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Saturday, April 23, 2016

#atozchallenge: T is for Thirteen Days

Here's to a great AtoZ!

Join in the 

This year I traveled to Cuba. You know, it's that little island that's spitting distance from Florida and should not be visited without special dispensation. I wanted to see it before MacDonald's arrived. I'm so glad I did. I learned a lot and I met some wonderful people. It seems they like us. Now there's a change!

I'll add a short T/F quiz to each post the same as I did last year about Burma, and I'll post the answers to the questions the following day. 

Answers to your T/F Quiz for S

TRUE 1. Today squares are primarily for strolling and finding good restaurants, but in the past they often were places of executions, bullfights and fiestas. The wealthy merchants who lived on the squares could enjoy at-home entertainment from their balconies. Talk about reality shows.

TRUE 2. Old Havana and its squares are now World Heritage sites. And so glad they are. They deserved to be seen by future generations.

T is for Thirteen Days by Robert Kennedy
I had a vague recollection of the history during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but vague is probably generous. So I decided I needed to brush up on that bit of history. I found this memoir absolutely riveting. I couldn't put it down because it made so clear just how close we were to nuclear devastation. 

Fate. Some good leadership. Luck. These all played into the relaxation of tension between the USSR and the US.

I highly recommend this book. It's a close-to-the-action account that no history book can duplicate.

Your T/F Quiz for T:

1. Thirteen Days is obviously a U.S. view of the situation, but there are no other personal accounts available to draw from.
2. At one time during the crisis, a high ranking member of the USSR military in Cuba could have launched missiles at the U.S.

Answers tomorrow.


  1. Thank you. You must have read my mind because this is exactly the book I was looking for. I wanted to read up on the missile crisis after having confused it with the Bay of Pigs.
    For the first one I am going to say True. For number two I am going to say False. The missiles had not been yet stationed on the island.
    Have a great rest day.

    Visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge.

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

  2. Who better to give an account than someone with first hand experience?

  3. I think this may be of more interest to people from the USA than perhaps other nationalities. :)

    Susan A Eames from
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

  4. I think this may be of more interest to people from the USA than perhaps other nationalities. :)

    Susan A Eames from
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

  5. Thanks for the recommendation! I am vague on the details too... :)

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    The Multicolored Diary

  6. I would like to understand that time better. It's horrific to think we were that close. So glad cooler minds prevailed. I am getting better at these quizzes. LOL
    For Tlingit - it's 'clink it'

  7. Good no one went super nuts and nuked the planet.

  8. 13 Days is a good book. I don't really have memories of the crisis (I'd been five, younger than my daughter was at 911, but they didn't have 24 hours news back then)

    1. Older than my daughter, not younger...

  9. You've given me a new book to read. Thanks! :-)

  10. That is an amazing book. I read it some years back and was stunned at how close we came to an international disaster.

    Meet My Imaginary Friends

  11. funny how Americans are always afraid of a nuclear attack even though they're the only ones who've ever thrown an atom bomb.

  12. I know little about the subject apart from something I saw in televised serial of JFK. Still don't remember that period of history so the book is useful to know.
    Writing Women’s Fiction

  13. That does sound like an interesting book. I was about 6 years old during this time so I don't have much recollection of events; I do remember my mom being concerned about things in Cuba.

    I'm going to say True to both of your questions.


  14. I think those both are true. I can't imagine the tension of that time.

    Susan Says

  15. Remembered this of Jack's and Nikita's face-off. The world came so close to nuclear disaster. Jack was adamant and good sense prevailed. Thanks for the memory C.Lee!


  16. I haven't read this book, but probably should. It's so scary how one word or one man could possibly cause such a disaster as a nuclear bomb to destroy other countries. Thanks for the title.

  17. I was oblivious to what was going on, but I bet my parents were on edge - particularly since my dad had been involved in bomb tests in Nevada - they would have been quite aware of the consequences. I'm going to say False on #1, there have to be other personal accounts. And False on #2, there were no missiles in Cuba, Kennedy was trying to prevent Cuba from getting them. I think I'd like to read the book!

  18. Hi Lee - I'd love to read this book - thanks for the nod for it ... it's on my TBR list ... cheers Hilary


  19. I posted this a couple days ago on letter R, so I know answer to question one is False.
    Turning History on Its Head by Philip Brenner

    One of fave movies same name as book. <a href=">Thirteen Days starring Kevin Costner</a>

  20. I've been wanting to read Thirteen Days ever since I saw a hard cover of it on someone's shelf (somewhere in the last century)—and have never come across it. Maybe I should order it. (Or maybe I should just download it on Kindle, eh?) I'm glad you got to see Cuba before McD's and their ilk change the landscape forever... Even though I live in the Caribbean, will you believe I've never been? Sad, really. We'll need to remedy that soon :)

    Thanks for the visits over at Life In Dogs, Lee... Loved your comments :)

  21. I've never read Thirteen Days. I must check it out!

  22. Thanks Lee for bringing this book to notice, I have not heard of it before and it seems a wonderful book.

  23. Thanks for sharing! It sounds like a very good look at a historical event in history that not a lot of us know about, including me.

  24. I don't know much about this part of history, so this sounds like a book I could learn a lot from. Thanks for sharing!:)

  25. I only know about the 13 days because my husband is a current history buff and knows, or needs to know everything that's happened in the last 70 years. I was 11, so the actual date I don't remember. I'm sure it was a tense time for the United States.

  26. I have to admit the only reason I know anything about the Cuban missile crisis is because of Quantum Leap and X-men: First Class :) Possibly at some point I should read about what really happened.
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

  27. That does sound like a great read.

  28. My mom was so scared she had her bags packed for us to leave way up north. My dad was watching things very closely. I believe there are other books out there about this time period...first hand accounts so false to the first but true to the 2nd. I think there was a sub and they were given the orders to shoot actually but a high ranking person on the sub said no-he deserves a medal. I watched a documentary on this and it was scary how close we came. You know, how do we know that, if Kennedy was not killed, if he would not have lef the States into war

  29. I only know the general history of the event. This sounds like a great account of it. Thanks for the recommendation.

  30. I've never heard of this book. Kennedy would have had a lot to say on the subject. You learned a lot in Cuba!


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