray Land, by Jim Hargrove.


Joint Chiefs of Staff Operation Northwoods documents. See Dept. of Defense records for even more records relating to Cuba and also Vietnam policy.

Proceedings of 8th SecDef Conference on Vietnam, May 1963.

Other Links

Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive.

Operation Northwoods on wikipedia.

Full text and also audio of Commencement Address at American University by President John F. Kennedy, 10 Jun 1963.


Watch at Kennedy Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961.

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Watch at JFK"s "tranquility speech" at the Amerideserve to College, June 10, 1963.

Books of Interest

"One Hell of a Gamble": Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964Aleksandr Fursenko and also Timothy NaftaliW.W. Norton and also Company, 1997
Robert Kennedy and also His TimesArthur M. Jr. SchlesingerHoughton Mifflin, 1978
Khrushchev RemembersStrobe (editor Talbott and also translator)Little, Brown and Company kind of, 1970
To Move A NationRoger HilsmanDelta, 1967
History Will Not Abdeal with Us: Orwellian Control, Public Denial, and the Murder of President KennedyE. Martin SchotzKurtz, UImer, and Delucia Book Publishers, 1996
KennedyTheodore C. SorensenHarper and also Row, 1965
JFK and VietnamJohn NewmanWarner Books, 1992