On Oct. 16, 1962, the Cuban missile crisis began as President John F. Kennedy was informed of the presence of missile bases in Cuba.

The installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles on Cuba, just 90 miles from U.S. shores, led Kennedy to order a naval blockade, and made clear he was prepared to use military force to neutralize this threat.

For thirteen days in October, leaders of the U.S. and the Soviet Union engaged in a tense, political and military standoff that seemingly put the world on the brink of nuclear war.