Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a thirteen-day military and political standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union government over the installation of nuclear-armed missiles by the USSR in Cuba. After private negotiations, the threat of nuclear war was neutralized.
See the fact file below for more information on the Cuban Missile Crisis or alternatively, you can download our 22-page Cuban Missile Crisis worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Prior to the Crisis
- On January 1, 1959, after overthrowing Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista y Zaldivar through a revolution, Fidel Castro took over the military government in Cuba and aligned himself with the Soviet Union. In fact, the Soviets provided military and economic aid to Castro’s government.
- For the next two years of Castro’s presidency, he reduced American influence in the Cuban economy by nationalizing major American industries like sugar and mining.
- As a result, Americans banned the importation of Cuban sugar to the United States collapsing the sugar industry for a little while until the USSR agreed to buy the imports. In addition, the U.S. State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) attempted to end Castro’s power.
- In April 1961, the CIA launched an all-out invasion of Cuba through 1,400 American-trained Cubans who had fled to the U.S. after the revolution. In less than 24 hours, Castro won the Bay of Pigs invasion.
- After the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, U.S. President John F. Kennedy ordered the installment of nuclear missile sites in Turkey and Italy.
- At the same time, the United States and the USSR were engaged in the Cold War, which lasted until 1991.
- The Cold War, which started in 1945, was a series of political, technological and economic clashes between the U.S. and the Soviets.
October 1962: Beginning of Crisis
- On October 14, 1962, an American U-2 spy plane operated by Air Force Pilot Richard Heyser passed over Cuban airspace and photographed a Soviet SS-4 medium-range ballistic missile.
- On October 16, 1962, JFK immediately gathered together a group of officials and military advisors to form the executive committee, also known as ExCom. Members of the ExCom felt the urgency of the situation since the missiles were installed just 90 miles south of Florida. They analyzed that from the launch point, missiles could easily target any parts of the eastern United States.
- With his intention of increasing nuclear strike capability, USSR Chairman Nikita Khrushchev sent missile installations to Cuba. They leveled the playing field since American missiles located in Western Europe and Turkey were targeting them. After the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, Khrushchev saw a great opportunity to lessen American aggression in Cuba.
- On October 18, 1962, Attorney General Robert Kennedy met with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko and was informed that the Soviets were only aiding Cuba in growing crops and that missiles were installed primarily for defense.
- After several meetings, ExComm suggested quarantining Cuba. Robert Kennedy informed his brother, who was in Chicago, about the ExComm suggestion. On October 22, President JFK appeared on television and addressed the American people that a missile installation was discovered in Cuba. In response, he ordered a naval blockade and removal of missiles on the Soviet end.
- On October 23, Khrushchev ordered Soviet ships to stop in the Atlantic to avoid confrontation with the U.S. Navy. After a day, however, he refused to remove missiles in Cuba and accused JFK of initiating nuclear war with the blockade.
- By October 25, the U.S. Air Force had increased flights over Cuba while the ExComm suggested an invasion of Cuba.
- On the 27th, Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles if JFK agreed not to invade Cuba. Kennedy agreed to the proposal and also quietly removed missile installations in Turkey.
End of Crisis
- The thirteen-day tension between the USSR and the U.S. was diffused through diplomatic communications with both leaders constantly communicating through exchanged letters and other means.
- On October 28, Khrushchev went live on Radio Moscow announcing his agreement with JFK, thus ending the crisis.
- In order to prevent similar situations in the future, a direct hotline was installed facilitating direct communication between Washington and Moscow the following year.
- As a result, Castro was upset with Khrushchev because he was not consulted before removing the missiles in Cuba, which deteriorated Cuba-Soviet relations.
- The Soviets were perceived to be retreating from the situation causing the downfall of Khrushchev two years later.
- Operation Anadyr was the Soviet code name for secretly installing missiles in Cuba.
- Operation Mongoose, also known as the Cuban Project, was a CIA operation commissioned during the last year of President Eisenhower. It was officially authorized by JFK after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, which was meant to remove Communist power in Cuba.
- Maskirovka was a strategy employed by the Soviets for Operation Anadyr. It literally means ‘denial and deception’ in Russian.
- Blockade is an act of sealing a place or territory to prevent goods or people from entering or leaving. A naval blockade was enforced by JFK but they preferred to use the word ‘quarantine’ to avoid declaration of war terms.
Cuban Missile Crisis Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Cuban Missile Crisis across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Cuban Missile Crisis worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Cuban Missile Crisis which was a thirteen-day military and political standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union government over the installation of nuclear-armed missiles by the USSR in Cuba. After private negotiations, the threat of nuclear war was neutralized.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Cuban Missile Crisis Facts
- Famous People
- The Year 1962
- Let’s Make a Deal
- Thirteen Days
- Hot Cold War Web
- Words of Crisis
- Ink My Word
- Map Analysis
- End of Crisis
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as Cuban Missile Crisis Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 25, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.