Cuban Missile Crisis Begins
On October 16, 1962, missiles were discovered in Cuba that could easily reach the U.S., beginning the Cuban Missile Crisis.
In April 1961, a group of CIA-trained soldiers attempted to overthrow Fidel Castro’s communist government in Cuba. Dubbed the Bay of Pigs Invasion (after one of the landing sites), it ultimately failed and strengthened Castro’s leadership and Soviet support. In fact, Castro met secretly with Soviet leader Nikita Kruschev to request nuclear missiles to prevent future actions against them. Construction on these missile launch facilities began that summer.