Cold war

America: A Superpower in the Cold War

  • Hindenburg appoints Hitler as chancellor of Germany

    Hindenburg appoints Hitler as chancellor of Germany
    Hitler's emergence as chancellor on January 30, 1933, marked a turning point for Germany, as well as for the world. His planned to do away with politics and make Germany a powerful, unified one-party state.
  • 20th Amendment established

    The 20th Amendment set the exact term length of the president and vice president. It also established the principle that the vice president will serve as president in the case of a president's absence.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt Inaugurated

    Franklin D. Roosevelt Inaugurated
    Roosevelt swept the election of 1932 with 22,809,638 popular votes and 472 electoral votes. He announced his "Good Neighbor Policy", which declared America's intentions to offer Latin America aid.
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    FDR's Hundred Days Congress

    The "Hundred Days Congress" includes the reform bills, economic spending, bank holiday, and other aspects of FDR's first one-hundred days in office.
  • FDR makes first "fireside chat"

    FDR used "fireside chats", which were radio broadcasted, in order to speak to the American general public about future plans and reforms.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt Recognizes Soviet Union

    Franklin D. Roosevelt Recognizes Soviet Union
    FDR viewed recognition as a means of helping the American economy through stabilizing trade relations with the Soviet Union. Although widely criticized for this action, FDR proved his determination to aid the domestic state of America.
  • 21st Amendment established

    The 21st Amendment to the U.S. constitution repealed prohibition.
  • FDR elected for second term

    Roosevelt was victorious against Alf Landon. FDR received 27,752,648 popular votes and 523 electoral votes against Landon's 16,681,862 popular votes and 8 electoral votes.
  • FDR's "Quarantine Speech"

    The Quarantine Speech was given by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt on October 5, 1937 in Chicago. calling for an international "quarantine of the aggressor nations" as an alternative to American neutrality and non-intervention. The speech intensified America's isolationist mood.
  • Germany signs military agreement with Japan

    In the 1930s, both countries adopted militaristic attitudes. This led to a political and military alliance that included Italy: the "Axis". For the most part, Japan and Germany fought separate wars, and eventually surrendered separately.
  • Neutrality Acts amended

    The U.S. Neutrality Acts were amended in the fact that the embargos would be lifted. The United States was clearly showing support towards the Allied forces.
  • FDR elected to third term

    Roosevelt achieved yet another victory, this time against Wendell Wilkie. FDR received 27,307,819 popular votes and 449 electoral votes against Wilkie's 22,321,018 popular votes and mere 82 electoral votes.
  • Congress Passes Lend-Lease Law

    The Lend-Lease Law was enacted in order to "promote the defense of the United States". It provided America's allies (Allied powers) with war supplies. The U.S. had sent over $50 billion in supplies to Britain and other Allied forces by 1945.
  • Atlantic Charter formed between FDR and Churchill

    Atlantic Charter formed between FDR and Churchill
    The Atlantic Charter outlined the ideal goals of the war, which included: no territorial aggrandizement; no territorial changes made against the wishes of the people, restoration of self-government to those deprived of it, free access to raw materials, reduction of trade restrictions, global cooperation to secure better economic and social conditions for all, freedom from fear and want, freedom of the sea,; and abandonment of the use of force, as well as disarmament of aggressor nations.
  • Japan Bombs Pearl Harbor

    Japan Bombs Pearl Harbor
    Also referred to as, "Black Sunday", the attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise assault on American soil (by Japanese forces), which ended in about 3,000 American casualties. It ultimately led to America's entrance into the war.
  • United States Declares War on Axis Powers

    Following the surprise assault on Pearl Harbor a day prior, the United States Congress had recognized that they had been "thrust" into war. War was officially declared on the 11th, four days following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • Japanese-Americans on West Coast moved to internment camps

    In response to uneasy relations with Japan, FDR ordered the placement of Japanese Americans inro internment camps through the Executive Order 9066.
  • FDR and Churchill agree on policy of "unconditional surrender"

    Originating at the Casablanca Conference, the policy of "unconditional surrender" was acknowledged by the Allies. It proved the international hatred towards communist aggression.
  • D-Day

    On D-Day, Allied Powers launched an assault on French Normandy, which was held by Axis Powers at the time. The assault required 4,600 vessels and ended in a massive amount of casualties.
  • Yalta Conference

    The Yalta Conference was held in the Livadia Palace, near Yalta, in the Crimea. Heads of government from the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union convened to discuss the re-establishment of countries torn from the war and plans for future endeavors.
  • FDR passes away, Truman takes presidency

    FDR passes away, Truman takes presidency
    FDR died from a massive cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Georgia. Vice President Truman, as stated by the 20th Amendment, was to take office.
  • Mussolini captured and executed by Italian partisans

    Mussolini captured and executed by Italian partisans
    Following the war in Italy, Mussolini was captured in his attempt to escape the country. Italian partisans executed him, as well as six other Italian officials.
  • Germany surrenders

    Also named "V-E Day (Victory in Europe)", May 8 was the day of Germany's surrender. Allied countries rejoiced in response to their victory over Hitler.
  • United States Drops "Little Boy" on Hiroshima

    United States Drops "Little Boy" on Hiroshima
    A single atomic bomb, as funded and agreed upon by President Truman, was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. 180,000 people were killed, wounded, or missing.
  • United States Drops "Fat Boy" on Nagasaki

    United States Drops "Fat Boy" on Nagasaki
    Responding to Japan's stubborness to avoid surrender, America dropped another bomb on Japan, this time on the city of Nagasaki. The bomb reported 80,000 deaths or missing people. Japan surrendered and the Allied forces accepted their plea, clearly not adhering to their policy of "unconditional surrender".
  • Japan surrenders

    After extreme devastation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan begged for peace and surrendered. The day of Japan's surrender is commonly referred to as "V-J Day (Victory in Japan Day)".
  • WWII Ends

    Allied forces were victorious in stopping communist aggression in World War II. American casualties totalled nearly 1 million, wheras Soviet casualties surpassed 20 million. The United States' soil was virtually unharmed and America had emerged as a world power.
  • George Kennen Writes Long Telegram

    George Kennan sent an 8,000-word telegram to the Department of State proclaiming his views on the Soviet Union and the U.S. policy toward the communist state. It influenced American government to take a tougher stance and rely on the nation's military and economic muscle rather than diplomacy in dealing with the Soviet forces.
  • Winston Churchill Speaks of the "Iron Curtain"

    Winston Churchill Speaks of the "Iron Curtain"
    Winston Churchill, United Kingdom Prime Minister, coined the term "Iron Curtain". He used the term to symbolize the ideological conflict and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas.
  • Tydings-McDuffie Act Passed

    The act provided for indepedence in the Philippines.
  • Clifford-Elsey Report surfaces

    Clark Clifford and George Elsey collaborated and formed this report in order to unveil the Soviet Union's inability to adhere to post-war agreements.
  • Truman Doctrine announced

    The Truman Doctrine was a foreign policy established by President Harry Truman, which stated that the United States was to offer aid to any nation willing to resist communist oppression. Turkey and Greece were among the first to be given aid by such a policy.
  • Truman proposes Loyalty Program

    Executive Order 9835, also known as the Loyalty Order, was signed by Truman in attempt to eliminate communist influence in the U.S. government. It established the first loyalty program, whose goal was to accomplish this.
  • Marshall Plan Announced

    George Marshall, the Secretary of State, initiated the plan. The Marshall Plan served as the "financial backbone" of the Truman Doctrine and held the United States to the responsibility of offering economic aid to countries in need of reconstruction after the war who wished to resist communism.
  • U.S. Announces New Germany Occupation Policy

    The occupation directive JCS 1067, which pushed for the economic rehabilitation of Germany and strengthening of the German ecnomy, was replaced by the US occupation directive JCS 1779, which instead proposed that a prosperous Europe required the economic contributions of a stable and productive Germany.
  • Brussels Pact organized

    The Brussels Pact was a treaty among Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, which intended to provide these western Europe with a greater security against the communist threat. The Brussels Pact was a precursor to NATO and similar to it in that it promised European mutual defence.
  • Marshall Plan signed into effect

    The Marshall Plan was officially signed into effect on this day. Its programs amounted to $12.4 billion in economic aid to countries willing to resist communism.
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    Berlin Blockade/Airlift

    The Soviet Union formed a blockade surrounding West Berlin, which was resisting communism though help by Allied forces. This cut off all of the availability to supplies. In response, the United States and Britain transported hundreds of thousands of tons of supplies into West Berlin for the duration of the blockade. Eventually, Soviet forces realized thier inability to end Allied aid and removed the blockade.
  • NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Established

    Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States formed a pact to offer enhanced protection and economic opportunity in order to resist Communist expansion.
  • Soviet Union tests first atomic bomb

    Soviet Union tests first atomic bomb
    Known as Joe 1, the atomic bomb successfully deployed by the Soviet Union secured them a second place spot in nuclear powers.
  • Mao Zedong establishes the People's Republic of China

    Mao Zedong successfully obtained power and proclaimed China's conversion to communism. One-fourth of the world's population at this point, were communist.
  • Soviet Union declares the German Democratic Republic

    The Soviet Union proclaimed that their owned portion of Germany would be named the German Democratic Republic and its capital would be at East Berlin.
  • Truman approves H-bomb development

    Truman offered monetary support for the development of the Hydrogen bomb for various reasons. First, German-born Klaus Fuchs, a top-ranking scientist in the U.S. nuclear program, was accused as being a spy for the Soviet Union. Also, the Soviet Union had successfully detonated an atomic bomb in Kazakhstan and supposedly had knowledge of how to develop a Hydrogen bomb.
  • McCarthy Begins Communist "Witch Hunt"

    McCarthy Begins Communist "Witch Hunt"
    Joseph McCarthy is known for expanding the severity of the "Red Scare", or the period of extreme panic of communism in America. McCarthy publicly accused various U.S. government figures of being communist "spies".
  • Soviet Union and People's Republic of China join forces

    This event raised a red flag towards anti-communist forces. Two massive countries had joined forces and would provide aid to each others' causes.
  • Paul Nitze issues NSC-68

    State Department Director of Policy Planning, Paul Nitze, proposed the idea of "containment" to characterize America's foreign policy.
  • United States Enters Korean Affairs (Korean War)

    Communist North Korea invaded Anti-communist South Korea, pulling the United States into yet another conflict in the war against communism.
  • Federal Civil Defense Administration Established

    Proposed by President Truman, the agency distributed posters, programs, and information about communism and the threat of communist attacks.
  • Rosenburg brothers convicted of espionage

    The Rosenburg brothers were convicted of espionage for their role in passing atomic secrets to the Soviets during and after World War II.
  • President Truman fires McArthur from command in Korea

    After serving as a successful general, McArthur was eventually removed by Truman due to his overly-aggressive approach to Korean affairs.
  • President Truman signs Mutual Security Act

    The Mutual Security Act set aside $7.5 billion for foreign aid to American allies, or "free peoples". From this, Truman announced the world America's ability and willingness to provide aid to those loyal to her.
  • USS Nautilus developed

    The world's first nuclear powered submarine was developed by the United States. It would serve as a nuclear deterrent in the Cold War and gave American forces an edge over Soviet forces.
  • Marshall Plan ends

    The economic backbone of the Truman Doctrine in the fight to support anti-communist nation had finally ended. Over the span of its existence, a total of $44.3 billion was given in aid.
  • UK becomes the third nuclear power

    The United Kingdom successfully detonated an atomic bomb in Operation Hurricane.
  • U.S. tests first thermonuclear bomb

    Ivy Mike, the United States' first prototype for thermonuclear technology, was tested, proving America's determination to surpass Soviet advancements.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes president

    Dwight D. Eisenhower, or Ike, became president in 1953. Eisenhower had received 34,075,529 popular votes and 442 electoral votes against Adlai Stevenson's 27,375,090 popular votes and 89 electoral votes.
  • Joseph Stalin dies

    Joseph Stalin dies
    Stalin faced several health issues and had an extensive history of strokes and heart attacks. One morning, he did not emerge from his room at the Kuntsevo residence, for he was believed to have had a stroke. He died after four days of receieving medical attention. Following his death, there was a power struggle for who would rise to power next.
  • Rosenburg Brothers Executed

    Due to the accusation that the brothers had distributed atomic bomb plans to the Soviet Union, they were executed.
  • Korean War ends in armistice

    Following three years of battle, the Korean War ended in an armistice, or a cease fire. The division between North and South Korea was returned to its pre-war level, the 38th parallel.
  • Taiwan Strait Crisis

    The Taiwan Strait Crisis began with Chinese "shelling" of Taiwanese islands. The US backed Taiwan, and the crisis resolves itself due to the fact that both sides remained dormant.
  • South East Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO) is established

    Australia, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, Thailand, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and the United States.bound together and proposed a pact to aid in the resistance of communism in the Philippines and Indochina.
  • Geneva Summit

    The "Big Four" (heads of the U.S., France, Britain, and Soviet Union) met at Geneva Summit in order to speak on resolving conflicts and establishing peace. Issues such as arms negotiations, trade barriers, diplomacy, and nuclear warfare were discussed as well.
  • 24/7 nuclear alert declared by the Strageic Air Command

    This alert was given in anticipation of a surpise Soviet Union ICBM attack on American soil.
  • Sputnik Launched into Orbit

    The Soviet Union satellite, named Sputnik, was successfully deployed into space. This event triggered the "space race" and displayed Soviet superiority.
  • Explorer I launched

    Explorer 1 was the first U.S. satellite successfully launched into space. It was launched in response to previous Soviet Union successes and advances in the Cold War Space Race.
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is established

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is established
    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958, encouraging peaceful applications in space science.
  • Fidel Castro rises to power in Cuba

    Fidel Castro rises to power in Cuba
    Following the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro gained power over Cuba. He did not declare the country communist. The revolution influenced other movements in Latin America.
  • "Kitchen Debate" in Moscow

    Vice President Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev participated in a debate about capitalism and communism in Moscow. The "kitchen debate", as it was called, was broadcasted to both countries and became an icon of the Cold War.
  • Khrushchev visits U.S. and denied access to Disneyland

    Khrushchev visits U.S. and denied access to Disneyland