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The Edge of Armageddon - Florida and the Cuban Missile Crisis

Nick Wynne and Joe Knetsch

For Floridians, who were on the frontline of the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, tranquility in the face of the possible extermination of much of the world's population was difficult to maintain. Endless convoys of troops and equipment, often tying up public transportation routes, signaled a crisis that approached that of World War II. Overhead, the flights of jet fighters and bombers reinforced the perception that war was imminent, while the hasty erection of defensive and offensive missile batteries along public thoroughfares and in remote sections of the Florida countryside was a clear indication that the Sunshine State would be the first target should war break out. Even the lukewarm efforts of state and local authorities to provide structures for civil defense added to the sense of impending violence.

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Historically Florida, Florida's History Shops are operated by Friends of the Museums of Florida History, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation described under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, providing financial support for the Museum of Florida History and its historic sites and other special programs of the Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Department of State.