From their discoveries on nuclear weapons in Cuba, all fifteen staff members of President Kennedy’s cabinet were extremely cautious in interacting with the communists. However, great progress was made on this day as the board was officially named, the Executive Committee of the National Security Council, or EX-COMM. According to author, John Simkin, the fifteen members who served on the EX-COMM board besides President Kennedy included Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara, several major American military leaders, experts on the country of Cuba, representatives of the CIA, and other government officials (“Cuban Missile Crisis,” par. 6). During the preliminary session that took place at approximately six thirty pm, the fifteen men discussed several options that could be used to engage the communist forces in Cuba and in the Soviet Union. Some of the consensus ideas that they formulated included ignoring the surreptitious operations in Cuba, negotiating with the communists, or using nuclear warheads against the attackers in the South and against the Soviets. Although several other options were discussed, they did not formulate a specific procedure to use against the communists and in the coming days they planned on contacting the Cuban and Soviet governments privately. While alone with their families, members of EX-COMM warned their loved ones about a potential national emergency and told them to pack their most treasured belongings, just to be safe.
Actual Blog Date: May 2, 2011
Historical Date: October 16, 1962