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The Cold War

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    Cold War

  • Harry S. Truman as president

    Harry S. Truman as president
    Harry Truman takes over as president and establishes his position to Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov.
  • Hiroshima atomic bomb

    Hiroshima atomic bomb
    United States drops the first atomic bomb in Hiroshima, Japan.
  • Nagasaki atomic bomb

    Nagasaki atomic bomb
    United States drops a second atomic bomb in Nagasaki, Japan
  • Japan surrender

    Japan surrender
    The surrender of Japan brought the end of World War II
  • Iron Curtain speech

    Iron Curtain speech
    Winston Churchill was at Westminster College in Missouri when he delivered his “Iron Curtain” speech. Officially titled “The Sinews of Peace”, this speech popularized the phrase “Iron Curtain” in terms of the Soviet Bloc. This was a marked difference in the way the West had viewed the Soviet Union’s growing control in Europe.
  • Yalta Conference

    Yalta Conference
    All three leaders were trying to establish an agenda for governing post-war Germany. Churchill's attitude towards the Soviet Union differed vastly from that of Roosevelt, with the former believing Stalin to be a "devil"-like tyrant leading a vile system
  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    The Truman Doctrine was an international-relations policy set forth by the U.S. President Harry S. Truman in a speech stating that the U.S. would support Greece and Turkey with economic and military aid to prevent their falling into the Soviet sphere.
  • Czechoslovak coup d´état

    Czechoslovak coup d´état
    the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, with Soviet backing, assumed undisputed control over the government of Czechoslovakia, ushering in over four decades of dictatorship under its rule.
  • Marshall Plan

    Marshall Plan
    The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was the American program to aid Europe, in which the United States gave monetary support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II in order to prevent the spread of Soviet Communism
  • Berlin Blockade

    Berlin Blockade
    The Berlin Blockade begins as Soviet forces close off Berlin to the West. The Western Nations created the Berlin Airlift to fly in supplies to West Berliners and circumvent the blockade. This was one of the first tense moments in the Cold War.
  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization
    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was ratified on April 4, 1949. The United States and 11 other nations signed the treaty that was designed as a mutual defense pact against Soviet aggression.
  • Mao Zedong takes control

    Mao Zedong takes control
    The Communist leader, Mao Zedong takes control of China and declares it to be The People’s Republic of China. Though China now aligned itself politically with the Soviet Union, the relationship was never a close one.
  • Soviet Union's first atomic bomb

    Soviet Union's first atomic bomb
    The Soviet Union shocked the West by exploding its first atomic bomb. With the realization that the Soviet Union now had atomic weapons capability, Truman called for an arms build up by the United States. The Arms Race began.
  • The Federal Civil Defense Administration

    The Federal Civil Defense Administration
    The Federal Civil Defense Administration was established to encourage the building of bomb shelters and disseminate information on how to protect oneself in the event of nuclear attack.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower as president.

     Dwight D. Eisenhower as president.
    An armistice was signed after Dwight D. Eisenhower won his presidential election on a platform of ending the war. Casualties had been heavy on both sides and little was accomplished by the war.
  • Geneva Accords

    Geneva Accords
    The Geneva Accords ended conflict between the French colonial government and Vietnamese Communist Nationalists. It also split Vietnam at the 17th. The United States is one of the few nations that continues to support anti-Communist activities in the region.
  • Warsaw Pact

    Warsaw Pact
    The Warsaw Pact was formed as a response to NATO. Eastern Bloc countries signed an agreement of mutual protection, under which they would come to each other’s aid in the event of outside aggression.
  • Sputnik

    The Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite into orbit.
  • Nikita Krushchev

    Nikita Krushchev
    Khrushchev demanded the withdrawal of Western troops from Berlin. When his demands were not met, Khrushchev approved the building of the Berlin Wall, which divided East and West Berlin.
  • Fidel Castro

    Fidel Castro
    After leading a nationalistic revolution, Fidel Castro took power in Cuba. He declared himself a Marxist-Leninist and formed an alliance with the Soviet Union. One of his first acts in power was to nationalize American companies.
  • John F. Kennedy

    John F. Kennedy
    After an extremely close election, John F. Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon to become president of the United States.
  • Bay of Pigs

    Bay of Pigs
    The Bay of Pigs Invasion was a CIA operation that had been planned during the Eisenhower administration. It was supposed to support Cuban rebels against Castro. After support was pulled during the invasion and a cover-up was attempted, the horribly, botched exercise proved to be an embarrassment for the Kennedy administration.
  • Berlin division

    East German authorities closed the border between East and West Berlin. They then cut off West Berlin by closing many of the crossing points which gave it access to the rest of East Germany.
  • Berlin Wall

    Berlin Wall
    Construction of the 96 mile Berlin Wall began. The wall dividing East and West Berlin reached a height of about 11.8 feet in most places and was topped with barbed wire.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    Cuban Missile Crisis
    The Cuban Missile Crisis provided some of the tensest moments of the Cold War. Khrushchev had installed Soviet missiles in Cuba and Kennedy’s government insisted that they be removed. Both sides held their ground for 14 days until Khrushchev relented. This time has been noted as the closest the world had ever been to nuclear war.
  • JFK assesinated.

    JFK assesinated.
    While riding in an open car through Dallas, Texas, President Kennedy was assassinated by Harvey Lee Oswald.
  • US invasion

    US invasion
    U.S. forces invaded the Dominican Republic, after the leftist leader, Juan Bosch was elected. Lyndon B. Johnson feared the birth of another Cuba.
  • Prague Spring

    Prague Spring
    In an incident known as “Prague Spring,” Soviet troops were sent into Czechoslovakian to put an end to a revolt that was started by a reform movement.
  • Neil Armstrong

    Neil Armstrong
    The world watched as American astronaut, Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the moon. Apollo 11’s moon landing put the United States ahead in the space race.
  • War in Vietnam

    War in Vietnam
    President Nixon brings the war in Vietnam to Cambodia through bombings and covert operations to hunt Vietnamese troops. The real extent of the bombings weren’t known until classified documents were revealed many years later.
  • Strategic Arms Limitation Talks

    Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
    The first series of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I) take place between Nixon and Brezhnev. Under the SALT I agreements, the existing number of ballistic missile launchers was frozen.
  • Salvador Allende

    Salvador Allende
    Salvador Allende, the Communist president of Chile was overthrown in a coup orchestrated by General Augusto Pinochet. The United States provided financial and military support for the overthrow.
  • Egypt and Syria

    Egypt and Syria
    Egypt and Syria coordinated a joint attack on Israel on Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement. Egypt’s request for Soviet aid was later dropped when it became apparent that Israel would not be defeated.
  • South Vietnam defeated

    The president of South Vietnam was forced to resign and admit defeat at the hands of North Vietnam. He accused the United States of betrayal for failing to deliver promised military and financial aid.

    The SALT II treaty was signed by Brezhnev and President Carter, but was not ratified due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Soviets agreed to abide by the terms of the unratified treaty, but Reagan later accused them of breaking their resolution.
  • Strategic Defense Initiative

    Strategic Defense Initiative
    President Reagan introduced and proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). Also known as “Star Wars”, SDI was intended to intercept Soviet missiles at various stages of their flight.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev

    Mikhail Gorbachev
    Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Unio
  • Iran-Contra Affair

    Iran-Contra Affair
    The details of the Iran-Contra Affair were revealed to the public and congressional investigations ensued.
  • Soviet Union admits defeat

    Soviet Union admits defeat
    After many casualties and little success, the Soviet Union was forced to admit defeat in Afganistan and withdraw its troops.
  • Poland's Independence

    Poland's Independence
    Poland’s solidarity movement was successful and Poland gained independence
  • Hungary independent

    Hungary independent
    In a peaceful revolution, the Communist party of Hungary was voted out of office and Hungary became independent.
  • Boris Yeltsin

    Boris Yeltsin
    Boris Yeltsin, who had been seen as a radical reformer within the Soviet government, resigned from the Communist party. After becoming a rival to Gorbachev, he was elected as President of Russia.
  • Germany reunification

    Germany reunification
    East and West Germany were reunited under one government.
  • End of Cold War

    End of Cold War
    Hardline Communists within the Soviet Union staged a botched coup against Gorbachev. The result was that the Communist Party was weakened and the Soviet Union crumbled. The Cold War was over.