“Profiles in Survival” by Simon McCaffery

July 14, 2013

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An iconic president and band of survivors fight for survival after the USSR launches a biological weapon at the mainland during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. [19 mins]


“Is this damn thing working?

“Good evening, my fellow citizens. I speak to you on the evening of October 25, 1962, in a spirit of hope. I am alive and of sound mind, as are a number of my key advisors and cabinet, and we continue to work to restore order to our great nation. I implore every citizen to retain faith in America and the will of this administration, and to not surrender to panic. Now, during Democracy’s darkest hours, we must act with great courage.

“Allegations that the United States government introduced a contagion on the imprisoned island of Cuba—after the collapse of the naval blockade—are false. It is my firm opinion, and that of my advisors [sound of coughing], that the U.S.S.R. is behind this unprovoked attack, in violation of the Geneva Convention of 1925 that banned the use of chemical agents in warfare. Four days ago, Fidel Castro’s military forces launched an R-12 medium-range ballistic missile aimed at the continental United States, its megaton-class nuclear bomb replaced with an unknown chemical or biological payload. Air Force interceptors shot it down, scattering fragments across a wide area of southern Florida. The Congress and I have activated national defense measures and authorized a full military counterstrike.

“The greatest scientific minds in the free Western hemisphere will not rest until they devise a cure for this devastating plague. Martial law has been declared, and I urge you to remain indoors at home or in shelters. Rumors of mandatory evacuations of New York and Washington are false, and the Army has been ordered to halt any mass exodus. The First Lady, John, and Caroline were evacuated aboard Air Force Two after the White House and bunkers at High Point and Mount Weather were compromised. Our locations must remain secret until order is restored. As it will be—



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