I was 13 at the time, just starting high school. It was very frightening. I can remember being glued to the radio as the first Soviet transport ships were approached by the U.S. navy quarantine. It was very, very tense. That was October 27, 1961. The same day, an American U-2 accidently overflew Soviet territory and was fired upon and severly damaged. A low altitude recci plane was also shot down over Cuba that same day. The world came extremely close to annhilation that Saturday.
I credit the Kennedy brothers and Kruschev for ignoring the hot-headed military advice given to both parties by their military advisors. Curtis Lemay, in particular, was almost treasonous in his vigor to invade Cuba, and bomb it into submission. Lesser leaders may have gotten us all killed. It was, really, that close.
I suppose this event will be what it has become, simply a footnote in the Cold War. It seems, though that we learned from this. It was after this event that the "hot line" between Washington and Moscow was installed, so that leaders could communicate directly to head off escalations. In 1961, it took about 12 hours for communications between the two capitals, and no "live" link at all. This, of course, predated satellite communication by about 5 or 6 years.
For quite awhile, the brinkmanship was put on the backburner, resulting in the "detente" era of the late 60's and through the 70's. I believe that both sides were shaken badly by the experience, and were reminded how easy it would have been for this to get beyond control.
If you can't tell, I am a retired history teacher, and I was deeply affected by the events of those 13 day in October, 1961.
Hank's prosepctive gutiar player said: "Mr Williams, I'm not sure I can play for you, the onliest chords I know are C D & G"
Hank repleis, after a short pause: "Well, what else is there?"