Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Ralph E. Weber


On October 14, 1962, a United States U-2 aircraft piloted by Major Rudolf Anderson, Jr. conducted a photographic reconnaissance mission over the western sector of Cuba. Early on 16 October, McGeorge Bundy, Secretary of the National Security Council and Special Advisor to President John Kennedy, briefed the President on the Intelligence Community's interpretation of the photographs obtained on Major Anderson's mission. It was convincingly apparent that the Soviet Union was attempting to install weapons in Cuba of an "offensive" nature, capable of delivering nuclear warheads onto United States soil. Thus began what has become known as the "Cuban Missile Crisis" - the first and only direct nuclear confrontation in the history of mankind.