Fifty years ago tonight President John F. Kennedy announced to the world what he had been informed of a week earlier: evidence of Soviet missiles, capable of carrying nuclear weapons and destroying many American cities, were discovered by American reconnaissance overflights of Cuba. The shameful end to the crisis drove the final nail into the coffin of Cuban liberty. Not only did Kennedy give in to Soviet demands to remove American missiles in Turkey, he also promised never to invade Cuba again. Never again would the United States permit exiled Cubans to attempt to free their homeland.
President John F. Kennedy addresses the nation on the evening of Monday, October 22, 1962, as the threat of Soviet missiles in Cuba nears its peak.
This version of President Kennedy’s Cuban Missile Crisis speech is somewhat rare, because it is complete and unedited. Usually only small bits and pieces of the speech are presented on television and in documentaries. But this is the entire 18-minute address from start to finish.