Final notesCivil Rights MovementAmerican civil rights movement, mass protest movement against racial segregation and discrimination in the southern United States that came to national prominence during the mid-1950s. This movement had its roots in the centuries-long efforts of African slaves and their descendants to resist racial oppression andabolish the institution of slavery. Although American slaves were emancipated because of the Civil War and were then granted basic civil rights through the passage of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution, struggles to secure federal protection of these rights continued during the next century. Through nonviolent protest, the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s broke the pattern of public facilities’ being segregated by “race” in the South and achieved the most important breakthrough inequal-rights legislation for African Americans since the Reconstruction period (1865–77). Although the passage in 1964 and 1965 of major civil rights legislation was victorious for the movement, by then militant black activists had begun to see their struggle as a freedom or liberation movement not just seeking civil rights reforms but instead confronting the enduring economic, political, and cultural consequences of past racial oppression.Cuban Missile CrisisThe Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 was a direct and dangerous confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War and was the moment when the two superpowers came closest to nuclear conflict. The crisis was unique in a number of ways, featuring calculations and miscalculations as well as direct and secret communications and miscommunications between the two sides. The dramatic crisis was also characterized by the fact that it was primarily played out at the White House and the Kremlin level with relatively little input from the respective bureaucracies typically involved in the foreign policy process.Soviet PremierNikita Khrushchevsaw an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the Soviet Union andFidel Castro’s Cuba and make good its promise to defend Cuba from the United States. In May 1960, Khrushchev began to ship ballistic missiles to Cuba and technicians to operate them. He believed that President Kennedy was weak and would not react to theSoviet move. After extensive consultation with his foreign policy and military advisers, Kennedy blockaded Cuba on October 22, 1962. The two sides stood on the brink of nuclear war, but Khrushchev capitulated six days later and the missiles were dismantled. In return, Kennedy disbanded its own missile sites in Turkey. The most confrontational period in US-Soviet relations since World War II was at an end.