Bay of Pigs Museum
The Museum building.
Interior of the Museum.
The Museum's library.
Life magazine cover of the Bay of Pigs
Prisoners held in the Bay of Pigs
Backstory and Context
In 1961, the United States (US) had planned on committing two air strikes against Cuban airfields and then sending in 1400 troops to surprise the Cuban army and find Castro. However, US airstrikes were a failure, as many of the bombers were actually old World War 2 bombers that had been repainted. Furthermore, the bombers missed the majority of their targets, thus leaving most of the Cuban aircrafts able to fight. When word got out that the US had a failed bombing attempt, the Cuban army prepared for another attack. JFK immediately canceled the second airstrike. However, the brigade known as Brigade 2506 landed at the Bay of Pigs and immediately came under attack. The ones that survived the fight were taken as prisoners under Castro's orders.
When word reached JFK about the captured troops, he immediately began to bargain with Castro for their release. It took almost two years for the US to compel Castro to release the prisoners. This was accomplished by offering Castro 53 million dollars in baby food and medicine. The Bay of Pigs event was a Black eye for the JFK administration, as it showed that he failed in an attempt to bring an enemy to justice. However, JFK retaliated against Cuba through various military operation following the release of the prisoners.
The Bay of Pigs Museum honors those who were killed and those who were taken captive in this event. Artifacts from the Bay of Pigs incident are constantly being collected, described, and displayed here. It has been featured in several history and travel magazines. The museum was designed with the help of some of the men who were taken captive, so it is based on primary accounts of what happened.
"The Bay of Pigs." John F. Kennedy Library. Accessed June 1, 2015. http://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/JFK-in-History/The-Bay-of-Pigs.aspx.
Bay of Pigs Museum, TimeOut. August 7th 2017. Accessed November 10th 2020. https://www.timeout.com/miami/things-to-do/bay-of-pigs-museum.
"Bay of Pigs Museum History." Trip Historic. Accessed June 1, 2015. https://www.triphistoric.com/bay-of-pigs-museum-644.
Fraser, Patrick and Ambar Rodriguez. Men on a Mission: Museum opens to honor Bay of Pigs veterans, 7 News Miami. May 16th 2019. Accessed November 10th 2020. https://wsvn.com/news/special-reports/men-on-a-mission-museum-opens-to-honor-bay-of-pigs-veterans/.