Cold War Timeline

  • Joseph Stalin

    Joseph Stalin
    Communist leader of the Soviet Union. Came into power after the death of Lenin. Socialism was adapted under his rule and the Soviet Union transformed into an indistrial power.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev

    Mikhail Gorbachev
    Mikhail Gorbachev was the last General Secretary of the Soviet Union. He brought about massive economic, social, and political changes and helped bring an end to both the Soviet Union and the Cold War.
  • Mao Zedong

    Mao Zedong
    Leader of the Chinese Communist Party led his country’s communist revolution. He was a Chinese Marxist theorist, soldier, and statesman.
  • United Nations

    United Nations
    During the second world war representatives of 26 nations pledged to continue fighting against the axis powers. Similar to League of Nations, United Nations was created to promote peace among all the nations.
  • Harry S. Truman

    Harry S. Truman
    Became president of the United States after Roosevelt died in office during World War 2. His presidency was a turning point in foreign affairs and he had a great part in forming the United Nations.
  • Containment

    Containment was the United States policy to stop the spread of communism abroad. Containment was the response to action from the Soviet Union. George Kennan articulated the doctrine and the word containment is most associate with president Harry Truman.
  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    ome consider the start of the Cold War, the beginning of Soviet containment. Declared by Harry S. Truman, the doctrine was created to help weak countries not fall to communism. The policy won support and money and aid was sent to small countries at war.
  • Marshall Plan

    Marshall Plan
    American program to help Europe recover after the war. The plan was set forth to prevent the spread of communism.William Clayton and George Kennan are mostly responsible for the Marshall Plan. The US spent billions of dollars in aid and even offered aid to the Soviet Union who declined.
  • Berlin Airlift

    Berlin Airlift
    The soviet union blocked off part of Berlin and stopped all incoming supplies hoping to drive the French, the Brittish, and the Americans out of Berlin. The Americans decided airlifts were the only way to keep everyone alive. Them and the Brittish began dropping thousands of tons of food and fuel every day.
  • N.A.T.O.

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty. There are currently 28 states in the organization. For its first years NATO was just a political association, its true power was heavily doubted.
  • Joseph McCarthy

    Joseph McCarthy
    US Senator from Wisconsin. He became the most public face for a period in which every one feared communists. McCarthy used unfair and suspicious tactics to accuse people of being communists and he was the reason many suspected communists faced unfair consequences. He often didn’t have enough support for his claims and eventually the government began to investigate him.
  • Korean War

    Korean War
    75,000 soldiers from North Korea crossed the boundary into South Korea. This invasion was known as the first attack of the cold war. America entered the war on South Korea’s side. They viewed the war as another fight against communism.
  • Nikita Khrushchev

    Nikita Khrushchev
    Served as first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during part of the could war. Responsible for some of the de-stalinization that took place in the Soviet Union.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Dwight D. Eisenhower
    Served as supreme commander during World War 2 and was eventually convinced to run for presidency and won. He managed the Cold war, the Korean War, and communist tension and fear during his terms.
  • Warsaw Pact

    Warsaw Pact
    A mutual defense treaty between 8 communist states of Central and Eastern Europe during the cold war. The Warsaw Pact was the Soviet Union’s response to West Germany joining NATO.
  • Vietnam War

    Vietnam War
    America fought nationalist forces in Vietnam from unifying Vietnam under a communist government. It was a war that many viewed as unwinnable. The war quickly lost the support of Americans.
  • John F. Kennedy

    John F. Kennedy
    Confronted cold war tensions in Cuba and Vietnam during his presidency. Had an elite education and was viewed as a military hero.
  • Fall of Berlin Wall

    Fall of Berlin Wall
    The border between East and West Berlin stood tall to keep western fascists from entering east Germany but when Germanys citizens were told they could cross the wall whenever they please it was tore down in joy.
  • Berlin Wall

    Berlin Wall
    The communist government of East Germany began to build a wall between East and West Germany, hoping to keep fascists out, and stop people from going from East to West Berlin. The wall was a great symbol of the cold war. It remained standing until 1989 when all citizens were told they could cross the border whenever they wanted.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    Cuban Missile Crisis
    The US and Soviet governments had a political and military face off because of the Soviet placing nuclear weapons on Cuba which is located near the US. The US was prepared to use military force because of fear of national security.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson

    Lyndon B. Johnson
    Became president of the United States after the assassination of Kennedy. Began an ambitious amount of progressive reforms, many which had a lasting effect.
  • Ronald Reagan

    Ronald Reagan
    He cut taxes, increased defense spending, negotiated a nuclear arms reduction agreement with the Soviets and is credited with helping to bring a quicker end to the Cold War during his presidency. He quickly became a popular two term president.
  • Iran Contra Scandal

    Iran Contra Scandal
    President Ronald Reagans administration supplied weapons to Iran in exchange for the release of American hostages.
  • George H.W. Bush

    George H.W. Bush
    Became in politics soon after founding his own oil company. Launched a successful campaign to become president after Reagan.
  • Collapse of the Soviet Union

    Collapse of the Soviet Union
    Representatives of the 11 remaining Soviet Republics decided they were leaving the union to form an independent common wealth. The Soviet Union crumbed due greatly to the radical reforms of Gorbachev.