Since each of us was interested in military and war-related topics, when the National History Day competition topics were listed, we knew exactly which one would be our top choice. We selected "The Cuban Missile Crisis" as our top choice. This topic drew our attention because many people do not really know much about it, and we found it, both interesting and intriguing. Our goal was to learn about The Cuban Missile Crisis, as well as, teach other people about it.
"The Cuban Missile Crisis" was an event not as well known as the second World War, so finding primary sources was difficult. To accomplish this, we talked to our teacher, parents and family members. Dominik asked his grandparents, who are very knowledgeable on Cuban and American politics to help him, and they gave us the name of a United States Air Force Pilot retired named Col. Matias Farias, who hosts a nightly radio talk show in Miami. Dominik’s mother called Col. Matias Farias, and he granted us an interview one night prior to his talk show. Col. Matias was a very interesting, intelligent man who is an military expert and political consultant, and was active in the United States Air Force during the period of the missile crisis. Jack interviewed Dr. Larry Heldman, his great uncle, who is a retired history professor. He was very informative and knew a lot about the Cuban Missile Crisis. As we looked into our topic in detail, we realized the potential tragic outcome if the Cuban Missile Crisis would not have been resolved.
Our project was finalized by making an exhibit. This exhibit was assembled on a standup red folding board. The first thing we worked on was the thesis because all of our research was centered around the thesis statement. All of the other areas such as the long and short-term impacts became easier to write. After these steps were completed, we printed and glued our research, pictures, and quotes on to the board with black backgrounds on the back to contrast the red board. The board came together well, and it portrays our research on the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Our topic relates to this year’s theme "Leadership and Legacy" because the Cuban Missile Crisis was a powerful event in world history that took place between the United States and the Soviet Union. This event almost led us to World War Three. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union placed nuclear missiles in Cuba to expand their military arsenal. When President John F. Kennedy learned about the missiles being placed in Cuba, he immediately ordered a naval blockade around Cuba, and drew up a deal to which Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev agreed, to withdraw the missiles from Cuba. The Soviet Union withdrew its nuclear missiles from Cuba, and the U.S. pledged not to invade Cuba. As a key event in world history, the Cuban Missile Crisis resulted in the prevention of WWIII, and perhaps savings millions of lives from nuclear war.
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