U.s. time line picture

A Period of Transition

  • Yalta Conference - Cold War

    The Yalta Conference is held to determine post-victory procedures. The UN is formed and tensions begin to rise with US and USSR marking the start of the Cold War.
  • Iron Curtain - Cold War

    The USSR begins to shut the world out of its affairs. As a result, Winston Churchill gives his "Iron Curtain" speech addressing the tension created by the USSR.
  • Berlin Airlift - Cold War

    The USSR blocks all incoming traffic from West Germany into East Germany and causes West Berlin civilians to starve. The US responds with the Berlin Airlift to supply starving civilians.
  • USSR Tests First Atomic Bomb - Cold War

    Shortly after the US detonates its atomic bomb over Hiroshima, the USSR begins development of its own. When their bomb detonates, it proves they are now of equal power to the US.
  • Communist Hunt - Cold War

    Joe McCarthy exclaims that he has in his hand a list of 205 names of members of the Communist Party. This creates a sense of panic similar to the Salem Witch trials as well as the false accusations of communists living among faithful US citizens.
  • Rosenberg Trial - Cold War

    The trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg begin. Both are accused of being spies for the Soviet Union and are later executed.
  • Brown v. Board Decision - Civil Rights

    The father of a young black girl argues that it is unconstitutional for her to go to a black score that is quite far from their house, when she could just go to the white school near them. This is taken to Supreme Court and the court overrules the Plessy v. Ferguson decision in 1896, arguing that the separate facilities are unequal for blacks. This will lead to the slow desegregation of public schools in the U.S.
  • CIA backed Guatemala Invasion - Cold War

    President Eisenhower approves CIA mission to overthrow Guatemalan communist regime. The CIA arms and funds exiled rebel groups who successfully overthrow the government.
  • Emmett Till Murdered - Civil Rights

    Emmett Till Murdered - Civil Rights
    Fourteen year old Emmett Till is brutally attacked, beaten and murdered after he makes a small flirtatious remark to a white women. This event outrages and upsets, not only the black community, but also some white supporters, brings great support to Civil Rights Movement.
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott - Civil Rights

    Montgomery Bus Boycott - Civil Rights
    Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat at the front of the colored section to a white passenger. This leads to her arrest because it went against de facto segregation at the time. A huge boycott against the Montgomery Bus system was held for over a year until the buses were desegregated.
  • Little Rock Nine Incident - Civil Rights

    Little Rock Nine Incident - Civil Rights
    Little Rock, Arkansas promises the integration of black students in Central High School, a former all white school. However the nine black students are blocked by the state militia, under the governor’s orders. The federal government calls on national troops to allow students in the school. Leads to the Brown II decision that allows the government to use military power/force to push the desegregation of public schools.
  • Space Race Begins - Cold War

    The USSR launches Sputnik on the R7 rocket which successfully orbits the Earth. This shows the US is behind the Soviet Union's technological capabilities.
  • Student Sit-ins -Civil Rights

    Student Sit-ins -Civil Rights
    During this incident students from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College sit at the segregated counter of Woolworth’s and start many non-violent protest, in response to its effectiveness. Results in the desegregation of many public facilities in the South.
  • U-2 Incident - Cold War

    The US U-2 spy plan is shot down over the USSR. Pilot Francis Gary Powers survives and is used as proof of denied US spy missions.
  • Bay of Bigs Invasion - Cold War

    The CIA trains and arms Cuban exiles in an attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro. The mission is a complete failure and the obvious US involvment hurts Kennedy's reputation as President.
  • Freedom Riders begin Journey through South -Civil Rights

    Freedom Riders begin Journey through South -Civil Rights
    The "freedom riders" travel throughout the South going to different public facilities to test new laws that are formed against segregation. This causes uproar from angry mobs that are against such desegregation
  • Berlin Wall - Cold War

    Rising tensions between democratic controlled West Berlin and communist controlled East Berlin cause the construction of the Berlin Wall. Passage between the two sides is restricted and heavily guarded.
  • First Helicopteers Arrive in Vietnam -Vietnam War

    First Helicopteers Arrive in Vietnam -Vietnam War
    This day was when all of the soldiers were brought to Vietnam, there were about 400 soldiers brought along to begin with.
  • U.S. Helicopters Ordered to Shoot First -Vietnam War

    The U.S helicopters were forced to begin shooting on spot when it was believed to be hostile situation. This all began because two helicopters were shot down previously.
  • First Black Student Enrolled in All-White Mississippi College -CR

    James Meredith is enrolled in a Mississippi college and this results in mobs that block the front of the school to the point where the National Guard gets involved. This resembles the growing strength of the movement allowing blacks to integrate into formerly all-white facilities.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis - Cold War

    The USSR sends nuclear missiles to Cuba which the US U-2 spy plane confirms. Virtually the most tension between the two super powers during the entire Cold War as both stand at the ready for retaliation fire.
  • Martin L. King Jr. Jailed in Birmingham, Al. for Protests -Civil Rights

    King writes his "Letter from Birmingham Jail" that says that it is alright to go against immoral and unjust laws. This causes more and more blacks to protest equality in the U.S. as King is a popular figure at the time.
  • Monk Sets Himself on Fire -Vietnam War

    Monk Sets Himself on Fire -Vietnam War
    Buddhist Monk Quang Duc sets himself on fire. The reason he does this was to show that what Ngo Dinh Diem was doing was wrong and that he would rather burn to death the be lead by this man. This is significant because such an act would result in an uprising against South Vietnam because this had shown that this man, and probably many others, were suffering under such a gov't and gained outside and inside support.
  • NAACP's Field Secretary is Murdered -Civil Rights

    The murder of Medger Evers is brought to court twice, however the murderer is set free both times and not convicted until 30 years later. This angers the blacks at the time and signifies the beginning of radical groups in the Civil Rights Movement that vow to use violent means to get what they want.
  • March to Washington -Civil Rights

    March to Washington -Civil Rights
    Over 200,000 civil rights supporters attend Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. This is used to “force” Washington to pass laws more quickly and protect their rights. However this results in a break between pacifist groups and radical groups since it appears such actions like this march are unsuccessful in bringing equality.
  • Diem is Overthrown -Vietnam War

    Diem is Overthrown -Vietnam War
    The South Vietnam's president, Ngo Dinh Diem, was overthrown by the military because they began to realize how Diem was negatively influencing Vietnam and they realized their only option was using force and the strongest force was the military He was also killed while being taken over.
  • 24th Amendment Introduced -Civil Rights

    The amendment abolishes the Poll tax that had been used by 11 states at the time keeping many blacks from voting because of the literacy tests. This led to the mob attacks on those blacks that attempted to vote and the passing of the Civil Right Act of 1964.
  • Freedom Summer: Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party Integrated -Civil Rights

    Freedom Summer: Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party Integrated  -Civil Rights
    This party was led by Fannie Lou Hamer, who presented a speech to delegates at the Democratic National convention about the brutality of racist whites. This brought great support and the number of black representatives almost filled all the white seats for Mississippi, to the point where the federal government had to intervene and limits black seats to 2. This upset many blacks then as they felt they were betrayed by their own leaders, increased the influence of radical civil rights groups.
  • U.S.S. Maddox Attacked -Vietnam War

    U.S.S. Maddox Attacked -Vietnam War
    The U.S.S. Maddox is attacked by North Vietnamese PT boats, these boats were being used to support South Vietnamese forces operating against North Vietnamese shore installations. After being attacked it was evident that the ship was not hit and that it was being taken care of very carefully. This was an act that would be used as an excuse for the U.S. to go to war with North Vietnam, because they were evidentally in North Vietamese waters not international waters.
  • U.S. Attack on North Vietnam -Vietnam War

    After the North Vietnamese attacked the U.S.S. Maddox, President Johnson ordered an attack by US aircraft on North Vietnam. They would also use many weapons to ensure this would never happen again and to end this once and for all. The weapons they used included the F-8 Crusader A-4 Skyhawks and Skyraiders.
  • US Senate Approves Tonkin Gulf Resolution -Vietnam War

    As a result of the Tonkin invasion, the Senate gives the approval to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the Southern Vietnamese and the safety of the U.S objects and men. This is essentially
  • First Anti-War Campus Sit In -Vietnam War

    First Anti-War Campus Sit In -Vietnam War
    This was the first publicly announced sit-in that was held to show the hatred towards the Vietnam war. This sit in took place at the University of Michigan. Had been a popular sign of how most people felt about us getting involved in the war.
  • First Series of Raids Against Hanoi Road -Vietnam War

    The first series of raids against bridges on the road to Hanoi begins. In the course of this raid, North Vietnamese MIGS (Russian-built fighter aircraft) attacks US planes.
  • Australian Troops go into Vietnam -Vietnam War

    Eight hundred Australian troops depart for Vietnam. The Australian forces center around the 1st Australian Task Force (ATF), headquartered in the Nui Dat Rubber plantation in Phuoc Tuy Province, southeast of Saigon. The Australian forces are later supplemented with troops from New Zealand. In the course of war, 47,424 Australian troops serve in Vietnam, 494 of whom are killed and 2,368 of whom are wounded. In addition, 35 New Zealanders are killed and 135 are injured.
  • US Troops Officially Engaged in Combat -Vietnam War

    US Troops Officially Engaged in Combat -Vietnam War
    The US State Department announces that American troops are engaged in combat. This had shown that the U.S. had become fully involved in the fighting the Vietcong of North Vietnam
  • First B-52 Raids -Vietnam War

    The first B-52 raids are launched against Viet Cong.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965 Passed -Civil Rights

    This allowed blacks to vote more freely without poll taxes, literacy tests, etc. This is one of the big events that results in the widespread "race riots" in about 100 cities nationwide.
  • US Base Wiped Out -Vietnam War

    Enemy troops wipe out the US Special forces camp at A Shau. US Marine Corps helicopters manage to rescue 12 of the 17 Green Berets and 172 ofthe 400 South Vietnamese.
  • First B-52 Raids on North Vietnam -Vietnam War

    The US launches the first B-52 raids on North Vietnam, targeting the Mugia Pass. That same day, the Viet Cong launch a rocket attack on Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Saigon, which kills 7 US troops and destroys 2 helicopters and 3 transport aircraft.
  • Heaviest Air Raid of the War -Vietnam War

    Heaviest Air Raid of the War -Vietnam War
    Five hundred US Air Force planes bomb targets in North Vietnam in the heaviest air raid of the war.
  • Stokely Carmichael Delivers Black Power Speech -Civil Rights

    Stokely Carmichael Delivers Black Power Speech  -Civil Rights
    The leader of the SNCC, introduces the term “black power” to signify that blacks must stay together and use any means necessary to get liberation of blacks. Supporters start to lose faith because of the notion that they will use violence to get equality, although most support for civil rights was for those that used non violence.
  • Johnson Passes Civil Rights Act of 1968 -Civil Rights

    This act prohibits the discrimination of races in the sale, rental and loans of housing. This really doesn’t have a huge effect on the general public as there is little support for the movement at this point, and appears to be no opposition.
  • Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education Decision -Civil Rights

    The court orders buses to pick up both black and white kids to hopefully speed up the integration of desegregation of Northern cities. Very unpopular at the time and sees many issues until it is ended in the 1990’s.
  • Soviet Union Invades Afghanistan - Cold War

    The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan to help the newly formed communist government with resistance from warlords who opposed communism. The US trains and funds groups to resist Soviets and communism.
  • Berlin Wall Opened - Cold War

    The Berlin Wall is opened by the East Berlin government . This allows citizens to freely enter West Berlin relieving the tension built from the Wall.
  • End of the Cold War - Cold War

    The Soviet Union is disbanded and a republic Russia is reinstated. The Iron Curtain is soon lifted and the Cold War ends.