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Cold War Timeline

  • Period: to

    Cold War

    A period of tension that occurred between the United States and the Soviet Union after World War II
  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    President Truman wrote this doctrine that stated the United States would provide political, military, and economic assistance to any nations under threat of communism or authoritarian forces.
  • Marshall Plan announced

    Marshall Plan announced
    George Marshall planned an American initiative to aid Western European economies after the end of WWII.
  • Rio Pact

    Rio Pact
    An agreement made in Rio that binded the republics of the Western Hemisphere together in a mutual defense system.
  • Berlin Blockade

    Berlin Blockade
    The Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway, roads, and canal access to the sections of Berlin under western control.
  • Berlin Airlift Begins

    Berlin Airlift Begins
    In response to the Berlin Blockade, Truman ordered a massive airlift of supplies into West Berlin.
  • Soviet expels Yugoslavia from Communist Bureau

    Soviet expels Yugoslavia from Communist Bureau
    Yugoslavia expelled from the Communist Information Bureau (COMINFORM) which was proof of the permanent split between Russia and Yugoslavia.
  • NATO formed

    NATO formed
    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization created by many nations to resist Communist expansion.
  • Berlin Blockade ends

    Berlin Blockade ends
    Soviet Union ends the blockade and reopens the access routes to Berlin.
  • Testing of the Atomic Bomb

    Testing of the Atomic Bomb
    Soviets test their first atomic bomb in a remote area to see the effects.
  • Mutual Defense Pact signed

    Mutual Defense Pact signed
    The Soviet Union and People's Republic of China sign a pact of mutual defense.
  • North Korea invades South Korea

    North Korea invades South Korea
    North Korea invades South Korea which starts the Korean War following a series of clashes along the border.
  • UN crosses 38th parallel

    UN crosses 38th parallel
    The United Nations crossed the 38th parallel into North Korea during the Korean War to aid the South and occupy North Korea.
  • Truman fires MacArthur

    Truman fires MacArthur
    US President Harry Truman fires Douglas MacArthur from command of the US forces in Korea and replaces him with General Matthew Ridgeway.
  • Truman signs the Mutual Security Act

    Truman signs the Mutual Security Act
    President Truman signs the Mutual Security Act to announce to the world that the US was prepared to provide military aid to free people.
  • Truman asks Congress to aid Yugoslavia

    Truman asks Congress to aid Yugoslavia
    President Truman asks U.S. Congress for military and economic aid for the communist nation Yugoslavia.
  • USS Nautilus

    USS Nautilus
    The United States creates the world's first nuclear powered submarine called the USS Nautilus.
  • UK atomic bomb test

    UK atomic bomb test
    The United Kingdom tests their atomic bomb in Operation Hurricane which makes them the third nuclear power in the world.
  • Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike
    The United States tests their first thermonuclear fusion bomb called Ivy Mike. This is a different bomb that uses nuclear fusion.
  • Eisenhower becomes president

    Eisenhower becomes president
    Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes president of the United States. He was a five star general during World War II.
  • Stalin dies

    Stalin dies
    Leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, dies of a massive heart attack which led to a temporary thaw in Cold War tensions.
  • Armistice agreement

    Armistice agreement
    The armistice agreement was signed and formally ended the war between North and South Korea.
  • Soviet's Prime Minister Replaced

    Soviet's Prime Minister Replaced
    Nikolai Bulganin replaces Gregory Malenkov as prime minister of the Soviet Union.
  • French leave Vietnam

    French leave Vietnam
    The French troops agree to leave from North Vietnam to keep peace.
  • Defense Treaty signed

    Defense Treaty signed
    The South-East Asian defense treaty was signed in Manila for collective defense in Asia and to resist communist expansion.
  • West Germany joins NATO

    West Germany joins NATO
    West Germany formally joins NATO to help contain Soviet expansion in Europe. This was the final step in integrating that nation into the defense system of Western Europe.
  • Warsaw Pact

    Warsaw Pact
    The Warsaw Pact was a collective defense treaty signed in Warsaw, Poland between the Soviet Union and seven European states.
  • Geneva Summit

    Geneva Summit
    "The Big Four" met in Switzerland. This included the United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and France. Although they didn't accomplish much, the atmosphere was positive.
  • Cominform abolished

    Cominform abolished
    The Soviet Union abolished Cominform and the process of de-Stalinization began.
  • Political Protests in Poland

    Political Protests in Poland
    Massive political protests occur in Poland against the communist government and 74 people die as a result of the protests.
  • Egypt bombing

    Egypt bombing
    British and French planes bomb Egyptian airfields during the Suez Canal crisis.
  • Prime Minister resigns

    Prime Minister resigns
    Anthony Eden, the prime minister of Britain, resigns as a result of the Suez Crisis.
  • Ending nuclear testing

    Ending nuclear testing
    The Soviet Union makes a request that the United States and Britain cease nuclear testing.
  • Soviets claim they are superior

    Soviets claim they are superior
    Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev claims that the Soviet Union has missile superiority over the United States. He challenges the US to a missile shooting match to prove this.
  • NASA is formed

    NASA is formed
    The US creates NASA which shows they are committed to win the space race against the Soviets.
  • China calls for an end to nuclear testing

    China calls for an end to nuclear testing
    Nikita Khrushchev meets Mao Zedong in China and calls for an end of all nuclear testing.
  • Soviets demand troops be removed from Berlin

    Soviets demand troops be removed from Berlin
    Nikita Khrushchev delivered a speech demanding that the Western Powers remove their troops from Berlin.
  • Castro enters Havana

    Castro enters Havana
    Castro and his revolutionaries entered into Havana after Batista fled about a week earlier.
  • Fidel Castro becomes dictator

    Fidel Castro becomes dictator
    Fidel Castro is sworn in as prime minister of Cuba after leading a guerrilla campaign that forced Batista into exile.
  • China denied admission to UN

    China denied admission to UN
    The UN members vote against China being admitted into the United Nation.
  • Spy planes in the Soviet Union

    Spy planes in the Soviet Union
    American U-2 spy plane is shot down in the Soviet Union while conducting an espionage.
  • No more aid for Cuba

    No more aid for Cuba
    United States ends all aid to Cuba because of high taxes on US imports and trade deals with the Soviet Union.
  • Unified Air Defense Command

    Unified Air Defense Command
    NATO introduces a unified air defense command.
  • JFK becomes president

    JFK becomes president
    John F Kennedy becomes the youngest ever elected president after beating Richard Nixon in the election.
  • Bay of Pigs Invasion

    Bay of Pigs Invasion
    The Bay of Pigs was a failed military invasion of Cuba orchestrated by the CIA.
  • Berlin Wall

    Berlin Wall
    East German authorities began building a wall to close off access to the West. This stood as a symbol of the Cold War, representing an iron curtain that divided Europe.