The Cold War had never come closer to getting hot. Although proxy wars had been fought, and more would follow, the United States and the Soviet Union had avoided directly exchanging fire. The discovery of a missile base under construction in Cuba threatened to change that. Fifty years ago, the world waited while the two superpowers bluffed and negotiated, a nuclear holocaust growing perilously real. From Oct. 14, 1962, when the missile base was discovered by aerial reconnaissance, until an agreement was announced 13 days later, the tension mounted. Ultimately, the Soviet Union dismantled the bases and the US agreed not to invade Cuba. A secret agreement saw the United States dismantle missiles in Turkey and Italy.
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