Episode 5: Uneasy Peace

October 27

John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev reached an agreement about the Cuban Missile Crisis on October 28, but the crisis wouldn’t end there. Fidel Castro, angered by Nikita Khrushchev’s decision, threatened a serious setback in the negotiations to remove all offensive weapons - including tactical nuclear weapons - from his country.

Featuring interviews and archive audio with Sid Davis, Michael Dobbs, Mary Dudziak, Alice L. George, Barry Goldwater, Max Hastings, Marvin Kalb, Nina Khrushcheva, Fredrik Logevall, John McCone, Robert McNamara, Tom Nichols, Serhii Plokhy, Sander Vanocur.

View the transcript from this episode.

From the JFK Library Archives

View documents and photographs referenced in this episode.

Telephone Recordings: Dictation Belt 41.2. End of Cuban Missile Crisis, October 28, 1962

Radio and Television Remarks on the Dismantling of Soviet Missile Bases in Cuba, November 2, 1962 (transcript)

Press Conference, November 20, 1962 (transcript)

"Blockade Lifted: President Reveals Red Plane Pullout." (Universal Newsreel) IFP:88D, November 20, 1962

Oral History interview with Barry Goldwater, January 24, 1965

From the JFK Library

JFK Library Forum: Thirteen Days: An Insider's Perspective, October 1, 2002 (via C-SPAN)

JFK Library Forum: The Cuban Missile Crisis and the Media, October 28, 2002 (via GBH Forum Network)

Additional Material

Office of the Historian: Letter From Chairman Khrushchev to President Kennedy, October 28, 1962

Office of the Historian: Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union, October 28, 1962, 5:03 pm

Miller Center: 12th ExComm Meeting, October 29, 1962

Miller Center: 13th ExComm Meeting, October 30, 1962

Miller Center: 16th ExComm Meeting, November 1, 1962

National Security Archive: Record of Conversation between A.I. Mikoyan and F. Castro, November 22, 1962

Open Vault from WGBH: Interview with Robert McNamara (1), February 20, 1986

Open Vault from WGBH: Interview with John McCone (2), March 4, 1986

Open Vault from WGBH: Interview with A. I. (Aleksandr Ivanovich) Alekseev, April 7, 1986

See full source list for this series.


Hosts and producers: Matt Porter and Jamie Richardson

Co-producer: Rick King

Supervisory Producer: Valerie Linson

Research Assistants: Sara Laroussi and Megan McKee

Independent Fact Checker: Ben Schafer

Thank you to The Miller Center at the University of Virginia for providing the White House tapes used in this series.

Thank you to JFK Library archives staff for assistance with researching and digitizing additional material.

Special thank you to Ambassador Caroline Kennedy for permission to use the audio from Jacqueline Kennedy’s 1964 oral history interview.

Podcast Art: Brian Kang

Music: Premium Beat by Shutterstock