President Kennedy started the most dangerous foreign policy exchange throughout 13 days that lasted from October 16-28
President Kennedy attends a brief service at St. Matthew's Cathedral in observance of the National Day of Prayer. AFter, he has lunch with Crown Prince Hasan of Libya, and then makes a political visit to Connecticut in support of Democratic congressional candidates.
President Kennedy is visited by Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, who asserts that Soviet aid to Cuba is purely defensive and does not represent a threat to the United States.
President Kennedy leaves for a scheduled campaign trip to Ohio and Illinois. In Washington, his advisers continue the debate over thenecessary and appropriate course of action..
President Kennedy returns suddenly to Washington and after five hours of discussion with top advisers decides on the quarantine. Plans for deploying naval units are drawn and work is begun on a speech to notify the American people.
After attending Mass at St. Stephen's Church with Mrs. Kennedy, the President meets with General Walter Sweeney of the Tactical Air Command who tells him that an air strike could not guarantee 100% destruction of the missiles.
Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Edwin Martin seeks a resolution of support from the Organization of American States. Ambassador to the United Nations Adlai Stevenson lays the matter before the U.N. Security Council
Chairman Khrushchev replies indignantly to President Kennedy's October 23 letter stating in part
Knowing that some missiles in Cuba were now operational, the president personally drafts a letter to Premier Khrushchev, again urging him to change the course of events. Meanwhile, Soviet freighters turn and head back to Europe.