Newly-uncovered documents have revealed a little-known episode in Springfield more than 50 years that could have potentially pushed the U.S. to the brink of war.
The State Journal-Register reports that recently-unclassified documents show that two teens were detained and questioned after pointing a rifle out a window toward President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade when he visited Springfield in October of 1962.
That visit came as the Cuban missile crisis was starting to unfold, and historians say if anything had happened to Kennedy on that trip, it could have led the U.S. to believe it was orchestrated by the Cubans or Russians and prompted retaliation.
The report indicates that police accepted the teens’ claim that they were not trying to hurt the President, and they were not charged. Kennedy was killed by a gunman in Dallas just 13 months later.