MRE board member tells his Cuban Missile Crisis story

Amid the trivia of American politics, voters can forget that they are entrusting the winning candidate for President with the nuclear codes, the power to annihilate all life on the planet, a reality that reporter Don North witnessed up close a half century ago in the Cuban missile crisis.

 

By MRE member Don North

Don North in 1962

Saturday, Oct. 27, 1962,  now known as “Black Saturday” was the day I arrived in Havana to report on the Cuban missile crisis, completely oblivious that 50 years later it would be considered “the most dangerous moment in human history,”  the day we came closest to nuclear Armageddon.

My rendezvous with this existential crisis began on Oct. 22, in a New York bar where I had arranged to meet friends and incidentally to watch a TV address by President John F. Kennedy that was supposed to have something to do with Cuba. I had visited Cuba as a freelance journalist six months earlier and was fascinated by the country.

 

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