Kennedy library launches Cuban Missile Crisis interactive documentary on anniversary

By Daniel S Levine,

On October 16, 1962, the US and USSR were on the brink of a nuclear war. On that day, President John F. Kennedy confirmed that Soviet missiles were in Cuba, starting the most tense 13 days in US history. To mark the 50th anniversary, the JFK Library has launched an interactive documentary.

Titled Clouds Over Cuba, the documentary gives people the chance to see how the Cuban Missile Crisis happened in real time and what could have happened if we did go to nuclear war.

“OK, so this is an important documentary, because it enlightens a contemporary audience about the events that took place in the White House on the brink of a nuclear disaster between two superpowers,” Full Metal Jacket actor Matthew Modine, who narrates the documentary, told CNN. “There's information that so many millions of Americans are not aware of that took place between President Kennedy and (Soviet Premier Nikita) Khrushchev. It's incredible to think how close we came to a nuclear holocaust.”

According to Boston.com, the “what if?” sequence covers the possibility of a “Cuban War,” where New Orleans is destroyed. There is a survivor of the attack, a Soviet pilot that regrets taking part and discussions with other veterans of the hypothetical war.

In addition, the staff at the library are taking a modern look at the crisis, setting up a @JFK1962 Twitter account that also follows the event in real time. It is currently up to over 15,000 followers.

An exhibit called To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis was set up at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and opened last week. The exhibit will be at the JFK Library in Boston from April to November, 2013.

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