Cold War Timeline

  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    This doctrine to people resisting communism. The prime example of this was when Truman asked Congress for $400 million to aid Turkey and Greece in 1947.
  • Marshall Plan

    Marshall Plan
    This plan essentially offered massive financial aid to many European countries trying to rebuild (in order to prevent communism). The Soviet Union and Soviet-controlled states rejected this aid.
  • Berlin airlift began

    Berlin airlift began
    All pathways in and out of East Berlin were blockaded and the Soviets were starving the people of East Berlin. This was to put pressure on Allied-forces to get out of West Berlin. For about a year, the US and other allied countries helped FLY supplies and food over East Berlin to support the people inside.
  • USSR developed the atomic bomb

    USSR developed the atomic bomb
    oh NO! This certainly increased fears in the US. The US developed the hydrogen bomb, but the USSR developed that very quickly afterward, too! This increasing of nuclear weapons meant that a war could absolutely destroy both countries. Schools now conducted nuclear attack drills and citizens were encouraged to build bomb shelters.
  • China becomes communist

    China becomes communist
    This event certainly increased US fears of communist dominating the world, especially with the USSR having already developed the atomic bomb. China and the USSR, however, did not become friends; They became rivals for territory and influence.
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    U.S. involvement in Korean War

    Communist North Korea was aided by the USSR and capitalist South Korea was aided by the US while they were in a Civil War. This reflects America's ideas of containment and the Domino theory. Eventually, the war ended in a stalemate in 1953 where the nations were divided by the 38th parallel.
  • Bay of Pigs Invasion

    Bay of Pigs Invasion
    Cuba became communist in the late 1950s from Fidel Castro's revolution, so Cuban exiles and US attempted to invade Cuba and overthrow Castro. This invasion was under the leadership of JFK, but the invasion failed.
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    The Berlin Wall up

    This wall was put up around East Berlin in order to keep people from trying to escape to the Allied-controlled West Berlin. The communist government did not provide for East Berliners very much and many of them wanted better economic opportunities, so as many as 20% of the East Berlin population left before this wall was put up. Eventually the wall was torn down when Soviet tensions with the US were lowering.
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    Cuban Missile Crisis

    The Soviet Union stationed nuclear missiles in Cuba (VERY near the US) in 1962 for a short period. JFK ordered that the Soviets remove the missiles and the US and USSR were at the very edge of a nuclear war for several days. Eventually the Soviet Union agreed to remove the missiles.
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    U.S. Involvement in Vietnam

    North Vietnam (communist) was helping the Viet Cong, an armed communist political revolutionary group in South Vietnam. These groups began to fight against the South Vietnamese government using guerilla warfare. Since JFK believed in containment and the Domino Theory, the US sent many military troops to help the South Vietnamese. More troops were sent under LBJ, but opposition to the war grew in the US. Finally, US troops were removed and South Vietnam fell to communism.
  • Apollo 11 moon landing

    Apollo 11 moon landing
    Neil Armstrong (from the US) becomes the first man to walk on the moon. This is a big moment for the world and a big lead for the US in the space race against the USSR.
  • Kent State Massacre

    Kent State Massacre
    At the Kent State University, an anti-Vietnam War peace rally was being held. The National Guard was brought out and something escalated to the point where four students were shot and killed and nine other students were wounded. As a result, 4 million students participated in walk-outs in schools around the country.
  • Nixon resigned due to Watergate scandal

    Nixon resigned due to Watergate scandal
    A scandal to win the next presidential election was busted at the Watergate hotel, and president Nixon was found to be involved. Instead of inevitably being impeached, Nixon decided to resign from office quickly. This made him the first president to resign from office. Gerald Ford became the president afterwards and pardoned Nixon so the nation could move on.
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    Iran Hostage Crisis

    Iranian students took over a US embassy and took US citizens and diplomats hostage for over a year. They wanted their Shah back to execute him in which the US was giving medical treatment to at the time.
  • USSR collapsed

    USSR collapsed
    As the USSR was fighting to keep up with the US's military expenditures, they eventually developed internal problems. The country was going broke and people were starving. Mikhail Gorbachev rose to power and promoted an economy towards market economy and decreased tensions a lot. Eventually the Berlin wall was torn down and the USSR dissolved into many smaller independent states.