For the 50th anniversary of what historians agree was the most dangerous moment in human history, Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Foreign Policy magazine today launched a contest for scholars and citizens to reflect on the lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis and its lessons for current challenges.
The contest is straightforward: In no more than 300 words, entrants must present the most persuasive, original lesson flowing from the confrontation that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war over 13 days in October 1962. The rules of the contest and additional details are available here. Prizes will be awarded to the winner in each of three categories: general public; foreign policy scholars/practitioners; and students in grades 6-12. Entries will be accepted through October 10. Winners will be announced October 15. The three winners will each receive an iPad.
The Belfer Center has created a Cuban Missile Crisis website to mark the 50th anniversary. The site offers original documents, video clips and an interactive timeline. In addition, the “lessons” section provides tools for teachers, including draft lesson plans, to help engage students in thinking about the modern-day implications of the nuclear showdown half a century ago.
Foreign Policy magazine also has innovative content on the crisis, including an “On the Brink” Twitter feed by author and historian Michael Dobbs that provides daily Tweets echoing events 50 years ago as the standoff developed.