President John F. Kennedy: [listing meeting participants] “Secretary McNamara, Deputy Secretary Gilpatric, General Taylor, Attorney General, George Ball, Alexis Johnson, Ed Martin, McGeorge Bundy, Ted Sorensen. . . .”

“. . . During the course of the day opinions had obviously switched from the advantages of a first strike on the missile sites and on Cuban aviation, to a blockade. . . . The consensus was that we should go ahead with the blockade beginning on Sunday night. Originally we should begin by blockading Soviet—against the shipment of additional offensive capacity, that we could tighten the blockade as the situation requires. I was most anxious that we not have to announce the state of war existing, because it would obviously be bad to have the word go out that we were having a war rather than a limited blockade for a limited purpose. It was determined that I should go ahead with my speeches so that we don’t take the cover off this and come back Saturday night.”

An excerpt from the original recorded media is available in the Flash version of this exhibit.