The most dangerous day

The American citizenry might be shocked to learn (or typically dismiss) that this is now the second most dangerous day, as they have been reinstalled. The year is 2012, the threat has reemerged, people do not get the real news anymore and have been lulled into a calming false sense of security.

On October 27, 2012 the world commemorates the 50th anniversary of what has been called the most dangerous day in world history. It was on Saturday 27th October, 1962 that the Cuban missile crisis involving the two superpowers – the US and the former Soviet Union – reached a fever pitch. The confrontation had started with the detection of Soviet medium-range ballistic missiles by an American photo-reconnaissance U-2 flight over Cuba which information was conveyed to US President John F. Kennedy on October 16, 1962. The end of the crisis dates to October 28, 1962 when the Soviets agreed to withdraw their missiles and nuclear warheads from Cuba in exchange for an American undertaking not to invade Cuba, along with a secret offer by the US to remove its missiles installed in Turkey at a later date.

What makes October 27, 1962 the most dangerous day in history was the occurrence of three particular events on that day. First, an American U-2 plane was shot down over Cuba while on a photo-reconnaissance mission. Two Russian officers stationed in Cuba had ordered the aircraft’s downing, which most certainly upset Khrushchev who wished to avoid escalating the situation. It was also on October 27 that a U-2 plane, whose mission was to collect radioactive air samples from the atmospheric fallout of a recent Soviet nuclear test for analysis by American scientists, wandered off course over the Arctic circle and intruded into Soviet airspace setting off alarm bells in Moscow and a scramble by Soviet MIGs to try and intercept the U-2. In response the United States Air Force’s Strategic Air Command sent its F-102 fighter planes armed with nuclear missiles to the Bering Sea. When President Kennedy was told about this development he caustically remarked: “there’s always some s.o.b. who doesn’t get the word”. Fortunately the intruding U-2 pilot managed to return to the American air base in Alaska before any shots were fired by either side.

Full article: The most dangerous day (The News International)

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