April 18

On this day. 1961: Even as the U.S.-backed invasion of Cuba, the Bay of Pigs, was underway, President John F. Kennedy told Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev that the U.S. wasn't meddling in Cuban affairs.

On this day. 1983: President Ronald Reagan denounced the "vicious terrorist bombing" of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, which killed 63, including 17 Americans. Six months later, an even deadlier attack on a U.S. Marine base in Beirut killed 241 Americans; Reagan ordered a U.S. military withdrawal in Feb. 1984. Osama bin Laden later said that Reagan's withdrawal from Lebanon (and other incidents in which the U.S. did not respond) convinced him that America was weak and could be attacked.

Quote of the day

"Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." -Theodore Roosevelt

More from West Wing Reports...

* Gun-bill defeat: Where does Obama go from here?

* 8 potholes for the immigration bill

* Background checks: How your senator voted