National Archives Hosts Press Preview October 10 for New Exhibit Marking Cuban Missile Crisis 50th Anniversary
Media Alert · Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Washington, DC


Washington, DC…A special press-only preview to launch the new National Archives exhibit marking the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis: “To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis.” The exhibit opens to the public on Friday, October 12, 2012.

“To the Brink” shows Kennedy and his advisers in the throes of deliberation during 13 agonizing days in October 1962, as the United States and the then-Soviet Union stood on the brink of nuclear war. The peaceful resolution of the crisis with the Soviets is considered to be one of Kennedy’s greatest achievements.

Featuring clandestine real-time White House recordings from Kennedy’s meetings in October 1962, the exhibit allows visitors to listen in on the government’s high level meetings as the President and his advisers worked furiously to avert a nuclear catastrophe. Original documents, artifacts, and photographs from the National Archives and its Kennedy Library complement the tapes in a dramatic presentation that draws the visitor into this milestone 20th-century event.

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.


Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero
Director, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum Tom Putnam
Author Michael Dobbs, “One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War”
“To the Brink” Exhibit Curator Stacey Bredhoff, Curator, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Chair and President of the Foundation for the National Archives A'Lelia Bundles President of AT&T Mid Atlantic J. Michael Schweder


The Boeing Learning Center and Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery, National Archives Building, Washington, DC

Please use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012
9 a.m.—light breakfast
9:15 a.m.—Remarks
10 a.m.—Exhibit Tours

RSVPs preferred, please email:

The exhibit is free and open to the public, and will be on display in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, from October 12, 2012, through February 3, 2013. The National Archives is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. Fall/Winter Exhibit Hall hours are 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. daily, except Thanksgiving and December 25. “To the Brink” 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 the National Archives and its John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and 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.

Please Note: No Additional Light May Be Used in the Exhibition.

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For more information on or to obtain images of items included in the exhibit, call the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

Follow the Cuban Missile Crisis in real time as the JFK Library tweets the 13 days:  @JFKLibrary, hashtag #13Days.


This page was last reviewed on November 27, 2018.
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