Kennedy and Khrushchev
Herbert Block


The Cold War was a period where the US tried to suppress the spread of communism and the USSR tried to contain it and prevent the influence from the west from entering; thus the Berlin Wall was created. The US started the Marshall Plan where it was an economic aid for co-operating countries in Europe. Eventually NATO was formed and its aim was to protect Western Europe from the Soviet's attack. The Warsaw Pact was a retaliation of the Soviet Union to the formation of NATO and the Marshall Plan. During this period the Soviet Union and US competed with each other on military, espionage, and technological development.

This cartoon illustrates the result of the two countries arm race with nuclear missiles. After WWII nuclear weapons were built and stored to demonstrate power among the countries and at this time the two most powerful countries were the US and the Soviet Union. During the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, US planes identified that there were missiles built in Cuba, Kennedy and the Executive Committee of the Nation Security Council estimated that within fourteen days the missiles would be fully operational. At this time the US also had missiles built on Turkey, Kennedy was considering to have a trade-off, where both country agree to dismantle their missiles. Instead Kennedy decided to have a blockade; this was to avoid a war from arising. In the end, both countries agreed that if the US did not invade Cuba, the Soviet would dismantle their missiles.

The cartoon shows the tension that fill the cold war; the fear of something like the bombing of Japan would reoccur, but because both side were afraid of being target of nuclear weapons the stock up on them to use as a barrier. However, both countries were hesitant in resorting to use nuclear weapons, thus the cartoon shows both Kennedy and Khrushchev putting the lid on the "monster" which was the nuclear weapons that had the potential of killing many. Kennedy and Khrushchev were both in the same position: they didn't want to resort to using nuclear weapons to settle this matter, so they both "locked" it up and did not let it resurface.

"Cuban Missile Crisis." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Ed. William A. Darity, Jr. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. 183-185. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 13 June 2010.
Newman, Garfield. "Legacy: The West and the World". Whitby, Ontario: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd., 2002.