AT&T, collaborating with the National Archives, its John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the Foundation for the National Archives, and the Kennedy Library Foundation, has created an app and website of the new exhibit, “To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” bringing it to online audiences around the world.
“To the Brink” is a new exhibit at the National Archives that looks back at the Cuban Missile Crisis from the 50-year mark. The exhibit shows President Kennedy and his advisers in the throes of deliberation during 13 agonizing days in October 1962, as the United States and the then-Soviet Union stood on the brink of nuclear war.
The peaceful resolution of the crisis, resulting in the removal of Soviet nuclear missiles from Cuba, is considered to be one of Kennedy’s greatest achievements.
As lead sponsor of “To the Brink,” AT&T worked with the National Archives, its Kennedy Library, and their foundations to create the free app. AT&T worked with Seattle-based Treemo Labs to build the app.
“AT&T is proud to bring virtual access to this remarkable exhibit assembled by the National Archives and its John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum,” said Jim Cicconi, AT&T senior executive vice president. “Through the power of innovative technologies and networks, many more Americans will be able to experience an exhibit – including the actual recordings of President Kennedy and his advisors – that brings to life one of the most important moments in American history.”
“We are deeply appreciative of AT&T’s longtime support of the National Archives,” said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. “Through its partnerships with our foundations, the company has supported the digitization of many records from the Kennedy administration to make them accessible online, and has supported great educational exhibitions like ‘Discovering the Civil War’ and ‘To the Brink.’ This new app and website help us to reach an even larger audience so that people around the globe can explore the important records of our history.”
“AT&T has helped us to rethink the possibilities of how the public accesses information, helping us to create the nation’s first digital presidential archives,” said Tom Putnam, director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. ”No longer do researchers need to travel to Boston to access President Kennedy’s materials; they are all available online. We hope visitors will come to DC and Boston to experience this exciting new exhibit, but if they cannot do so, the exhibit can travel to them via this new app and website.”
“So much of what our foundation has supported at the National Archives involves harnessing new media to spread the word about the great treasure of historical records here,” added A’Lelia Bundles, Chair and President of the Foundation for the National Archives, the Archives’ private-sector partner. “Through innovative websites like the Digital Vaults and DocsTeach, through Facebook and other new media, we have been able to expand our reach, so that students, teachers, and lifelong learners can access and use the records of our democracy. Great partnerships like this one with AT&T make it all possible, and we are most grateful for their support.”
“To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis” is currently showing at the National Archives’ Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery in Washington, DC. Early next year, the exhibit will travel to the Kennedy Library in Boston.
Visitors to “To the Brink” will hear recordings of the President in White House meetings with his closest advisors, working to avert thermonuclear war after the Soviet Union installed missiles in Cuba capable of targeting the United States.
The recordings and other National Archives records document the dramatic events that brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of war and back again.
Exhibit Curator Stacey Bredhoff of the Kennedy Library authored an accompanying exhibition catalog, also titled To the Brink, published by the Foundation for the National Archives.
As lead sponsor of the exhibit, AT&T donated $500,000 to support “To the Brink,” in addition to the creation of the app.
AT&T also has had a long history of supporting the great work of the National Archives and JFK Library and Museum.
The company was a founding technical partner in the creation of the Kennedy Presidential Library’s online digital archives, a $2.23 million in-kind support project to preserve, catalogue, and digitize the papers of President Kennedy and make them available to the public through the World Wide Web.
The app for iPad is available for free download in the App Store.
At www.JFKCMC.org, Android, smartphone, other tablet and laptop users can also experience the exhibit.
Image: Jim Caroll, via Flickr (CC)