By 7673
  • Japan Declares Korea Protectorate

    Japan Declares Korea Protectorate
    Japan declares a protectorate over Korea.
  • Japan Annexes Korea

    Japan Annexes Korea
    Japan formally annexes Korea as a colony. Japanese investments begin to flow inot the new colony, turning it into a source of industrial and agricutural wealth for Japan.
  • Postdam and Korea

    Postdam and Korea
    By mutual agreemeent as the Postdam Conference, the United States and the Soviet Union make plans to jointly occupy Korea following the defeat of Japan. Soiet troops will occupy the northern portion fo the country while the United States will takes the southern half, with the 38th parallel serving as the dividing line between the two zones of occupation.
  • Japanese Occupation

    Japanese Occupation
    Japan sweeps away French rule in Indochina. In Vietnam, it places Emperor Bao Dai in power, creating the illusion of an independent Vietnamese state.
  • Roosevelt dies

    Roosevelt dies
    President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies of a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Georgia. With the death of President Roosevelt, Vice President Harry S. Truman becomes the 33rd President of the United States.
  • Nagasaki

    A second atomic bomb is dropped in Nagasaki.
  • Russians Arrive in Korea

    Russians Arrive in Korea
    In the last s=days of WWII, Russians begin moving into northern Korea. There are not yet American troops on the peninsula.
  • V-J Day

    V-J Day
    Japan surrenders to the Allies, this is officially the end of WWII.
  • Japan Surrenders

    Japan Surrenders
    Japan surrenders to the Allied Powers, officially ending World War II.
  • August Revolt

    August Revolt
    Under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, the Viet Minh revolts against Emperor Bao Dai, Japan's hand-selected ruler.
  • 38th Parallel

    38th Parallel
    Soviet forces complete their occupation of northern Korea, halting teir southward advance through the counrty exactly at the 38th parallel, as agreed at the Postdam Conference, The Soviets will wait patiently for several weeks as the Americans hastily organize their own occupation of South Korea.
  • Ho Chi Minh Leads Viet Minh

    Ho Chi Minh Leads Viet Minh
    Emperor Bao Dai surrenders leadership to Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh.
  • Democratic Republic of Vietnam Declared in Hanoi

    Democratic Republic of Vietnam Declared in Hanoi
    Viet Minh leaders proclaim the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, with Hanoi its capital and Ho Chi Minh its president. No other countries recognize this regime.
  • US in Seoul

    US in Seoul
    American forces finally reach Seoul, where they accept the Japanese surrender of southern Korea.
  • Viet Minh Leaves South

    Viet Minh Leaves South
    The British land in Saigon to disarm the Japanese and to restore French control south of the seventeenth parallel, in what will become known as South Vietnam. After some fighting, the Viet Minh withdraws.
  • Ho Chi Minh Asks the US for Support

    Ho Chi Minh Asks the US for Support
    Ho Chi Minh pens a letter to President Harry S. Truman, asking him for the support of the United States in gaining independence for Vietnam.
  • Iron Curtain Speech

    Iron Curtain Speech
    British prime minister Winston Churchill gives his famous "Iron Curtain Speech" at a college graduation in Fulton, Missouri: "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere."
  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    In a speech later remembered as the "Truman Doctrine," President Harry S. Truman pledges American assistance to any nation in the world threatened by Communism, officially establishing the worldwide containment of Communism as a vital American national security interest.
  • USA leaves Korea

    USA leaves Korea
    American forces begin to prepare to withdraw from Korea, hoping to leave the South as an independent state under the leadership of the pro-American conservative Dr. Syngman Rhee.
  • US Supporst French Vietnam

    US Supporst French Vietnam
    Under President Harry S. Truman, the United States begins to contribute money and supplies to the French war effort in Vietnam.
  • Syngman Rhee Elected

    Syngman Rhee Elected
    South Korea holds its first elections. With the Communists and other anti-Rhee factions boycotting the vote and challenging its legitimacy, Dr. Syngman Rhee wins easily, positioning himself to become South Korea's first president
  • Truman Desegregates Military

    President Truman desegrates the US Armed Forces by signing Executive Order 9981. The order states, "It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin." In order to implement this policy, the order also establishes the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and opportunity in the Armed Services.
  • Republic of Korea

    Dr. Syngman Rhee's South Korean regime proclaims itself the independent Republic of Korea, denying the legitimacy of North Korea and claiming sovereignty over the entire Korean Peninsula.
  • Democratic People's Rebublic of Korea

    Communist North Korea, led by Kim Il Sung, proclaims itself the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, denying the legitimacy of South Korea and claiming sovereignty over the entire Korean Peninsula.
  • Truman Reelected

    President Harry S. Truman is elected to a second term.
  • Elysée Agreement

    Bao Dai signs the Elysée Agreement, which gives Vietnam "independence" within the French Union. Still, the French retain control over all key governmental functions.
  • Ho Chi Minh Meets French

    Ho Chi Minh Meets French
    Negotiations between French leaders and Ho Chi Minh break down. France refuses to grant Vietnamese independence and declares the southern region of Vietnam a French colony. Ho Chi Minh returns to Hanoi disenchanted
  • Dean Achesin Declares Defensive Perimeter

    Dean Achesin Declares Defensive Perimeter
    In a speech, Secretary of States Dean Acheson pledges that the United States will fight to defend all territory within its "defensive perimeter," which he defines to include Japan, and the Philippines—but not Korea. Soviet leader Josef Stalin misinterprets this speech to mean that he can green-light North Korean leader Kim Il Sung's "liberation" of South Korea with little risk of intervention by the United States.
  • China recognizes Vietnam

    China recognizes Vietnam
    The People's Republic of China, now a Communist state, recognizes Ho Chi Minh's government, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam
  • Soviet Recognizes Vietnam

    Soviet Recognizes Vietnam
    The Soviet Union recognizes Ho Chi Minh's government, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

    The United States recognizes Bao Dai's government, the Republic of Vietnam, and gives France $15 million in military aid.
  • Stalin Approves Korean Invasion

    Stalin Approves Korean Invasion
    North Korean leader Kim Il Sung goes to Moscow to ask Soviet leader Josef Stalin's permission to invade South Korea and begin the Korean War. Stalin gives the green light because he believes the United States has little interest in Korea.
  • 1950 Korean Election

    1950 Korean Election
    President Syngman Rhee's unpopular conservative faction loses its control over the South Korean assembly when voters elect anti-Rhee moderates to office in the 1950 elections. Rhee remains president.
  • Battle at Osan

    Battle at Osan
    American ground troops go itno battle against Northern Korean forces at Osan (just south of Seoul on the western side of the peninsula). The Americans, expecting an easy victory over an overmatched foe, are stunned to discover that the North Korean army will be a formidable adversary. The Americans suffer 150 casualties in the battle and fail to halt the North Koreans' southward advance.
  • North Korea Invades

    North Korea Invades
    Communist North Korean troopes launch a full-scale invasion of the South, beginning the open military phase of the Korean War. North Korean tanks and infantry surge across the 38th parallel into South Korean territory, quickly overrunning the defensive positions of overmatched South Korean forces. The Communists continue their southward advance, meeting little resistance in the countryside.
  • Syngman Rhee and the Summer of Terror

    Syngman Rhee and the Summer of Terror
    In response to North Korea's invasion of his country, South Korean president Syngman Rhee orders his military and special police forces to eliminate the threat posed to his regime by political prisoners and leftist dissidents, whom he fears will join forces with the Communist invaders. In the so-calles "Summer of terror" that follows, Rhee's force will execute more than 100,000 people.
  • Truman meets at the Blair House

    Truman meets at the Blair House
    While the situation in Korea rapidly deteriorates, President Truman convenes two days' worth of hugh-level meetings at Wahsington, D.C's Blair House (his temporary residence while the White House undergoes renovations). In consultation with top officials of the State and Defense Departments, Truman makes the critical decision to offer military aid to South Korea without seeking an official declaration of war from Congress.
  • US and UN condemn North Korea

    US and UN condemn North Korea
    In the morning, President Truman issues a statment announcing to the American public the decision made at Blair House on 25 and 26 June: "I have ordered United States air and sea forces to give the Korean Government troops cover and support." In the afternoon, the United Nations Security Council (temporarily boycotted by the Soviet Union) passes an America-drafted resolution condemning North Korea as the aggressor in the conflict.
  • North Korea Captures Seoul

    North Korea Captures Seoul
    North Korean forces capture the South Korean capital city of Seoul.
  • North Korea Advances to Daejeon

    North Korea Advances to Daejeon
    ommunist forces continue their southward advance through the Korean peninsula, driving American forces back to Daejeon, 100 miles south of Seoul.
  • Retreat to Pusan Perimeter

    American and South Korean forces end more than a month of retreat by establishing, finally, a stable defensive line outside the city of Pusan, at the far southeastern tip of the peninsula. The shattered remnants of the South Koreean army and the entire American force in Korea crowd into the tiny area behind the so-called Pusan Perimeter; the entire rest of the country, more than 90% of Korea's land area, is now under Communist control.
  • MacArthur and teh Inchon landing

    General MacArthur orchestrates one of the great tactical victories in American military history, a massive amphibious landing of thousands of soldiers and Marines at Inchon, a city located along Korea's west coast not far from Seoul, hundreds of miles behind enemy lines. MacArthur's audacious Inchon Landing catches the North Koreans completely by surprise, allowing the Americans to cut vital lines of supply to the Communist troops farther south at Pusan, forcing them into a desperate retreat.
  • US Military Advisors in Saigon

    The first group of U.S. military advisors—the U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG)—arrives in Saigon.
  • Truman Authorizes Advance

    President Truman authorizes General MacArthur to order his forces to pursue the retreating North Koreans across the 38th parallel, into North Korean territory. This decision marks a fundamental enlargement in American war arms, now expanded from merely rescuing South Korea to rolling back the Communist regime in North Korea. Truman's orders direct MacArthur to keep pushing northward as long as he does not encounter Soviet or Chinese opposition and he remains confident of victory.
  • US Reaches Pyongyang

    The US First Calvary Division enters Pyongyang, the North Korean capital. The jubilant American soldiers are convinced that victory in the broader war is near, taking bets on exactly when they will be able to ship out for home.
  • Chinese Cross the Yalu

    Communist Chinese forces, who have been secretly infiltrating Korean territory by slipping across the Yalu River under cover of darkness, ambush a South Korean regiment high in the mountains of North Korea. This is the first of many Chinese victories over unprepared and overstretched South Korean and American units over the winter of 1950-51.
  • China Enters the Korean War

    Chinese leader Mao Zedong, fearful of the consequences of hostile American forces taking up positions along his country's border at the Yalu River, orders hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers into battle in Korea. The massive Chinese intervention into the Korean conflict catches American military leaders completely off guard, leading to a series of crushing defeats. American prospects in the Korean War deteriorate rapidly, as hopes of imminent victory give way to a desperate struggle to avo
  • Korean War Stalemate

    In the first half of 1950, the war in Korea begins to settle into stalemate, the year begins with surging Communist forces driving American and South Korean troops into a desperate southward retreat. By springtime, however, American forces organize a successful defensive line not far from the 38th parallel, halting the Chinese advance. Both sides launch a series of offensives aimed at breaking through the increasingly entrenched lines of battle, but neither can make much headway.
  • Peace Talks Drag

    With the Korean War seemingly settling into a bloody stalemate, the United Nations passes a resolution calling for a negotiated end to the conflict. The first peace talks between American, Chinese, North Korean, and South Korean negotiators will begin in August 1951, but will drag on for nearly two years. More than half of the 36,000 American soldiers killed in the Korean War will lose their lives after the beginning of the peace talks.
  • MacArthur Rebukes Truman

    General MacArthur—frustrated by the Truman administration's strategy of limited war in Korea, which precludes him from attacking China directly or making use of nuclear weapons—makes an unauthorized public statement threatening the Chinese with imminent destruction if they do not withdraw from Korea. In Washington, President Truman and his Joint Chiefs of Staff conclude that MacArthur has become dangerously insubordinate, liable to do or say something so provocative it will drag the United State
  • Douglas MacArthur Writes Congress

    House Minority Leader Joseph W. Martin, a Republican from Massachusetts, reads a letter from General MacArthur. It is a private letter but MacArthur has given no instructions with regard to confidentiality, so Martin reads it into the Congressional Record for the benefit of the American people. In the letter, MacArthur recommends "meeting force with maximum counterforce" in Korea—comments construed to mean that the general favors the use of Chinese Nationalist troops from Taiwan in the fighting
  • Truman and Cabinet Discuss MacArthur

    Following the public announcement of General MacArthur's belligerent comments, President Truman calls a meeting with cabinet members to discuss the situation.
  • Matthew Ridgway Replaces Douglas MacArthur

    President Truman and his advisers agree the time has come to relieve General MacArthur from his command. General Matthew Ridgway will replace MacAthur as Supreme Commander in Korea.
  • Truman Fires MacArthur

    The White House makes a special late-night announcement that General Douglas MacArthur has been relieved of his duties. MacArthur learns of his firing when one of his aides hears the radio broadcast at headquarters and telephones the general's residence in Tokyo to tell him.
  • Truman Speaks to the Nation

    In a statement broadcast nationally on radio and television, President Truman explains why he has relieved General MacArthur of his position as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. He does not discuss the General's comments or the constitutional issues pertaining to MacArthur's insubordination, but instead stresses the American goal in Korea to avoid a third world war, and states that "a number of events have made it evident that General MacArthur did not agree with that policy.
  • MacArthur is Praised

    General MacArthur returns to the United States, arriving in San Francisco to a hero's welcome. In these early days of the Truman-MacArthur dispute, the American people seem to be siding with MacArthur. Truman's public-approval ratings plummet below 25 percent.
  • MacArthur Addresses Congress

    General MacArthur, addressing a joint meeting of Congress, receives a standing ovation from a bipartisan majority of the legislators packed into the House chamber. Only a few Democrats loyal to President Truman do not stand to applaud the general. MacArthur, speaking from a prepared text, reiterates his belief in the need to take any measures necessary to achieve total victory in Korea. Over his course of his 34-minute speech he is interrupted 30 times because of applause.
  • MacArthur Recieves Ticker-Tape Parade

    In New York City, an estimated 7.5 million people turn out to cheer for General MacArthur as he parades through the city in the back of an open Chrysler. The streets are so thronged with supporters that it takes MacArthur's motorcade more than seven hours to cover the 19.5-mile parade route, from the Battery to St. Patrick's Cathedral and back again.
  • MacArthur Hearings

    The Senate Foreign Realtions and Armed Services committees begin joint hearings to investigate the dismissal of General MacArthur. Republican congressmen demand the hearings in hopes of vindicating their fallen hero, but the subsequent testimony ends up discrediting him more than restoring his reputation. Through more than a month of hearings, MacArthur's arrogance, recklessness, and insubordination are clearly revealed; most Americans come to believe that Truman was correct to remove MacArthur.
  • Eisenhower Elected

    Eisenhower Elected
    In the American presidential election, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower receives more votes—almost 34 million—than any previous candidate in American history. Eisenhower, a retired generral and WWII hero, has built his campaign largely around a promise to pursue an honorable truce in the Korean War to allow the withdrawal of American combat forces as soon as possible.
  • Korean War Armistice

    Korean War Armistice
    After nearly two years of negotiations, diplomats from the United States, North Korea, and China reach agreement on an armistice to end the "UN peace action" in Korea without a formal peace treaty. Both sides claim victory; Korea remains divided at the 38th parallel.
  • Peace Villiage Talks Fail

    Peace Villiage Talks Fail
    Diplomats from China, North Korea and the United States convene in Panmujam- the so-called "Peace Village" located on the border between North and South Korea at the 38th parallel—to plan a political conference to reach agreement on a final, permanent peace treaty to end the war. Even this preliminary planning breaks down amidst angry accusations and counter-accusations from both sides.
  • Eisenhower Rejects Troop Committment

    Eisenhower Rejects Troop Committment
    President Eisenhower refuses to commit American troops to the Franco-Vietnamese War. In a press conference he states, "I cannot conceive of a greater tragedy for America than to get heavily involved now in an all-out war in any of those regions."
  • Eisenhower Rejects Troop Committment

    Eisenhower Rejects Troop Committment
    President Eisenhower refuses to commit American troops to the Franco-Vietnamese War. In a press conference he states, "I cannot conceive of a greater tragedy for America than to get heavily involved now in an all-out war in any of those regions.
  • Dien Bien Phu Begins

    Dien Bien Phu Begins
    The Viet Minh launches its first assault on French forces at Dien Bien Phu. The battle will rage for over two months.
  • Dien Bien Phu Begins

    Dien Bien Phu Begins
    The Viet Minh launches its first assault on French forces at Dien Bien Phu. The battle will rage for over two months.
  • Eisenhower Debates Intervention

    Eisenhower Debates Intervention
    President Eisenhower's administration revisits the question of direct intervention in the Franco-Vietnamese War.
  • Nixon Supports Troop Committment

    Nixon Supports Troop Committment
    In a speech before the press, Vice President Richard Nixon explains that "if to avoid further Communist expansion in Asia and Indochina we must take the risk now of putting our boys in, I think the Executive has to take the politically unpopular decision and do it."
  • French Surrender

    French Surrender
    The French surrender to the Viet Minh. The Geneva Conference on the status of Indochina begins.

    Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower is elected President of the United States. Richard M. Nixon is elected as his Vice President.
  • MacArthur Rebukes Truman

    MacArthur Rebukes Truman
    General MacArthur—frustrated by the Truman administration's strategy of limited war in Korea, which precludes him from attacking China directly or making use of nuclear weapons—makes an unauthorized public statement threatening the Chinese with imminent destruction if they do not withdraw from Korea. In Washington, President Truman and his Joint Chiefs of Staff conclude that MacArthur has become dangerously insubordinate, liable to do or say something so provocative it will drag the United State
  • The Vietnam War Ends

    The costs and casualties of the growing war proved too much for the United States to bear, and U.S. combat units were withdrawn by 1973. In 1975, South Vietnam fell to a full-scale invasion by the North. The human costs of the long conflict were harsh for all involved.
  • Truman to Fire MacArthur

    Truman to Fire MacArthur
    The Senate passes legislation reaffirming to scope and purpose of a unified NATO and authorizes President Truman to send four American divisions to be stationed in Europe. Truman now feels free to fire MacArthur.
  • Bao Dai Appoints

    Bao Dai Appoints
    Bao Dai names Ngo Dinh Diem the new leader of what will become South Vietnam.
  • First Indochina War

    First Indochina War
    The Viet Minh attacks French forces occupying Hanoi in northern Vietnam. The First Indochina War, also called the Franco-Vietnamese War, begins