This is my father's journal entry for Monday, the 22nd of October, 1962. David and Alan are my brothers, then five months and three years old.
Spent some of this evening doing some repair work on David's sitting-carrying device in an effort to keep the bent-wire stand from coming out of its assigned place and poking him in the back. Alan worked in the basement with me, sawing, pounding nails, and finally sweeping the floor. The latter part of the evening was spent peeling and cooking apples for applesauce. We probably peeled a total of about 1/3 bushel.
That's it. There's no indication, there or in subsequent pages, that President Kennedy had just told the country we were on the brink of nuclear war.
I'm currently reading Killing Kennedy by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. Despite my prejudices against Mr. O'Reilly, I learned from Killing Lincoln that he can produce well-written and interesting books of history. This is my second, and so far I am not disappointed. I'm finding it fascinating to learn more about the times that shaped my childhood, especially those from which I was largely sheltered.
I was ten years old at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and if it had any effect at all on my daily life I retain no memory of it. Sure, I lived in the days where "air raid" drills were as common in school as fire drills, but that was just one of many peculiar things about going to school. No child I knew had any concerns about nuclear annihilation, and if the adults talked about it, they certainly didn't do so in front of us. I really doubt it had much effect at all on my parents' everyday lives; it didn't even make the pages of my father's private journal. And he was far from ignorant, having himself worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II.
In many ways that was a much saner time than today.