Cold War

  • Stalin

    Stalin managed to come to power on 3 April, 1922 after the death of Vladimir Lenin. He was the leader of the Soviet Union through much of the cold war. Countless Russians were killed under his policies, as he attempted to purge all potential enemies from the Soviet Union. H.S: Stalin was an important figure in WWII, and was instrumental to the defeat of the Nazi forces at Staligrad. Stalin contributed in large part to the start of the cold war.
  • Lech Walesa and the Solidarity Movement in Poland

    Lech Walesa and the Solidarity Movement in Poland
    Lech Walesa was the leader of the Solidarity Movement, or workers unions, in Poland during the cold war (1940s-80s). He was jailed repeatedly for participation in and organization of illegal strikes. He was fired from countless jobs but eventually received the nobel peace prize and became president of Poland in 1990. H.S: the workers unions and labor strikes were pivotal in drawing attention to the poor treatment of workers in Poland, and forced the government into 'round table' negotiations
  • United Nations

    United Nations
    The United Nations is a massive conglomeration of countries, founded after WWII to replace the League of Nations. Despite the number of countries involved, the policies of the U.N often lacked any real backing, due to their inability to enforce decisions. H.S: The United Nations was involved with nearly every major decision of the Cold War Era, and condemned many communist acts, without really taking action against them.
  • Iron Curtain

    Iron Curtain
    First referenced in radio by Winston Churchill on March 5, 1946, the Iron Curtain was a barrier that divided Europe during the cold war. Actually starting in the thirties, and made up of both psychological and physical barriers, the iron curtain set the tone for tense cold war relations throughout Europe. H.S: The term was symbolic of Soviet Union attempts to block itself and many of its non-communist allies off from the West and Western influence.
  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    The Truman Doctine was an international relations policy that stated that the U.S would support Greece and Turkey with economic and military aid to keep them from turning Soviet. H.S: This event if often viewed as the starting point of the cold war. It is also the start of the containment policy.
  • Marshall Plan

    Marshall Plan
    The Marshall Plan was the American program to aid Europe. The united States gave economic support to help rebuild European economies after the end of WWII in order to prevent the spread of Soviet Communism H.S: One of the first elements of European integration, the Marshall PLan erased trade barriers and set up institutions to coordinate the economy on a continental level.
  • European Economic Cooperation

    European Economic Cooperation
    Still in operation today under a different name, the Organization for European Economic Cooperation was originally put in place in France as a method to help administer the Marshall Plan. The goal was to implement economic plans to reconstruct Europe following WWII. H.S: The Marshall Plan was instrumental in the reconstruction and aid of the European countries affected by WWII. As an instrument of its implementation, the OEEC was vital to the survival of these nations.
  • Berlin Airlift

    Berlin Airlift
    1948-49. Supply of vital brought by the U.S into West Berlin. This was done primarily through airdrop by U.S aircraft. 277,000 flights were made, some at three minute intervals. H.S: since the Soviet Union had completely closed off any hope of supplies by ground, the people of Berlin had given up hope.The planes bringing in the supplies were the first sign to the people of Berlin that the dark times were ending, and hope was on its way.
  • NATO

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created based on the North Atlantic Treaty, which was a mutual defense pact, stating that all involved countries would defend one another if attacked. The organization is based in Belgium, with 28 members including the U.S H.S: NATO would become a major player in the cold war and many subsequent multi-national political movements. Its aid was vital in the protection of many of its smaller member-states.
  • People's Republic of China

    People's Republic of China
    Led to power by Mao Zedong through hostile takeover, the People's Republic of China represented the first ever fully Communist government in China. The Nationalists defeated in the struggle were forced to flee to Taiwan H.S: The role of China as a communist nation tipped the balance of power toward the soviets in the cold war. China would later aid both North Korea and North Vietnam in attempted expansions of communism
  • Korean War

    Korean War
    The Korean War was a conflict between the divided nation of Korea, in which North Korea was communist and backed by the Soviet Union and South Korea was U.S backed dictatorship. North Korea attempted to invade South Korea and was stopped by United Nations intervention. H.S: North Korea was defeated and driven back in the first true millitary defeats of Communism.
  • Ho Chi Minh

    Ho Chi Minh
    President of Communist North Vietnam from 1951-1969. Led his people first to drive out French control of Vietnam, and then to destroy the U.S backed South Vietnamese government. H.S: Ho Chi Minh took a very different, more nationalistic, approach to communism than the Soviet Union. He was also the leader of the only force ever to have defeated the United States in warfare. Despite winning every major battle in Vietnam, the U.S lost because the Vietnamese destroyed American morale at home.
  • First Hydrogen Bomb Explosion

    First Hydrogen Bomb Explosion
    On November 1, 1952, the United States tested a new weapon called a Hydrogen bomb. The weapon proved to be far more destructive than either of the atomic bomb detonated over Japan by the United States during WWII. It would only be another year before the Soviet Union was able to detonate their own hydrogen bomb. H.S: After the devastation wrought by the atomic bombs, the thought of an even more powerful weapon was terrifying to the world as a whole. This only increased the Cold War tensions.
  • Krushchev

    Nikita Krushchev was the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953-1964. He shocked many members of the communist party by publicaly denouncing Stalin and his methods. His policies were mostly aimed at bettering the lives of common citizens, but were usually ineffective. H.S: His time in power were some of the tensest of the cold war and eventually led to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the most frightening part of the war for both countries.
  • KGB

    The KGB was the security agency under the Soviet Union throughout its entire duration. It acted as Internal Security, Intelligence, and Secret Police, and carried most covert government actions within the Soviet Union. H.S: The KGB was the instrument by which the Soviet Union oppressed its citizens. They were widely feared, and effectively embodied the oppression of Communism.
  • Geneva Accords

    Geneva Accords
    The Geneva Convention was a meeting that lasted from April 26- July 20, 1954. They concerned finding a way to unify Vietnam and restore peace to Indochina. The U.S, USSR, France, U.K, and Peoples Republic of China were all present, along with the countries about whom the discussion was taking place. H.S: the Accords released through the Geneva Convention effectively ended hostilities in Vietnam. They called for a ceasefire and a recall of all troops.
  • Warsaw Pact

    Warsaw Pact
    The Soviet counter to NATO, the Warsaw Pact was a mutual defense treaty between eight communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. H.S: The Soviet Union used the Warsaw Pact ot establish other states as a political and military barrier from potential enemies in the West.
  • Vietnam War

    Vietnam War
    The Vietnam war was fought between communist, Soviet-backed North Vietnam and non-communist, U.S-backed South Vietnam. It led to the reunification of North and South Vietnam as one communist nation, and the first war lost by the United States. H.S: Resulted in the deaths of millions of civilians and soldiers. First decisive victory of Communism over Capitalism.
  • Suez Crisis

    Suez Crisis
    The Suez Crisis was a diplomatic and military confrontation in late 1956 between Egypt on one side, and Britain, France and Israel on the other, with the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Nations playing major roles in forcing Britain, France and Israel to withdraw. H.S: As a result of the conflict, the UNEF would police the Egyptian-Israeli border to prevent both sides from recommencing hostilities.
  • Sputnik

    Sputnik 1 was the first artificial Earth satellite. It was launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957. This was the firsttime that any manmade object had ever left Earth's atmosphere. H.S: This was a major victory for Russia, giving Russian citizens a feeling of technological superiority over the rest of the world. It also sparked the engineering boom that would lead to America reaching the moon
  • Berlin Wall is Erected

    Berlin Wall is Erected
    The Berlin wall was constructed by the German Democratic Republic as a means to keep citizens of West Berlin out of East Berlin and the rest of East Germany. H.S: the Berlin wall provided a tangible example of the separation and oppression occuring in Germany during the cold war. It is still often viewed as a symbol of oppression today
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    Cuban Missile Crisis
    The Cuban missile crisis was a period of time in which the Soviet Union had sent nuclear missiles to the nation of Cuba. Cuba was located off the coast of the souther United States, so the U.S set up a blockade to prevent the soviets sending any more missiles into Cuba. H.S: The Cuban missile crisis caused such an increase of tension between the United States and Soviet Union that nuclear war nearly resulted.
  • Brezhnev

    Leonid Brezhnev was born 19 Dec, 1906. He came to power on 14 Oct, 1964 and died 10 Nov, 1982. He was the general secretary of Communist Party of the Soviet Union. H.S- was part of the massive slough of "overloards in Europe during the cold war. He added into the collective oppression by sending tanks to quell the Czechs
  • Tet Offensive

    Tet Offensive
    The Tet Offensive was a military campaign launched during the Vietnam War by the Viet Kong and North VIetnam. It was launched against South Vietnam, the U.S, and their allies. The campaign was a series of surprise attacks launched against millitary and civillian targets during a period when no attacks were supposed to take place. H.S: It shocked the U.S public, despite the communist failure, because they had believed the Soviet Union was incapable of such a decisive millitary action.
  • Helsinki Accords

    Helsinki Accords
    The Helsinki Accords were the final act of a large meeting that took place in Helsinki, Finland. They attempted to improve relations between the communist block and the West. Many countries including the U.S and most European States signed it. H.S: Actually very little significance- since the accords were not treaties, they were not binding and therefore did nothing to improve relations.
  • Iranian Hostage Crisis

    Iranian Hostage Crisis
    On November 4, 1979, a group of Islamist students and militant supporters of the Iranian Revolution took over the American Embassy in Tehran. FIfty two Americans were held hostage for 444 days. The hostages were released only after many attempted military insertions and recues, when the Algeria Accords were signed. H.S: The Hostage Crisis was viewed as a direct attack against America and our influence in Iran. It was regarded as a pivotal point in Iran-U.S relations.
  • Soviet War in Afghanistan

    Soviet War in Afghanistan
    The Soviets got caught in a long war in the Islamic country of Afghanistan. The soviets had put in place a governmetn, and when people rose up against it, the soviets stepped in. They suffered heavy casualties in the mountains by guerrilla tactics. H.S: This became the same sort of at-home war as the vietnam war for the United States, with people fighting against their own nation's involvement in a lengthy campaign
  • Moscow Olympics

    Moscow Olympics
    The 1980 summer olympics were held in Moscow, Russia. They were boycotted by 65 countries headed by the United States in protest of the Soviet war in Afghanistan. This would later prompt the smaller Boycott of the Los Angeles Olympics. H.S: The scale of the boycott showed just how many countries were opposed to Soviet activities, in particular Soviet activities in Afghanistan.
  • Los Angeles Olympics

    Los Angeles Olympics
    The 1984 Summer Olympic Games were held in Los Angeles, California. There was huge controversy surrounding the games, as 14 European countries along with Iran and Libya boycotted the Games, refusing to participate. The USSR and their allies organized their own games, but no events were held during the course of the Olympic Games. H.S: the boycott of the Los Angeles games was performed by a far fewer countries than that of the Moscow Games, showing that the Soviets had less support than the U.S
  • Gorbachev

    First entering the Soviet Government in 1985, Mikkhail Gorbechev held four separate positions of high authority at different times throughout the course of the cold war. His policies largely focused on easing cold war tensions and ending oppression. H.S: Mikhail Gorbechev was largely responsible for the end of the cold war, and the end of his career also heralded the end of the Soviet Union.
  • Perestroika and Glasnost

    Perestroika and Glasnost
    Perestroika and Glasnost were reform attempts put in place by Mikhail Gorbechev during the late 1980s. Glasnost means "openess" and was an end to censorship in which Gorbechev called for citizens to discuss politics openly. Perestroika was an economic reform, and seemed to be a movement toward a free market. The economy crumbled H.S: Even though they failed, the reforms were a refreshing movement away from total government control
  • Chernobyl

    On April 26, 1986, a nuclear reactor at Chernobyl in Ukrain melted down. A fire caused a leak of radioactive particles in one of the plants at Chernobyl. This radiation spread over much of the USSR and Western Europe. H.S-widely considered one of the worst nuclear disasters in history, Chernobyl showed the world the potential dangers of nuclear power.
  • Tiananmen Square

    Tiananmen Square
    On July 4, 1989, protests wer held by Beijing students which received broad support from city residents. The Chinese government used extreme force to break up the protests. H.S: Deep splits were revealed within China's political leadership, and the world condemned China's use of force against the protestors
  • Berlin Wall Torn Down

    Berlin Wall Torn Down
    The Berlin wall was torn down under the government of Mikhail Gorbachev.The commonly accepted date of the teardown was actually the day that many new border-crossings were added, when citizens and workers alike arrived to chip away at the wall with whatever tools were available. The official date of the "demolition" was actually June 13, 1990.
    H.S: the Berlin Wall was a major symbol of oppression. The destruction of the wall became a major sign that freedom was on the rise
  • Yeltsin

    The first President of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin took over after Gorbechev lost power. He vowed to transform Russia's socialist command economy into a free market economy. H.S: the start of his career triggered the end of the Soviet Union, and effectively ended the Cold War.
  • End of the USSR

    End of the USSR
    Following the resolution of Mikhail Gorbechev the previous day, the Soviet Union was dissolved on December 26, 1991. The nuclear launch codes were handed over to Russian President Boris Yeltsin and the soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin. H.S: the Dissolution of the Soviet Union was the end of the largest Communist State ever to have existed. It also marked the official end of the Cold War.
  • Putin

    Putin is the Current President of the Soviet Union. He was an officer in the KGB for years before retiring and becoming a member of then-president Boris Yeltsin's political administration. He became Acting President on December 31, 1999. H.S: Despite his appetite for public (dangerous) stunts, his career has been rather insignificant.