There's also the not insignificant detail that Kennedy was a charming motherfucker, and he and Krushchev had built up a trust. There's apparently a bond that develops between people who have had a 13-day staring contest with the fate of the world on the line. The very week he revealed the world-changing decision to his son, Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Johnson made similar offers, but it just wasn't the same. Krushchev didn't trust Johnson to be his wing man on such an important decision. Kruschev's plan to go to the moon with Kennedy while sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, died with Kennedy, and the Cold War went on, business as usual. Possibly 28 years longer than it had to.
"No more! I pull finger, but it only produces the fart!"
If They'd Gone With Plan B:
It's impossible to overstate just how different things could have been if the U.S. and Soviet space programs, one of the key symbols of the technological rivalry between the two superpowers, had joined the same team.
While the U.S. eventually made it to the moon, the value of "U-S-A! U-S-A!" chants and souvenir moon rocks gained from the victory would have been outweighed by the strategic partnership (especially when you consider how easy the world has found it to dismiss the moon landing as a hoax). Krushchev's decision, too, was part of an overall plan that would have scaled back the Russian army to 500,000 soldiers from 2.5 million, and diverted spending from weapons to "consumer and commercial, non-military production."
Mostly commemorative plates.
It was like the two leaders were ready to call it a day and begin the process of ending the Cold War 28 years before it actually happened, before the Vietnam War started and before the hippie movement was born in protest. You might not speak a different language if Kennedy hadn't been assassinated, but you probably wouldn't know what the word "groovy" meant, and we think that's a different time line we could all get behind.
For instances that did alter the course of history, check out 6 Uneducated Amateurs Whose Genius Changed the World and 6 Mistranslations That Changed The World.
And stop by LinkSTORM to see Cody playing with this new war simulator he hacked into off the Pentagon's website.
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