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Sunday, October 28, 1962


Moscow, USSR (JFK+50) Radio Moscow announced at 9 a.m. Washington time that the Soviet government has ordered their nuclear missiles in Cuba to be dismantled, crated & returned to the USSR.

The announcement comes on the 13th day of the Cuban Missile Crisis in which a nuclear holocaust seemed imminent. 

The announcement was made by Radio Moscow’s Yuri Levitan who said:

“This is Moscow speaking.  The Soviet government…has given a new order to dismantle the weapons…described as offensive & to crate & return them to the Soviet Union.”

The decision made by Premier Nikita Khrushchev was presented earlier to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet.  

Khrushchev told them that there is a…

” danger of war & nuclear catastrophe, with the possibility of destruction of the human race.  To save the world, we must retreat.”

The Soviet leader added, however, that the promise of the United States not to invade Cuba represents a victory for Soviet diplomacy.*

*The US promise to remove US missiles in Turkey was to be kept “extremely confidential.”

Upon hearing the news of the Soviet decision, JFK said to Dave Powers:

“Do you realize that we had an air strike all arranged for Tuesday?  Thank God it’s all over.”

Later JFK & Powers attended mass at the Church of St. Stephen 8 blocks from the White House.**

**According to Michael Dobbs, the Joint Chiefs were “dismayed” by the turn of events & General LeMay said:  “It’s the greatest defeat in our history.  We should invade today.”

“Afterword” by Michael Dobbs

Michael Dobbs writes in his “Afterward” of “One Minute to Midnight” (2008), that Kennedy & Khrushchev were “rational, intelligent, decent men (who) had a sneaking sympathy for each other.”

In support of this statement, Dobbs quotes Jackie Kennedy’s letter to Nikita Khrushchev after JFK’s death:

“You & he were adversaries, but you were allied in a determination that the world should not be blown up.  The danger which troubled my husband was that war might be started not so much by the big men as the little men.  While big men know the need for self control & restraint, little men are sometimes moved more by fear & pride.”

JFK+50 highly recommends this most recent book on the Cuban Missile Crisis by Michael Dobbs.  

It has been used as the primary source of information for our posts over the past several days.  

We are in complete agreement with Dobbs when he says:

“The real good fortune is that men as sane & level-headed as John Fitzgerald Kennedy & Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev occupied the White House & the Kremlin in October 1962.”**

**Source: “One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev & Castro On The Brink Of Nuclear War”, by Michael Dobbs, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2008.


On June 10, 1963, President John F. Kennedy announced that deliberations would begin in Moscow on  a “comprehensive test ban treaty”.

JFK went on to speak on the topic of world peace.  He said that total war “makes no sense” &…..

“We all inhabit this small planet.  We all breathe the same air.  We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”*

*As mentioned before on JFK+50, JFK considered passage of the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963 his greatest accomplishment as President.

JFK Speaks at American University
               Washington, D.C.
                   June 10, 1963
       Photo by Cecil Stoughton

October 28, 1886


Liberty Island, New York (JFK+50) President Grover Cleveland presided today over the dedication ceremonies of the gift of the French people to the people of the United States, the Statue of Liberty.

           Statue of Liberty Unveiled
            by Edward Moran (1886)
      Museum of the City of New York

Senator William M. Evarts, chairman of the Statue of Liberty New York Committee , opened the ceremony with an address that coincided with the unveiling of the Statue by the lowering of the French flag which covered it.

Then President Cleveland said:

“(The Statue of Liberty’s) stream of light shall pierce the darkness of ignorance & man’s oppression until Liberty enlightens the world.”

The statue’s young French sculptor, Frederic Bartholdi, was present at the ceremonies.

            The New Colossus

“Here at our sea-washed sunset gates
  shall stand a mighty woman with a torch
  whose flame is the imprisoned lightning
  & her name Mother of Exiles.”

                                 Emma Lazarus (1883)

                       Emma Lazarus
                 by T. Johnson (1872)
          New York Historical society 

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