The day the Cuban Missile Crisis started – level 1


It is 1962. Russia and America are not friends.

It is October 16. The US president, John Kennedy, looks at photos from an American plane. The photos are from Cuba. He doesn’t believe what he sees. He sees many nuclear rockets.

The United States start to block the sea around Cuba. They want to stop more Russian ships which want to go to Cuba.

On October 25, people from Russia and America meet in New York. The people from Russia don’t say everything about the situation.

On October 27, President Kennedy gives a 48-hour ultimatum. He says, “Remove the rockets, or we remove them.”

People from Russia agree. They remove the rockets. However, the Americans must not fight with Cuba. They also must remove rockets from Turkey and Italy.

The Americans agree.

Difficult words: nuclear (a very powerful thing), ultimatum (information about the time when something must be finished), remove (to take away), agree (to say yes).

What do you think would have happened if the United States and Russia had not reached an agreement?


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