News From Terre Haute, Indiana


October 28, 2012

Terre Haute natives saw Cuban conflict unfold

Sugar Grove principal reminisces about uncle, CIA deputy director

TERRE HAUTE — EDITOR’S NOTE: It was 50 years ago today when the world breathed a sigh of relief — an atomic war had been averted. The Cuban Missile Crisis had lasted 13 anxiety-filled days, Oct. 16-28, 1962. Two Terre Haute men were among those who stood between America and what President Kennedy called the “abyss of destruction.” Here’s their story…

Long after graduating from the same high school in Terre Haute, Ray S. Cline and William “Bill” Harvey would play an integral part in the intelligence gathering related to a massive Soviet Union missile buildup in Cuba.

Fifty years ago, the United States of America was on the brink of nuclear war after it was discovered the Soviet Union had placed medium- and intermediate-range missile sites in Cuba.

Harvey, a Central Intelligence Agency officer known as “America’s James Bond,” was often at odds with then-U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Harvey didn’t think the attorney general was treating reports of a missile buildup seriously, said Mike McCormick, Vigo County historian and attorney.

On Oct. 19, 1962, while President John Kennedy was making a campaign stop in Chicago, Harvey met with the president, toting documents that McCormick reports were taken from Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s safe.

“The president suddenly contracted an upper respiratory infection and canceled all appearances and returned to Washington,” McCormick said. Two days later, JFK declared a blockade of Cuba, demanding the Soviet Union remove all of its nuclear missiles from Cuba.

Harvey was also known for his role in “Operation Mongoose,” a CIA operation run from Miami that enlisted the aid of Mafia leader John Rosselli to plot an assassination of Cuban leader Castro. That operation was never carried out.

Harvey’s mother, Sara King Harvey, a former professor at Indiana State University (then called Indiana State Teachers College), did not know about his CIA career until 1971, when Rosselli leaked details about his involvement with Harvey.

Harvey died in 1976 at age 61. Information on what happened when Harvey connected with President Kennedy in Chicago is largely based on two interviews McCormick did with Harvey’s widow, CG. (The initials stood for Carla Grace, a name she never used.)

A seat at the table

Ray Cline was deputy director of the CIA and the head of the CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence from 1962 to 1966. Cline was among those who informed President Kennedy of the Soviet missiles.

He later served as the director of the State Department’s Intelligence and Research bureau, from October 1969 to November 1973. He wrote numerous books and served as head of the Center for Strategic and International Studies at Georgetown University.

Cline is referenced in an Oct. 20, 1962, document of meeting minutes now kept on file at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. A photo shows members of the National Security Council behind closed doors, seated around a long, paper-strewn conference table. President Kennedy is standing, both hands firmly planted on the table. Attorney General Robert Kennedy stands on the opposite side of the table, his arms crossed.

The record of the meeting shows it spanned more than two and a half hours, from 2:30 to 5:10 p.m. During those crucial hours, Cline presented some of the intelligence gathered by American operatives.

“Mr. Ray Cline of the Central Intelligence Agency summarized the report of the Guided Missile and Astronautics Committee, the Joint Atomic Energy Intelligence Committee and the National Photographic Interpretation Center, dated Oct. 19, 1962. Mr. Arthur Lundahl of CIA described the various missile sites and launching pads, displaying enlarged pictures identical to those in the committee report,” the document states.

“In response to the President’s question, Mr. Cline stated that there were no U-2 photographic reconnaissance missions over Cuba from August 29th to October 14th. The gap in photographic coverage was in part due to bad weather and in part a desire to avoid activating the SAM Air Defense installations which the Russians were hurriedly installing in Cuba during this period. Since October 14th, nine high altitude missions have been flown. Information from these missions is not fully processed, but will be available for presentation by Monday,” the record shows.

Hautean connections

Harvey was a 1931 graduate of Wiley High School and graduated from Indiana University School of Law. Cline, a 1935 Wiley graduate, ranked first in his class and was captain of the football team. He earned three degrees from Harvard University, including a doctorate.

Of the two, Cline kept in contact more with folks back in Terre Haute, making several visits to his sister, Inalie (Cline) Artis.

Gail Artis, now the principal at Sugar Grove Elementary School, is Inalie’s daughter. Her memories of visits by Uncle Ray span her childhood.

“He would visit Terre Haute every two to three years to visit my mother and visit us,” Artis said of herself and two brothers. “He would sometimes talk about his work, tell humorous stories. My mother was very close to him and very proud of him,” she said.

Artis said her uncle was “not someone who would brag about his accomplishments. He was very soft spoken, very gentle, very intelligent and very warm. When we would have meals together, he would tell us stories at great length of his travels and the people he met.

“He was never somebody who would talk about the idea of military force or weapons or murder, that kind of thing. It was always the people aspect; the qualities that people had or funny things that had transpired or people he had met,” Artis said.

Artis said her uncle had given her mother a photograph of himself with President Kennedy and about 15 people at a long conference table. “She always told us that it was right at the height of the missile crisis and those where JFK’s top advisers assembled to discuss the crisis. That was one of the few things he had given her and shared with her. I don’t know what became of that picture,” Artis said.

“The story told in the family is [Cline] was the first one who coined the term ‘hawks and doves,’ but I don’t know if that is true or just said to be true,” Artis said about the term that refers to knowing friends and enemies.

Artis said it was a big deal each time her uncle would visit or even call on the telephone.

“We always spoke with reverence about Uncle Ray. Or, ssshh, hush, everybody be quite, it is Uncle Ray, if he would call. We stopped knocking the snot out of each other because it was uncle Ray on the phone,” Artis chuckled about herself and her two brothers. “We knew if Uncle Ray called, it was important and it would be important to Mother to be able to hear him,” she said.

Her mother kept many of the books Cline later wrote, such as “Secrets, Spies and Scholars: The CIA from Roosevelt to Reagan.”

Artis said Cline would talk at length “about the human side, about some of the people we would hear about on the news. I remember one time — and I was always shy — and he said, ‘You know, you would really like Pat Nixon.’ I thought, well, OK, if you say so,” Artis said.

Cline’s exploits were limited to this hemisphere. “The story was that they [Cline and his wife, Marjorie] had been in Taiwan a long period of time and became friendly with the family of Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek, and presumably she [Marjorie] was one that helped them to learn English,” Artis said.

Cline, with Chiang Ching-kuo, son of Chiang Kai-shek, formed Taiwan’s Political Warfare Cadres Academy, which trained nations worldwide in counterinsurgency techniques, according to the 1989 book, “The ‘Terrorism’ Industry: The Experts and Institutes That Shape Our View of Terror,” by Edward S. Herman and Gerry O’Sullivan.

Artis is a single adoptive mother of two daughters, Patricia, now 28, and Susanna, now 19.

Artis said she remembers when Cline visited within 48 hours after Artis had taken in Patricia, who was almost 6, as a foster child before formally adopting her. “Uncle Ray visits were big. An Uncle Ray visit happened just right after I got my daughter. But you know, everything stopped and he took her and he and she spent probably 40 minutes alone and he taught her to yo-yo,” Artis said.

As a young attorney, Mike McCormick had several first-hand discussions with Cline.

McCormick recalls going out to dinner with Cline — first introduced to him by McCormick’s former law partner, Morris Blumberg — on at least three occasions. Only soundbites from those long-ago conversations stuck with McCormick.

“I have to prove ignorance, because I do not remember in the dinner conversations that we had if he discussed the Cuban missile crisis at all. It is embarrassing for me to say that,” McCormick chuckled.

“Here he is the author already of several books and I am not smart enough to ask him questions. In 1968, although I had a passive interest in history and had no idea that would be like a calling later in my life, I was busy with my law firm. I was not married yet and that was the only thing I had in mind. I was intense about building a law practice,” he said.

McCormick does recall their talking about several subjects, including when Cline mentioned he would like to be president of Indiana University, a desire that never materialized.

“I thought he was an extremely bright guy and very friendly,” McCormick said of Cline.

Cline died in 1996 after battling Alzheimer’s disease; he was 77 years old. Harvey died of a heart attack in 1976 at the age of 61.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • MET 073014 WESTMINISTER DIG.jpg Expanding independence

    Westminster Village, a Terre Haute retirement community, is investing $1.8 million to construct 12 new villa homes, officials announced Wednesday.

    July 30, 2014 5 Photos

  • Decades later, dry cleaners leave blemish

    Fifty years ago, about 30 dry cleaners did business in the city of Terre Haute. City officials are now cleaning up the mess some left behind.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • MARK BENNETT: Year of River sets example for state

    Terre Haute pays more attention to the Wabash River these days.

    July 30, 2014

  • Climate of less regulation, more chemical spills leaves ‘historical pollution,’ NCA director says

    Former dry cleaning sites are an environmental problem all over the state, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • MET073014parks bbushee.jpg Camping turnout low for first half of summer

    Camping revenue for the past two months has dropped in Vigo County parks, a downturn park officials say is difficult to attribute to a new park policy limiting campers’ stays to 14 days in the three county parks.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 073014 DESTROYED.jpg Devastating fire takes out mobile home

    A Seelyville mobile home sustained heavy damage in a fire early Wednesday morning.
    Lost Creek Township firefighters were called to the scene in the 2200 block of Tabortown Road south of U.S. 40 at about 2 a.m.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Man posts bond after fatal wreck

    An Oct. 7 trial date has been set for a Terre Haute man accused of driving while intoxicated causing death.

    July 30, 2014 3 Stories

  • Driver injured, airlifted, cited for failure to yield

    An elderly woman was injured in a crash Wednesday afternoon in Sullivan County, according to Indiana State Police.

    July 30, 2014

  • MET072914leo screen.jpg Slick’s debut

    Bobby “Slick” Leonard was the main attraction but his hometown, Terre Haute, was constantly in the background as friends, fans and family gathered in Indianapolis Tuesday night to honor the man famous for the words “Boom Baby.”

    July 29, 2014 8 Photos

  • MET 072914 TAJIMI YANASE.jpg Sister-city students get a dose of ‘new culture’

    One of Juri Sawada’s dreams has been to visit America.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Motion delays trial for 2012 homicide

    A man who has been jailed about 20 months in connection with the homicide of his wife will not go on trial next week as scheduled.

    July 29, 2014

  • Sheriff charged in prostitution case

    Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden has spent more than 30 years in law enforcement working to protect the public from criminals, but on Tuesday he was treated as one.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • maple candy closeup.jpg Vigo Parks dishing out the sweetness

    Vigo County Parks and Recreation has made a “sweet” addition to its maple syrup production at Prairie Creek Park.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Danny Rodden indicted on federal charges

    Instead of overseeing the operations of the Clark County jail and police force Tuesday, Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden found himself being transported by the FBI to Indianapolis to answer federal charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • Woman’s condition ‘fair’ after grocery store wreck

    A Terre Haute woman was listed in fair condition Tuesday at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis as the result of injuries sustained in Monday’s accident on the Baesler’s Market parking lot.

    July 29, 2014

  • Semi driver cited for alcohol use

    A commercial vehicle driver has been placed out of service after he tested positive for alcohol consumption during a Tuesday morning traffic stop in Sullivan County.

    July 29, 2014

  • Church to give out school backpacks

    United Methodist Temple will stage its first-ever Back-2-School Bash from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 9.
    The church is located at 5301 S. U.S. 41.

    July 29, 2014

  • MET 072814 BUS MEYERROSE.jpg Bus safety features

    New safety features on South Vermillion School Corp. buses have led to fewer disciplinary problems and fewer incidents of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses, officials say.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Pendergast.jpg Humvee driver says foot caused fatal accident

    Kyle Pendergast, 22, the Terre Haute driver of a black Humvee charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing the death of a teenager, has told police he could not turn the wheel before the vehicle flipped in a field in an early Saturday morning accident.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • MET 072814 CONTAMINATED Cleaner may have contaminated water

    Groundwater and soil testing is set to begin within a week to learn whether toxic chemicals might have seeped into the wells of a small southside neighborhood and even beyond.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Housing Authority’s Warren Village nearing completion

    Construction on the newest Terre Haute Housing Authority property – Warren Village – should wrap up next month, a housing authority official said Monday.

    July 29, 2014

  • rush-hr.jpg Observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking next chief

    State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure as the state’s top judge.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Multi-vehicle accident in parking lot

    A woman was hospitalized with injuries after a multiple-vehicle accident late Monday morning in the Baesler’s Market parking lot on Poplar Street

    July 29, 2014

  • Old National acquires Michigan bank

    Evansville-based Old National Bancorp and Grand Rapids-based Founders Financial Corp. said Monday they have finalized an agreement under which Old National will acquire Founders through a stock and cash merger.

    July 28, 2014

  • Ohio man falls to death at Cataract Falls rec area

    Indiana conservation officers are investigating the death of an Ohio man that occurred at about 4:10 p.m. Sunday at Cataract Falls State Recreation Area in Owen County.

    July 28, 2014

  • MET 072514 WWI 01MORAHN.jpg Postcards from the war front

    A native of France, Marie Decleir saw humanity at its worst as she experienced the death and destruction caused by World War I, which began 100 years ago today.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 072714 NASCAR STEIG.jpg Watching Gordon make history

    As race car drivers competed on the track on Sunday in Indianapolis, racing fans in Terre Haute gathered around television screens and watched history unfold during the “Crown Royal Presents, The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard.”

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • STATE OF THE STATEHOUSE: Inept amid partisan fury

    Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous.

    July 27, 2014

  • Restaurant Inspections: July 28, 2014

    July 7-11

    July 27, 2014

  • MET 072514 I-70 CONE.jpg Caution zone

    Travel the interstate at your own risk.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando Harding Love Letters Now Open to Public Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Raw: Guinea Rap Concert Stampede Kills 33+ Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010

Real Estate News