History Timeline

  • Era of McCarthyism begins

    American politician who served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957.
  • House Un-American Activities Committee formed

    Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, established in 1938 under Martin Dies as chairman, that conducted investigations through the 1940s and '50s into alleged communist activities.
  • Yalta Conference

    Yalta Conference
    Major World War 2 conference of the three allied leaders.
  • Potsdam Conference

    Potsdam Conference
    The "Big Three" leaders met at Potsdam, Germany, near Berlin. In this, the last of the World War II heads of state conferences, President Truman, Soviet Premier Stalin and British Prime Ministers Churchill and Atlee discussed post-war arrangements in Europe, frequently without agreement.
  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    The Truman Doctrine is the common name for the Cold War strategy of containment versus the Soviet Union and the expansion of communism. This doctrine was first promulgated by President Harry Truman in an address to the U.S. Congress on February 27, 1947.
  • Marshall Plan

    Marshall Plan
    The Marshall Plan was the primary program, 1948–51, of the United States for rebuilding and creating a stronger economic foundation for the countries of Western Europe, and repelling the threat of internal communism after World War II.
  • Berlin Airlift

    Berlin Airlift
    Western Allies organized the Berlin Airlift to carry supplies to the people in West Berlin.
  • NATO formation

    NATO formation
    For its first few years, NATO was not much more than a political association. However, the Korean War galvanized the member states, and an integrated military structure was built up under the direction of two U.S. supreme commanders.
  • North Korean Invasion of South Korea

    North Korean Invasion of South Korea
    The Korean War was a military conflict between the Republic of Korea, supported by the United Nations, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union.
  • 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.
  • 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 formation

    Warsaw Pact formation
    The countries which signed the East European Mutual Assistance Treaty in Warsaw in 1955: Albania, Bulgaria,
  • Sputnik 1 Launched

    Was the first Earth-orbiting artificial satellite
  • First American in Space

    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

    A concrete barrier built by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) that completely enclosed the city of West Berlin, separating it from East Germany, including East Berlin.
  • First Man in Space

    Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin became the first human in outer space and the first to orbit the Earth.
  • First Man on the Moon

    Neal Amrstrong is an American aviator and a former astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor, and United States Naval Aviator. He was the first person to set foot on the Moon.