Garnerin – First to Parachute

Today in History, October 22, 1797:

– Can you imagine being the very first person to decide dropping from a high altitude supported by a canopy of silk was a good idea? On this date in 1797 André-Jacques Garnerin was that person as he ascended to a height of 3200 feet with a hydrogen balloon then cut himself loose to drift over Paris with a parachute he designed.

On the Brink of Armageddon

Today in History, October 22, 1962:  President Kennedy announces in a speech from the Oval Office that the Soviet Union has placed nuclear missiles in Cuba, only 90 miles from Florida.  Any city within the United States could be destroyed within moments.

President Kennedy announced the US Navy was conducting a “Quarantine” of Cuba, another name for a Blockade, which “could” be considered an act of war.  He also made clear that any missile launched from Cuba upon any nation in the Western Hemisphere would result in an attack on the Soviet Union.  Could this be interpreted as enforcement of the Monroe Doctrine?

Today we are experiencing stressful times, a showdown with North Korea.  We’ve been here before, even worse.  We are made nervous by the rhetoric voiced by our government.  President Kennedy kept us safe by letting the Soviets and Cuba know the consequences would be dire if they acted in bad faith.  At that time Castro and the Soviet government were viewed as “madmen” much as Kim is today.