Updated: 26-Oct-2001 1962

[ '45-'49 | '50-'59 | '60-'69 | '70-'79 | '80-'89 | '90-'99 | '00- ]
[ 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969 ]



1962 sees the development of a crisis which, while outside NATO territory, could have had a profound effect on the Alliance, indeed on the world as a whole. The Soviet Union had begun preparations to install nuclear missiles in Cuba which could be targeted on the United States. The US responds by a naval blockade of the island. As the Soviet ships carrying the missiles near the US vessels, the order is given by the Soviet leadership for them to turn round. The possibility for a nuclear war is narrowly averted.


8-20 Jan

The Alliance Convention of citizens of NATO countries meets and endorses the Declaration of Paris in favour of strengthening the Alliance and the Atlantic Community.

18 Mar

The Evian agreements establish an independent Algeria.

29 Mar

Establishment of the European Organisation for the Development and Construction of Space Vehicle Launchers (ELDO). Member countries: Australia, Belgium, Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and United Kingdom.

10 Apr

Macmillan and Kennedy appeal to Khrushchev for agreement on a test ban treaty.

4-6 May

Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers of the North Atlantic Alliance review the circumstances in which the Alliance might be compelled to have recourse to nuclear weapons (Athens Guidelines).

Additional information:

14 June

Establishment of the European Space Research Organisation (ESRO). Member countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom. (ELDO and ESRO merged to become the European Space Agency (ESA) on 31 May 1975.)

22 Oct-20 Nov

Partial blockade of Cuba by the US following revelation of Soviet construction of missile bases on the island; lifted following Soviet agreement to dismantle the bases.

18-20 Dec

President Kennedy and Prime Minister Macmillan confer at Nassau, Bahamas. They agree to contribute part of their strategic nuclear forces to NATO.