(NewsNation) — On Oct. 16, 1962, the Cuban missile crisis began as President John F. Kennedy was informed that reconnaissance photographs had revealed the presence of missile bases in Cuba.
60 years later, U.S. President Joe Biden says the risk of nuclear “Armageddon” is at the highest level since that missile crisis.
Biden’s remarks came as Russian officials speak of the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons after suffering massive setbacks in the eight-month invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking at a fundraiser Thursday for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin was “not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons.”
Biden added that “we have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis.”
On Oct. 22, 1962, Kennedy addressed the nation in a televised speech and announced that the U.S. would begin blocking ships carrying that were weapons to Cuba. Kennedy also demanded the Soviets withdraw their missiles.
The speech sparked widespread fear and Americans began to stock food and perform bomb drills.
The crisis came to an end on Oct. 28, 1962, when the Soviet Union agreed to dismantle its missiles in Cuba if the U.S. agreed not to invade the island. The U.S. also agreed to dismantle its weapons installations in Turkey.