April 17, 1961: Arguably the worst foreign policy mistake of the Kennedy era began: Operation Zapata, the attempt to oust Cuban Communist leader Fidel Castro through a failed CIA-backed military invasion of Cuba. Operation Zapata — better known as the Bay of Pigs — was planned during the Eisenhower administration, but JFK gave it the final go ahead. Both the White House and CIA blamed each other for the debacle. Some historians think one lesson JFK learned from the Bay of Pigs was to be skeptical of military advice — a lesson that came in handy during the Cuban Missile Crisis a year-and-a-half later.
Quote of the day
"Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan." — John F. Kennedy
More from West Wing Reports...
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- The most sensible GOP alternative to ObamaCare comes from a Senate candidate who is almost sure to lose
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- When Khomeini said no to Iranian nukes
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 10 things you need to know today: October 23, 2014
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- An open letter to #brands about Gamergate
Subscribe to the Week