On April 17, 1961, 1400 Cuban exiles launched what became a botched invasion at the Bay of Pigs on the south coast of Cuba.
The Cuban-exile invasion force, known as Brigade 2506, landed at beaches along the Bay of Pigs and immediately came under heavy fire.
Cuban planes strafed the invaders, sank two escort ships, and destroyed half of the exile’s air support. Bad weather hampered the ground force, which had to work with soggy equipment and insufficient ammunition. Read More
The declassified Top Secret pages shown here are from the Cuba Security Folder, 1961. It contains material collected by the office of President John F. Kennedy’s secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, concerning Cuba. All 124 pages can be viewed in the digital archive from the JFK Library.
Creation of the Manhattan Project
In August, 1939, Albert Einstein sent a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt warning that Nazi Germany was attempting to build a new weapon which was more powerful and more destructive than any weapon ever known to mankind.
That weapon was the Atomic Bomb. This letter would eventually change the course of history and would alter the face of the modern world.
Einstein’s letter and other correspondence about the A-Bomb and the Manhattan Project were locked up in Franklin Roosevelt’s White House Safe in Top Secret files on Roosevelt advisor, Alexander Sachs and on Manhattan Project Director, Vannevar Bush.
The Sachs and Bush links will lead you to digital images and text versions of the actual A-Bomb documents found in Franklin Roosevelt’s Safe. These documents have been declassified by the Atomic Energy Commission and the National Security Council and are held today by the FDR Library.
In May 1975, the Watergate Special Prosecution Force (WSPF) decided that it was necessary to question former President Richard M. Nixon in connection with various investigations being conducted by that office.
The areas of inquiry that were agreed upon were:
- The circumstances surrounding the 18½ minute gap in the tape of a meeting between Mr. Nixon and H. R. Haldeman on June 20, 1972.
- Alleged receipt of large amounts of cash by Charles G. Rebozo or Rose Mary Woods on behalf of Mr. Nixon and financial transactions between Mr. Rebozo and Mr. Nixon.
- Attempts to prevent the disclosure of the existence of the National Security Council wiretap program through removal of the records from the FBI, the dealing with any threats to reveal the existence of such records, and the testimony of L. Patrick Gray at his confirmation hearings to be FBI Director.
- Any relationship between campaign contributions and the consideration of ambassadorships for Ruth Farkas, J. Fife Symington, Jr., Vincent DeRoulet, Cornelius V. Whitney, and Kingdon Gould, Jr.
- The obtaining and release of information by the White House concerning Lawrence O’Brien through use of the Internal Revenue Service.
Today at noon, The National Archives and the Nixon Presidential Library released transcripts of President Nixon’s grand jury testimony of June 23-24, 1975, and associated material. Take a look at them here.
For thirteen days in October 1962 the world was on the brink of nuclear war - The Cuban Missile Crisis
At 8:45 AM on October 16, 1962, National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy alerted President Kennedy that a major international crisis was at hand. Two days earlier a United States military surveillance aircraft had taken hundreds of aerial photographs of Cuba. CIA analysts, working around the clock, had deciphered in the pictures conclusive evidence that a Soviet missile base was under construction near San Cristobal, Cuba; just 90 miles from the coast of Florida. The most dangerous encounter in the Cold War rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union had begun.
Day 2, October 17
American military units begin moving to bases in the Southeastern U.S. as intelligence photos from another U-2 flight show additional sites; and 16 to 32 missiles. To avoid arousing public concern, the president maintains his official schedule, meeting periodically with advisors to discuss the status of events in Cuba and possible strategies.
President Kennedy attends a brief service at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in observance of the National Day of Prayer. After, he has lunch with Crown Prince Hasan of Libya, and then makes a political visit to Connecticut in support of Democratic congressional candidates.
Above: Map of the western hemisphere showing the full range of the nuclear missiles under construction in Cuba, used during the secret meetings on the Cuban crisis.
Below: Photo secretly taken by a U2 spy plane of a nuclear missile launch site in Cuba.
-from the JFK Library