RSS
Today in history: February 7
In 1963, President John F. Kennedy banned travel, financial, and commercial transactions with Communist Cuba
President Kennedy meets with Air Force pilots who have been flying reconnaissance missions over Cuba prior to the 1963 ban.
President Kennedy meets with Air Force pilots who have been flying reconnaissance missions over Cuba prior to the 1963 ban. (Bettmann/CORBIS)

Feb. 7, 1963: President John F. Kennedy banned travel, financial, and commercial transactions with Communist Cuba. It was the latest in a series of ever-tightening restrictions on the island nation. The previous fall, in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy imposed travel restrictions, and in the summer of 1963 began the Cuban Assets Control Regulations program, in which Cuban assets in the U.S. were frozen and existing restrictions were consolidated.

Before the ban on commercial transactions with Cuba went into effect, Kennedy, who loved Cuban cigars, ordered his press secretary Pierre Salinger to purchase 1,200 of them for future use. Salinger succeeded, returning in the morning with 1,201 Petit H. Upmann cigars, Kennedy's favorite cigar size and brand.

Feb. 7, 2002: President George W. Bush unveiled a plan to federally fund faith-based initiatives. He said that faith-based organizations could assume a greater role in providing social-service programs without violating America's traditional separation of church and state. Under his plan, religious groups could receive federal funding to implement programs usually carried out by secular non-profit organizations. Bush said that individuals and couples should receive tax breaks for donations to faith-based charities as well as secular organizations. But Bush's plan to use federal funds to help faith-based programs was attacked by many secularists, who challenged both its effectiveness and constitutionality.

Quote of the Day

“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand." — Harry Truman

More from West Wing Reports...

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week