Cold War Timeline

By LisaJin
  • Red Scare

    Red Scare
    The second Red Scare occurred after World War II (1939–1945), and is known as "McCarthyism" after its best-known advocate, Senator Joseph McCarthy.
    McCarthyism coincided with an increased and widespread fear of communist espionage that was consequent of the increasing tension in the Cold War through the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe, the Berlin Blockade (1948–49), the end of the Chinese Civil War, the confessions of spying for the Soviet Union that were made by several high-ranking U.S.
  • The Truman Doctrine

    The Truman Doctrine
    The immediate cause for the speech was a recent announcement by the British Government that, as of March 31, it would no longer provide military and economic assistance to the Greek Government in its civil war against the Greek Communist Party.
    At the time, the U.S. Government believed that the Soviet Union supported the Greek Communist war effort and worried that if the Communists prevailed in the Greek civil war, the Soviets would ultimately influence Greek policy.
  • Marshall Plan

    Marshall Plan
    April 1948–December 1951
    The Marshall Plan was a U.S. program providing aid to Western Europe following the devastation of World War II. It was enacted in 1948 and provided more than $15 billion to help finance rebuilding efforts on the continent.
    When World War II ended in 1945, Europe lay in ruins. After the war, the Soviet Union’s control of Eastern Europe and the vulnerability of Western European countries to Soviet expansionism heightened the sense of crisis.
  • Berlin Blockade/Airlift

    Berlin Blockade/Airlift
    June 24, 1948 – May 12, 1949
    The Berlin Blockade was an attempt in 1948 by the Soviet Union to limit the ability of the United States, Great Britain and France to travel to their respective sectors of the city of Berlin, which lay entirely inside Russian-occupied East Germany.
    Alarmed by the new U.S. policy of giving economic aid to Germany and other struggling European nations, the Soviets blocked all rail, road and canal access to the western zones of Berlin.
  • Space Race

    Space Race
    Aug 2, 1955 – Jul 17, 1975
    The competition began on 2 August 1955, when the Soviet Union responded to the US announcement of their similar intent to launch artificial satellites. The Space Race has its origins in the nuclear arms race between the two nations following the Second World War.
    As each side sought to prove the superiority of its technology, its military firepower and–by extension–its political-economic system.
  • Suez Canal

    Suez Canal
    October 29, 1956
    The Suez Crisis began on October 29, 1956, when Israeli armed forces pushed into Egypt toward the Suez Canal, a valuable waterway that controlled two-thirds of the oil used by Europe.
    The Israelis were joined by French and British forces, which damaged their relationships with the U.S and nearly brought the Soviet Union into the conflict. In the end, Egypt emerged victorious, and the British, French and Israeli governments withdrew their troops in late 1956 and early 1957.
  • U-2 incident

    U-2 incident
    May 1, 1960
    An international diplomatic crisis erupted in May 1960 when the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) shot down an American U-2 spy plane in Soviet air space and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers (1929-77).
    Confronted with the evidence of his nation’s espionage, President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) was forced to admit to the Soviets that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had been flying spy missions over the USSR for several years.
  • bay of pigs invasion

    bay of pigs invasion
    Apr 17, 1961 – Apr 20, 1961
    The Bay of Pigs Invasion was a failed military landing operation on the southwestern coast of Cuba in 1961 by Cuban exiles, covertly financed and directed by the U.S. government. It was aimed at overthrowing Fidel Castro's communist government.
    The plan anticipated that the Cuban people and elements of the Cuban military would support the invasion. The ultimate goal was the overthrow of Castro and the establishment of a non-communist government friendly to the U.S.
  • Berlin Wall

    Berlin Wall
    August 13, 1961-November 9, 1989
    The Berlin Wall was a guarded concrete barrier that divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. It encircled West Berlin, separating it from East German territory.
    The Wall was built in 1961 to prevent East Germans from fleeing and stop an economically disastrous migration of workers. It was a symbol of the Cold War.
  • cuban missile crisis

    cuban missile crisis
    Oct 16, 1962 – Oct 29, 1962
    In October 1962, an American U-2 spy plane secretly photographed nuclear missile sites being built by the Soviet Union on the island of Cuba.
    The Soviet Union began to secretly install missiles in Cuba to launch attacks on U.S. cities. The confrontation that followed, known as the Cuban missile crisis, brought the two superpowers to the brink of war before an agreement was reached to withdraw the missiles.
  • Non-Proliferation Treaty

    Non-Proliferation Treaty
    1 July 1968
    The NPT is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.
    Opened for signature in 1968, the Treaty entered into force in 1970. On 11 May 1995, the Treaty was extended indefinitely. 191 States have joined the Treaty, including the five nuclear-weapon States.
  • Perestroika and Glasnost

    Perestroika and Glasnost
    Perestroika was a political movement for reform within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) during the late 1980s widely associated with CPSU general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev and his glasnost (meaning "openness") policy reform.
    Although popular with the West, Gorbachev was far less so in his own country, where his reforms resulted in the disruption of the centralised planning system without the implementation of any real market mechanisms.