History Repeating? Twitter and the Cuban Missile Crisis

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A long, long time ago (50 years to be exact) the United States was embroiled in a major international crisis. And, we didn’t have Twitter to keep us apprised of the breaking developments that were leading the U.S. and Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war.

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. A Cold War story that was a turning point in the presidency of John F. Kennedy and probably would have been his ticket to a second term in 1964, if only….

The Twitter account @JFK1962 (formerly @JFK1961 and soon to be @JFK1963), a project of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, has been re-creating the Kennedy Presidency via social media.

The Kennedy White House was as media savvy for its time as the Obama White House, using television to make Kennedy seem as accessible and friendly as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the rest are used to portray Barack Obama as in touch with the present and future-ready. Key similarity: both presidents happily embraced using their latest communication tools.

The 13 days of the Cuban Missile Crisis (October 16-28) are currently being tweeted using transcripts from the Kennedy Presidency and other historical documents archived at the Kennedy Library. Sample tweet:

“We’ve got a blockade with/without a declaration of war..We’ve got invasion. We’ve got notification of Khrushchev.

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