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It was 53 years ago Wednesday that one of the tensest periods of modern history came to an end as, on Oct. 28, 1962, President Kennedy announced that the Soviet missile installations in Cuba were being dismantled.

At the time, as the nation and the world waited to see what would happen, news cameras were watching too. “President Kennedy announced his decisions on television to a somber nation,” TIME noted after the crisis had passed, “and found that nation overwhelmingly behind him.”

Read more about the Cuban Missile Crisis from 1962, here in the TIME archives: Showdown On Cuba

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