Fifty years ago today, President John F. Kennedy announced on television that the Soviet Union was installing nuclear weapons in Cuba. Kennedy’s address made public the Cuban Missile Crisis, an event that took the world to the brink of nuclear war.
A new site and free iOS app allow you to relive those events and learn from the past. History buffs can delve into documents, photos and video from the crisis in the “Through the Brink” site and app for iPad from the National Archives and Records Administration.
Both the website and app take a chronological approach, detailing events from when the warheads first arrived on October 4, 1962. You can see photos of the ships bringing the missiles to Cuba and read handwritten notes from President Kennedy as he captured his thoughts during meetings of his Executive Committee of the National Security Council.
In testing, we found the iPad app easier to navigate because you can more intuitively move from page to page.
“From the Brink” isn’t the only way to use the Web to better understand the Cuban Missile Crisis. The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum’s site includes a feature on the crisis with audio excerpts from meetings and Kennedy’s address to the nation on October 22.
You can also visit cubammissilecrisis.org, a site created by Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, to see the video the address, and access tools for educators and information about nuclear dangers today.