Cuban Missile Crisis: October 24, 1962 – part 4

Speaker: John F Kennedy
Delivered On: 10/24/1962
Place: Washington, D.C.
Subject: Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962. United
States — Foreign relations — Soviet Union.
Audio/Video Available:

Description: See resource for
October 18, 1962
for brief description of the Cuban Missile crisis and previous
clips in this series for timeline events up to this date.
Summary of conversations:

Tape 37.1-37.2, October 24, 5:00 pm: Discussion of using intelligence data in public
briefings. A meeting with congressional leaders and further review of potential
implications of actions in and near Cuba on the status of Berlin:

Dean Rusk talks about Soviet uncertainty about “how to play this” given the intense
US reaction and reads from a Khrushchev statement that the USSR will not take rash
steps despite “unjustified” actions by the US. [11:09]

During a discussion with congressional leaders, Senate minority leader Everett Dirksen
mention’s Khrushchev’s public request for a summit meeting to resolve the crisis.
JFK and Dirksen agree that a summit at this time would be entirely useless. [19:20]

A participant, probably Senator Bourke Hickenlooper, asserts that congressional
leaders should refuse to answer any questions from the press on the meeting. JFK
replies that security from these meetings has thus far been awfully good. [35:45]

Tape 37.3, October 24, pm or possibly, October 25, am: Continuation of briefing
for congressional leaders:

A participant, probably Senate majority leader Mike Mansfield, expresses his concern
about the “congenital habit of overstating the ease as well as the results of an
air strike. I don’t think there is any such thing as one of these quick, easy and
sanitary air strikes. There is no such thing as a small military action. Now the
moment we start anything in this field, we have to be prepared to do everything.”
Urges careful analysis of Soviet intentions over the next few days before taking
this critical step. [41:37]

Scroll to Top