Skip to main content

The history of the Cuban Missile Crisis - Matthew A. Jordan


52,875 Questions Answered

TEDEd Animation

Let’s Begin…

Imagine going about your life knowing that, at any given moment, you and everyone you know could be wiped out without warning at the push of a button. This was the reality for millions of people during the forty-five year period after World War II now known as the Cold War. Matthew A. Jordan explains the history behind the peak of all this panic — the thirteen days of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

October 27, known as Black Saturday, was the most complicated and paramount day of the Cuban Missile Crisis. On this day Major Rudolf Anderson was shot down over Cuba, a U-2 spy plane was lost over Soviet Airspace, and Kennedy and Dobrynin had their midnight meeting to discuss the end to this crisis. Many participants in the crisis have their views and interpretations of the events. Take a close look at each of the members’ recollection about October 27 to help explain the thought process of ending the crisis. Start here.

The Cuban Missile Crisis has more videos, speeches and photos to take a look at to learn more about this historic standoff. The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum also has a complete online exhibit: World On the Brink that you can visit. Take some time to see what they have. 

Looking for some primary sources on this topic? The Library of Congress also has a rich collection of primary sources on this topic.

Interested in learning more about the Cold War? John Green provides two great reviews: The Cold War: Crash Course US History #37 and USA vs USSR Fight! The Cold War: Crash Course. 

Next Section »

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Matthew A. Jordan
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Director Patrick Smith
  • Animator Patrick Smith
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

More from Government: Declassified