"The hawks favored an air strike to eliminate the Cuban missile bases, either with or without warning. ... The doves opposed the air strike and favored a blockade."
"Hawk" was a shortened version of "war hawk," which dates to at least 1792.
The article also quotes Secretary of State Dean Rusk as saying, "We're eyeball to eyeball, and I think the other fellow just blinked."
* Saturday Evening Post article (PDF): @
* "War Hawks, Uncle Sam, and The White House: Tracing the Use of Three Phrases in Early American Newspapers" (Donald R. Hickey, Wayne State University, via Readex): @
* "Safire's Political Dictionary" (William Safire, first published in 1968; search for "doves" and "war hawks"): @
* "Of Hawks, Doves -- and Now, Owls" (Graham Allison, Joseph S. Nye and Albert Carnesale, The New York Times, 1985): @