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Cold War Timeline

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    Cold War

  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    President Truman presented this to congress and asked for $400 million is military and economic aid for Turkey and Greece.
  • Marshall Plan is Announced

    Marshall Plan is Announced
    General George C. Marshall gives a speak at Harvard initiating a postwar program to rebuild European Economies.
  • Rio Pact

    Rio Pact
    The U.S. met with 19 Latin American countries and created a security zone around the hemisphere.
  • Czechoslovakia Becomes Communist

    Czechoslovakia Becomes Communist
    By February 1948 the communists had forced the other coalition parties out of the government. Benes gave in to communist demands and handed his cabinet over to the party. Rigged elections were held in May to validate the communist victory.
  • Treaty of Brussels

    Treaty of Brussels
    An agreement signed by Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, creating a collective defense alliance. It led to the formation of NATO and the Western European Union.
  • Berlin Airlift

    Berlin Airlift
    The Soviet Union blocked all road and rail travel to and from West Berlin, which was located within the Soviet zone of occupation in Germany.
  • NATO is Ratified

    NATO is Ratified
    Representatives from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal joined the United States in signing the NATO agreement; a mutual defense pact aimed at containing possible Soviet aggression against Western Europe.
  • Berlin Airlift Ends

    Berlin Airlift Ends
    The Soviet Union lifts its 11-month blockade against West Berlin. The blockade had been broken by a massive U.S.-British airlift of vital supplies to West Berlin’s two million citizens.
  • Mao Zedong Gains Power in China

    Mao Zedong Gains Power in China
    After the Chinese Revolution, Mao Zedong established the People's Republic of China which ended the civil war between the Communists and Kuomintang.
  • Truman Announces Development of Hydrogen Bomb

    Truman Announces Development of Hydrogen Bomb
    Truman announced to the public that the U.S. was working on a Hydrogen Bomb that was theorized to be more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped in Japan.
  • McCarthyism Begins

    McCarthyism Begins
    At a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, McCarthy launched his first salvo. He proclaimed that he was aware of 205 card-carrying members of the Communist Party who worked for the United States Department of State. A few days later, he repeated the charges at a speech in Salt Lake City.
  • Korean War Begins

    Korean War Begins
    The Korean War began when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary that separated North and South Korea at the time.
  • Federal Civil Defense Administration

    Federal Civil Defense Administration
    President Truman establishes the FCDA in the Office for Emergency Management of the Executive Office of the President.
  • UN Forces Take Back Seoul, South Korea

    UN Forces Take Back Seoul, South Korea
    United Nations troops fight back the communist forces and recapture the Capital of South Korea.
  • MacArthur is Fired

    MacArthur is Fired
    President Truman fired MacArthur and replaced him with Gen. Matthew Ridgeway. On April 11, Truman addressed the nation and explained his actions.
  • Churchill Announces Atom Bomb

    Churchill Announces Atom Bomb
    British Prime Minister Winston Churchill publicly announced the plans to test a British nuclear weapon, and on October 3 a 25-kiloton device–similar to the U.S. atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan–was successfully detonated in the hull of the frigate HMS Plym anchored off the Monte Bello Islands.
  • Cuban Government Overthrown by Batista

    Cuban Government Overthrown by Batista
    Fulgencio Batista overthrows the Cuban government of President Prio Socarras.
  • Matyas Rakosi Becomes Prime Minister of Hungary

    Matyas Rakosi Becomes Prime Minister of Hungary
    He was previously supreme as party in chief of the communist party and was then elected Prime Minister.
  • Joseph Stalin Dies

    Joseph Stalin Dies
    His doctor, Vladimir Vinogradov, noticed a marked change for the worse in Stalin’s health early in 1952. When he suggested that the dictator start to take things more easily, Stalin flew into a furious rage and had him arrested.
  • Execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

    Execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
    Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviets, are executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York. Both refused to admit any wrongdoing and proclaimed their innocence right up to the time of their deaths, by the electric chair.
  • Korean Armistice Agreement

    Korean Armistice Agreement
    This armistice signed on July 27, 1953, formally ended the war in Korea. North and South Korea remain separate and occupy almost the same territory they had when the war began. This would officially put an end to the Korean War.
  • Castle Bravo Test

    Castle Bravo Test
    The U.S. conducted its largest nuclear detonation ever, at Bikini Atoll on March 1, 1954. This was part of Operation Castle, a series of thermonuclear tests. Bravo was over 1,000 more times powerful than “Little Boy.” Bravo was the first test of a deliverable hydrogen bomb.
  • Geneva Accords

    Geneva Accords
    A conference in Geneva, Switzerland, from 26 April to 21 July 1954 that focused primarily on resolving the war between French forces and those of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), led by the nationalist-communist Ho Chi Minh.
  • National Liberation Front is Formed

    National Liberation Front is Formed
    a faction of young Algerian Muslims established the Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN) as a guerrilla organization dedicated to winning independence from France. They staged several bloody uprisings during the next year.
  • West Germany Joins NATO

    West Germany Joins NATO
    West Germany formally joins the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a mutual defense group aimed at containing Soviet expansion in Europe. This action marked the final step of West Germany’s integration into the Western European defense system.
  • Warsaw Pact

    Warsaw Pact
    A political and military alliance between the Soviet Union and several Eastern European countries. The Soviet Union formed this alliance as a counterbalance to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a collective security alliance concluded between the United States, Canada and Western European nations in 1949.
  • Ngo Dinh Diem Gains Power in South Vietnam

    Ngo Dinh Diem Gains Power in South Vietnam
    The civil war between the supporters of Diem and Bo Dai ended when Diem became President of the Government of the Republic of Vietnam (GVN).
  • Poznan Protests

    Poznan Protests
    A crowd of approximately 100,000 people gathered in the city centre near the local Ministry of Public Security building to protest the communist government of the Polish People's Republic. They were met with violent repression and there was an estimated death toll between 60 to over a hundred people.
  • Hungarian Revolution Starts

    Hungarian Revolution Starts
    This was a nationwide revolt against the Hungarian People's Republic and its Soviet imposed policies.
  • Israeli Troops Move into Egypt

    Israeli Troops Move into Egypt
    Israeli armed forces pushed into Egypt toward the Suez Canal after Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, nationalized the canal in July earlier that year. The Israelis soon were joined by French and British forces, which nearly brought the Soviet Union into the conflict, and damaged their relationships with the United States.
  • Israeli Troops Withdraw From Egypt

    Israeli Troops Withdraw From Egypt
    After being pressured from the U.S. to withdraw their troops, eventually Britain, France and Israel would listen to avoid a possible conflict with the Soviet Union.
  • Vostok Rocket (Sputnik 1)

    Vostok Rocket (Sputnik 1)
    The rocket was developed by the Soviet Union to as their main launch vehicle for space flights. It was based on the R-7, an ICBM designed by Sergei Korolev. A single R-7 rocket with 4 booster engines attached to the sides, which acted like a multi stage rocket, was used to carry Sputnik 1 into space
  • Sputnik 2 is Launched into Orbit

    Sputnik 2 is Launched into Orbit
    The Sputnik 2 was the second rocket ever launched into the Earth's orbit and it carried a canine passenger. Laika the Samoyed-Terrier, orbited around Earth for about 2 days before she died due to thermal problems.
  • Khrushchev Becomes Soviet Premier

    Khrushchev Becomes Soviet Premier
    First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev replaces Nicolai Bulganin as Soviet premier, becoming the first leader since Joseph Stalin to simultaneously hold the USSR’s two top offices.
  • Khrushchev and Zedong meet in Beijing

    Khrushchev and Zedong meet in Beijing
    In July 1958, at Beijing, Khrushchev and Mao were negotiating joint Sino-Soviet naval bases in China, from which nuclear-armed Soviet submarines would deter US intervention to that region of eastern Asia. The naval-base agreement failed when Mao accused Khrushchev of trying to establish Soviet control of the PRC's coast.
  • Berlin Crisis

    Berlin Crisis
    Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev delivered a speech in which he demanded that the Western powers of the United States, Great Britain and France pull their forces out of West Berlin within six months.
  • Fidel Castro and Troops Enter Havana

    Fidel Castro and Troops Enter Havana
    Entering Havana, Castro proclaimed himself Representative of the Rebel Armed Forces of the Presidency, setting up home and office in the penthouse of the Havana Hilton Hotel. Castro exercised a great deal of influence over Urrutia's regime, which was now ruling by decree. He ensured that the government implemented policies to cut corruption and fight illiteracy.
  • Khrushchev Meets With Eisenhower

    Khrushchev Meets With Eisenhower
    Khrushchev and President Eisenhower met at Camp David in Maryland to begin two days of talks about the Cold War. Eisenhower indicated that he was going into the talks with high hopes, but also warned that progress would only come if the Soviets were willing to make concessions on several issues, notably Germany and Berlin. Khrushchev and his entourage also seemed optimistic about the talks.
  • Zedong and Khrushchev meet Again

    Zedong and Khrushchev meet Again
    After Nikita Khrushchev's return from the U.S, he visited Beijing once again to meet with the leader, Mao Zedong.
  • JFK is Elected President

    JFK is Elected President
    John F. Kennedy becomes the youngest man ever to be elected president of the United States, narrowly beating Republican Vice President Richard Nixon. He was also the first Catholic to become president.The campaign was hard fought and bitter. For the first time, presidential candidates engaged in televised debates.
  • U-2 Spy Plane Shot Down

    U-2 Spy Plane Shot Down
    The CIA assured President Eisenhower that the Soviets did not possess anti-aircraft weapons sophisticated enough to shoot down the high-altitude planes. On May 1,1960, a U-2 flight piloted by Francis Gary Powers disappeared while on a flight over Russia.
  • Khrushchev Meets with Eisenhower after U-2 Incident

    Khrushchev Meets with Eisenhower after U-2 Incident
    When Eisenhower and Khrushchev arrived in Paris to begin a summit meeting on May 16, tensions were still high from the U-2 plane incident. Khrushchev immediately declared that Eisenhower would not be welcome in Russia during his scheduled visit to the Soviet Union in June. He condemned the “inadmissible, provocative actions” of the United States in sending the spy plane over the Soviet Union, and demanded that Eisenhower ban future flights and punish those responsible.
  • Bay of Pigs Invasion

    Bay of Pigs Invasion
    On April 17, the Cuban-exile invasion force, known as Brigade 2506, landed at beaches along the Bay of Pigs and immediately came under heavy fire. Cuban planes strafed the invaders, sank two escort ships, and destroyed half of the exile's air support. Bad weather hampered the ground force, which had to work with soggy equipment and insufficient ammunition.
  • President Kennedy Approves More Troops to Vietnam

    President Kennedy Approves More Troops to Vietnam
    President Kennedy approves sending 400 Special Forces troops and 100 other U.S. military advisers to South Vietnam. On the same day, he orders the start of clandestine warfare against North Vietnam to be conducted by South Vietnamese agents under the direction and training of the CIA and U.S. Special Forces troops.
  • Construction of Berlin Wall

    Construction of Berlin Wall
    In Berlin alone, 3.6 million people fled to the west. To stop this, on August 13, 1961, the Communist government of East Germany built a wall separating East and West Berlin. The wall was built to keep the country's people in.