Tuesday (October 16) marked the start of the most monumental stand-off in history – the Cuban missile crisis.
It could’ve been world war III. The thirteen-day confrontation was the moment when the long-standing cold war came closest to becoming a nuclear war, with the United States pitted against both Cuba and the Soviet Union and neither side willing to back down.
The anniversary comes following newly-released cold war documents that show just how close John F Kennedy came to announcing the beginning of a third world war. Apparently, the US leader would have delivered his speech to declare war if the Soviet ships had crossed the American blockade, which was preventing them from delivering missiles to Cuba.
Like most events that occurred during the cold war, the Cuban Missile Crisis is still shrouded in mystery. With information only just being released now, it is no wonder that the event has enticed collectors for years.
On October 23, the collection of secretary of defence Robert McNamara will auction. Starring among the numerous White House lots is a paperweight that JFK gifted to him to commemorate the missile crisis. The piece should command bids in the region of £15,000-25,000, as testament to the lasting impression the crisis made on the world.
We have the official press release distributed by the White House, which perfectly demonstrates the rising tension of the US government and marks the moment that the news reached the rest of the world.