|Document Based Discovery: Bay of Pigs Invasion
Instructions: View Each Document BEFORE answering any questions. Be sure to click on the link Background on the Document. Once you have viewed all of the documents, respond to the questions below in complete sentences.
1. The Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA, both trusted advisors to the president, gave Kennedy conflicting advice on how to approach the crisis. Putting yourself in his shoes, how would you feel about making this crucial decision?
2. Based on the document and background information, why do you think the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff had such differing opinions on whether to land forces in Cuba?
3. What do you think Kennedy's low confidence level in the invasion plans merely 6 weeks before the attack said about U.S. preparedness? How do you think this affected the outcome?
4. What does Khrushchev imply by referring to U.S. action in Cuba as "armed aggression"? How might Kennedy see the nature of this action differently?
Mr. President, I send you this message in an hour of alarm, fraught with danger for the peace of the whole world.
5. Based on the above excerpt from Khruschev's telegram, who does he blame for putting world peace in danger? What do you think he hopes to achieve in beginning his letter this way?
"...I have not assumed that you or any other sane man would, in this nuclear age, deliberately plunge the world into war."
6. Based on the above excerpt from Kennedy's letter to Khruschev, what do he hopes to achieve with his choice of words?
7. Kennedy points out that a war would have catastrophic effects for the world, including the aggressor. Who do you think is the aggressor in Kennedy's eyes?
8. What is Khruschev's overall tone in this letter to Kennedy? (Tone is the mood or overall emotion expressed.)
9. Comparing Kennedy and Khruschev's letters, do you notice a contrast in the style and formality of each man's writing? What do you think might account for this?
10. Canned water like this was often included in bomb shelter survival kits. What do you think the feeling of the nation was if many believed these precautions were necessary?
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