University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame

America - Europe

A Transatlantic Diary 1961 - 1989

Klaus Lanzinger

Historic Events 1962-64

The Second Vatican Council

The Second Vatican Council opened on October 11, 1962, and closed on December 8, 1965.

October 1962

The Cuban Missile Crisis

After it had been established beyond a doubt that the USSR was installing a medium-range missile base with nuclear warheads in Cuba, U.S. President John F. Kennedy demanded in the form of an ultimatum that the launch pads be dismantled and the missiles taken back. In those days, the world was brought to the brink of a nuclear war. On October 28, Nikita Khrushchev yielded to Kennedy’s demand whereby the Cuban missile crisis was defused and war averted.

August 28, 1963

The March on Washington

The historic March of Washington took place on August 28, 1963. The nearly 200,000 participants in this peaceful civil rights demonstration gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial and heard toward the end of this event the compelling speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. The speech concluded with the words: “I have a dream…” - a moving appeal for racial equality which has been indelibly imprinted in the consciousness of the American nation.

November 22, 1963

The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

In the noon hours of November 22, 1963, U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a bullet fired from an ambush in Dallas. The news ran like a shockwave around the world. First there was confusion and uncertainty about what would happen in the United States. U.S. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, who had accompanied Kennedy on the campaign trail to Texas, was sworn in as 34th president of the U.S.A., while Air Force One was still standing on the Dallas airport.

[The news of the assassination of John F. Kennedy reached me in the evening hours in my home in Innsbruck, while my family and I were packing the trunks for the voyage to New York which had been booked for January. Under the impression of the first shock, we considered to possibly cancel our journey to America.]

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