(CBS 11) – If you were old enough to remember the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, you would remember how serious it was and how close the world came to a full-scale nuclear war. And radio and TV were there to bring it to us into our homes.
I was 8 years old at that time and a third grade student in Dallas.
At that age, I wasn’t a faithful watcher of the CBS Evening News at that age like I am today but my parents were. Walter Cronkite took over the anchor chair on April 16, 1962 when the show was called Walter Cronkite With The News.
On September 2, 1962, the show became the CBS Evening News and has retained that title to this day. Six months to the day that Cronkite took over the evening news, the Cuban Missile Crisis started. I remember my mother coming in to my room and telling me in a sober tone of voice what was going on. She was clearly worried.
The crisis lasted 13 days from October 16-28, 1962. It came about when the U.S. discovered that the Soviet Union had deployed ballistic missiles in Cuba, which had become a communist country in 1959 under Fidel Castro. The U.S. and the Soviet Union reached an agreement to have these missiles dismantled in exchange for the U.S. to publicly declare that it would not invade Cuba like it had during the Bay Of Pigs Invasion of 1961. In addition, the U.S. agreed to remove its missiles from Turkey.
One correspondent for CBS News to be recognized is the late Neil Strawser.
Known for his work both on the CBS Radio Network as well on CBS Television, he was the only American correspondent allowed at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base during the missile crisis.
Later, Strawser was known for his continuing coverage of the JFK assassination in Dallas in 1963 for four straight days on CBS Radio. CBS Newsman Douglas Edwards also played a major role of reporting on this event to American.s
This event was another example of the power of radio and television covering an event of concern to all Americans.