Cold War Timeline

  • House Un-American Activities Committee formed

    House Un-American Activities Committee formed
    It was created in 1938 to investigate alleged disloyalty and subversive activities on the part of private citizens, public employees, and those organizations suspected of having Communist ties.
  • Yalta Conference

    Yalta Conference
    major World War II conference of the three chief Allied leaders, President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain, and Premier Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, which met at Yalta in the Crimea to plan the final defeat and occupation of Nazi Germany. It ended on Feb. 11, 1945.
  • Potsdam conference

    Potsdam conference
    The big three met at Potsdam after World War 2 and Europe ended to decide what would happen with released territories.
  • United Nations form

    United Nations form
    The United Nations was organized on the basis
    of cooperation between the Great Powers, not on the
    absolute equality of all nations. All member nations
    sat on the General Assembly. However, the five major
    World War II Allies—the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, France, and China—were assigned permanent seats on the most powerful arm of the UN, the Security Council.
  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    President Truman’s promise to aid nations struggling against communist movements became known as the Truman Doctrin.
  • Marshall plan

    Marshall plan
    Over the next four years,
    the United States gave about $13 billion in grants and loans to nations in Western Europe. The program provided food to reduce famine, fuel to heat houses and factories, and money to jump-start economic growth
  • NATO

    NATO is a formal alliance between the territories of North American and Europe. From its inception, its main purpose was to defend each other from the possibility of communist Soviet Union taking control of their nation
  • Berlin Airlift

    Berlin Airlift
    When Berlin was blockaded the U.S. provided airlifted relief. They demonstrated to West Berlin, the Soviet Union, and the world how far the United States would go to protect noncommunist parts of Europe and contain communism.
  • Era of McCarthyism begins

    Era of McCarthyism begins
    . Joseph McCarthy's anti-communist crusade, dating from 1950 and heightened during his chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Government Operations, rose to legendary ferocity. Although Congress censured the Wisconsin Republican in 1954, the legacy of fear and suspicion McCarthy helped create lived on through the 1970's, as evidenced by FBI surveillance of the civil rights movement and Vietnam era anti-war demonstrations.
  • North Korean Invasion of South Korea

    North Korean Invasion of South Korea
    North Korea has invaded South Korea at several points along the two countries' joint border.The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has denounced North Korea's actions as a breach of the peace and has called for an immediate ceasefire. The United States President Harry S Truman has gone a step further and urged western nations to go out to Korea and help repel the communist invasion.
  • Rosenberg Execution

    Rosenberg Execution
    June 19 marks the anniversary of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg's historic execution in 1953. Found guilty of relaying U.S. military secrets to the Soviets, the Rosenbergs were the first U.S. civilians to be sentenced to death for espionage.The Rosenbergs were accused of persuading Ethel's brother, David Greenglass, to provide them with confidential U.S. military information gained from his involvement in the development of nuclear weapons. It was believed that Julius, who was an active member.
  • Armistice Signed Ending Korean War

    Armistice Signed Ending Korean War
    A ceasefire stopped the fighting on July 27, 1953. There was an armistice signed by North Korea, China and the UN but not South Korea. Korea is still split into North Korea, which is communist, and South Korea which is non-communist. The border, protected by a demilitarized zone, was established along the 38th parallel.
  • Warsaw Pact

    Warsaw Pact
    In 1955, West Germany became a member of NATO. In response, the Soviet Union and its satellite states formed a rival military alliance, called the Warsaw Pact. All the communist states of Eastern Europe except Yugoslavia were members.
  • Sputnik 1 Launched

    Sputnik 1 Launched
    Was the first Earth-orbiting artificial satellite. It was launched into an elliptical low Earth orbit by the Soviet Union on 4 October 1957, and was the first in a series of satellites collectively known as the Sputnik program. The unanticipated announcement of Sputnik 1's success precipitated the Sputnik crisis in the United States and ignited the Space Race within the Cold War. The launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments.
  • First man in space

    First man in space
    Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (left, on the way to the launch pad) became the first human in space, making a 108-minute orbital flight in his Vostok 1 spacecraft. Newspapers like The Huntsville Times (right) trumpeted Gagarin's accomplishment.
  • First American in space

    First American in space
    On May 5, 1961, Mercury Astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr. (right, headed to launch) blasted off in his Freedom 7 capsule atop a Mercury-Redstone rocket (left). His 15-minute sub-orbital flight made him the first American in space.
  • Creation of the Berlin Wall

    Creation of the Berlin Wall
    The Berlin Wall was erected in the dead of night and for 28 years kept East Germans from fleeing to the West. Its destruction, which was nearly as instantaneous as its creation, was celebrated around the world.
  • First Man on the Moon

    First Man on the Moon
    The sign the astronauts left on the moon says, "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind." Image Credit: NASA
    On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to step on the moon. He and Aldrin walked around for three hours. They did experiments. They picked up bits of moon dirt and rocks.