ÔĽŅ
Heroes & Villains the national archives
Home > Kennedy & Cuba > Why didn't this lead to nuclear war? > Source 1 print
source one
Extracts from Kennedy's television address to the nation, 22 October 1962
(Sound courtesy of the JF Kennedy Library and Museum; text from a 1962 telegram from the British ambassador in the U.S.A., catalogue ref: PREM 11/3689)
PREM 11/3689; Kennedy’s address to the nation, 1962 PREM 11/3689; Kennedy’s address to the nation, 1962 PREM 11/3689; Kennedy’s address to the nation, 1962
1a 1b 1c            
Transcript
PREM 11/3689; Kennedy’s address to the nation, 1962

Questions

  1. Years later, one of Kennedy's closest advisers, McGeorge Bundy, said he felt that the language the president used was 'excessively nerve-racking'. What phrases from the speech support this view?

  2. One historian has called the speech 'the most alarming ever delivered by an American President' and said that it 'frightened the American people'. Would you agree with this? Would you say that this was a bad thing or a good thing?

  3. Do you think that this speech would make the situation better or worse?

  4. What phrases from the speech suggest that Kennedy was trying to negotiate a peaceful end to the crisis?