Cold War

The Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cuban Missile Crisis
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.45

     challenging words:    blockade, nuclear, invasion, advisors, military, refused, happening, agreement, medium, description, report, entire, maintain, outbreak, bomb, defense
     content words:    President John F., Soviet Union, United States, Cold War, Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy, Premier Khrushchev, Missile Crisis

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The Cuban Missile Crisis
By Sharon Fabian

1     On October 16, 1962, President John F. Kennedy received a report from the CIA. The report said that the CIA had photographs taken by a U-2 spy plane that showed nuclear missile sites in Cuba. The Soviet Union, which had been providing support to Cuba, was building the missile sites.
2     This was frightening information. The United States and the Soviet Union were already involved in a Cold War, and people feared the outbreak of a real war, especially a nuclear war.
3     The information said that the Soviets were building the site for medium range nuclear missiles. With these missiles, a nuclear bomb could reach the United States from Cuba.
4     For any story, especially a story about a possible war, there is more than one way to tell the story - more than one point of view. Here are three possible points of view on the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The United States

6     The traditional United States point of view is the easiest one to find. It is in history books and encyclopedias. At one time it was the only point of view that was known by many people in the United States.
7     It might begin with the description above about the day that President Kennedy learned about the Soviet missile sites in Cuba. This version of the story portrays the event as a hostile and aggressive act. It was a move taken by the Soviet Union in order to threaten the United States.
8     The Soviet Union was no match for the United States. The US had built up strong nuclear weapons of its own. These stockpiles of weapons told other countries not to mess with the US. President Kennedy and his advisors took a strong stand too. They sent ships to blockade Cuba. They refused to give in to the Soviet aggressors. Finally the Soviet Union had to back down. They packed up their missiles and went home.
The Soviet Union

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