The Cuban Missile Crisis was possibly the most important event of 1962 because the United States and the Soviet Union came close to engaging in nuclear war. Both countries avoided war likely due to efforts put into effective communication, as stated by the Office of the Historian.
In response to the Bay of Pigs military action, Fidel Castro made a secret deal with Nikita Khrushchev in which Soviet missiles were stationed in Cuba to guard against further U.S. attack. These missile bases were discovered on Oct. 14, 1962 by a U-2 reconnaissance plane. The Cuban Missile Crisis ended on Nov. 20, 1962 when the USSR announced that all missiles would be removed from Cuba if the U.S. agreed not to invade Cuba. Had a deal not been made, the two countries could have ended up in full-scale nuclear war.