This timeline gives a quick overview of the main events of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Spring of 1962: Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev begins a secret project of establishing missile bases in Cuba.

September 1962: The first missiles arrive in Cuba.

October 14th, 1962: An American spy plane takes pictures of suspicious construction work while flying over Cuba.

October 15th, 1962: CIA agents study the pictures from the plane and realise that they show missile bases. They decide to inform the President. 

October 16th, 1962: The beginning of the crisis. Early in the morning, President John F. Kennedy is informed about the secret Soviet missile bases in Cuba - within striking range of the US. He assembles a number of advisors and creates EXCOMM (Executive Committee of the National Security Council). The committee discuss possible responses to the crisis. Most recommend an invasion of Cuba and removal of the Cuban President, Fidel Castro, working with the assumption that the Soviets would be afraid to intervene. President Kennedy opposes this plan, however. 

October 18th, 1962: Kennedy meets the Soviet foreign minister, who insists that Cuba only possesses defensive weapons. Kennedy does not reveal his knowledg...

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