Thursday, October 17, 2013



Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) 51 years ago today, October 17, 1962, was the second day of what would be the 13 day Cuban Missile Crisis, the closest the world has come to nuclear war.

President John F. Kennedy received a letter from Adlai Stevenson, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, asking him to talk directly to Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev about the missiles in Cuba.

Mr. Stevenson also said that JFK "should have made it clear that the existence of the nuclear missile bases is negotiable." 

The Ambassador continued...

"Because an attack would very likely result in Soviet is important that we have as much of the world with us as possible.  

To start...a nuclear war is bound to be divisive at best and the judgments of history seldom coincide with the tempers of the moment."

According to James M. Lindsay on "The Water's Edge,"  EXCOM* met at 8:30 a.m. in the State Department on Oct. 17, 1962.

*EXCOM or EXCOMM, Executive Committee of the National Security Council.

Mr. Lindsay says that JFK was not present at this meeting but most of the participants, including CIA director John McCone, believed Premier Khrushchev had put the missiles in Cuba to put pressure on our position in West Berlin.

According to Lindsay, McGeorge Bundy, JFK's adviser on national security, left this meeting early to go over to the White House to brief the President.

Lindsay also says that JFK directed Mr. McCone to go to Gettysburg to brief former President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

JFK continued his day on schedule.  

Events included signing a bill to establish the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and giving speeches at Democratic rallies in Waterbury and New Haven, Connecticut.


"The Kennedys:  A Chronological History," by Harvey Rachlin, World Almanac, New York, 1986.

"TWE Remembers: JFK Solicits Ike's Advisers, Cuban Missile Crisis Day 2," 


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy welcomed the President of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito and his wife, Jovanka, to the White House 50 years ago today, October 17, 1963.

During a ceremony on the South Lawn, JFK said...

"We are glad to have you you can see something of the United States.  I am glad you are going to the South and then to the West.  This is a vigorous and progressive people that you will see.

I think your visit here will give you a greater understanding of the policies and objectives and meaning of the United States of America."

Later at a White House luncheon in the State Dining Room, JFK said...

"You have an extraordinary career in war and in peace, and while there are differences in viewpoint which separate our governments, nevertheless, this administration....believe(s) strongly in the independence of your country and...the extraordinary efforts you are making  to maintain that independence..."

The Titos and the Nixons
Truman Balcony, The White House
October 28, 1971
White House Photo

**Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980) was born in Croatia-Slavonia and joined the Austrio-Hungarian army in 1913.  He fought against the Russians in WWI and became a POW.  

After the war, he joined the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and became the leader of "the most effective anti-Nazi resistance movement in Europe."  Tito served as President of the Communist League of Yugoslavia from 1939 to 1980.


We have updated our recent post on Tennessee Hero Alvin York by adding two photographs we took at the York Grist Mill in Pall Mall, Tennessee in the 1980s.  Follow the link below.