National Archives and JFK Library Mark 50th Anniversary of Cuban Missile Crisis in October
Press Release · Wednesday, September 19, 2012

To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis

Washington, DC…The Cuban Missile Crisis—13 days in October 1962—when the world teetered on the edge of thermonuclear war, is the subject of a new exhibition, “To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” opening in October at the National Archives Building in downtown Washington.

The exhibition, coming on the 50th anniversary of that historic time, opens October 12, 2012, in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building and will run through February 3, 2013. Admission is free. It then travels to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, where it opens April 12 and runs through November 11, 2013.

"To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis" was created by curators at the Kennedy Library and designers from the National Archives, and features items from their respective collections. It is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, and the generous support of Lead Sponsor AT&T with special recognition to the Lawrence F. O'Brien Family.

Watch this 3:38 minute video short titled “To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis” [] to get a peek at exhibit highlights and see an interview the exhibit curator Stacey Bredhoff. This video is in the public domain and not subject to any copyright restrictions. The National Archives encourages its use and free distribution.

Early in the Fall of 1962, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev ordered a secret deployment of a nuclear strike force in Cuba, just 90 miles from the United States—with missiles that could reach most major U.S. cities in less than five minutes. President Kennedy emphatically stated that the missiles would not be tolerated, and insisted on their removal. Khrushchev refused. The standoff nearly caused a nuclear exchange and is remembered in this country as the Cuban Missile Crisis.

“To the Brink” is a look back at the crisis from the 50