Belfer Center Cuban Missile Crisis contest winners announced

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The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Foreign Policy magazine have announced the winners and runners-up of the “Lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis Contest,” held to mark the 50th anniversary of the crisis that narrowly averted nuclear war in October 1962.

The three winners are: 16-year-old Eden Rose Niles, a high-school junior from Colorado; Zachary Elias, an undergrad at Dartmouth College; and Reid Pauly, a research assistant at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford.

The question entrants answered was: “What can statesmen learn from the most dangerous confrontation in human history to better address challenges of war and peace today?” Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center joined with Foreign Policy magazine to sponsor the contest.

Contestants had to boil down their reply into a short lesson, and then back it up with an essay of no more than 300 words. More than 250 entries were received from countries as far-flung as Ethiopia, Nigeria, China, South Korea, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Pakistan and India.

The winners’ names were announced at a special John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum about the Cuban Missile Crisis, held at Harvard Kennedy School on Friday, Oct. 19.  The webcast can be viewed here.

The complete entries by the winner and two runners- up in each category are posted online on the Belfer Center and Foreign Policy websites. The Belfer Center also created a special website to gather historical documents and original lesson plans about the missile crisis in October 1962.