In September 1962, the Soviet Union announced increased aid to Cuba. The "aid" included missiles hidden aboard Soviet freighters.
Tuesday, October 16
President Kennedy learns about missiles, but makes no public announcement. His crisis-management team recommends air strikes against missile sites.
Saturday, October 20
Pentagon says American troops gathering in South Florida and the Caribbean are part of routine war exercises and nothing else.
Sunday, October 21
Deciding against a surgical air strike, Kennedy approves a "quarantine" instead. Still no public announcement.
Monday, October 22
Kennedy tells the nation Soviet missiles are in Cuba. He says he will hold the Soviets responsible if any missiles are launched, and retaliate with nuclear weapons.
Tuesday, October 23
Kennedy receives the first of several letters from Khrushchev, who denies that offensive missiles are in Cuba.
Wednesday, October 24
Heading for Cuba, 18 Soviet-bloc ships stop dead in the water.
Friday, October 26
As tensions rise, U.S. makes public the intelligence reports and photographs showing ongoing construction at Cuban missile bases.
Saturday, October 27
Things get worse: An American U2 spy plane is shot down over Cuba. Kennedy calls 14,000 Air Force reservists to active duty.
Sunday, October 28
Kennedy and Khrushchev announce an agreement. Soviets will withdraw missiles from Cuba for America's promise not to invade Cuba.