End of World War II, as post-war plans, Stalin demands a sphere of control in Central to Eastern Europe.
Stalin’s Election Speech
In Stalin’s election speech of 1946 he states that communism and capitalism is not compatible, and that war is inevitable. Winston Churchill warns of an Iron Curtain descending on Europe.
Containment of Communism
Stalin invades Czechoslovakia, Truman then creates a Loyalty Program to catch Russian spies. And the Brussel’s pact was organized to protect Europe from communism.
Communism in China and Russia’s Atom Bomb
The communist Mao Zedong takes control of China and establishes the People’s Republic of China. Russia successfully tested its first atomic bomb, worsening fears of nuclear war in America.
The Korean War
The Korean War begins, Stalin supports North Korea who invades South Korea with Soviet weapons.
Nuclear Arms Race
Britain develops A-bombs in 1952, America tests 11 atomic bombs in Nevada of 1953. Later in 1954 the H-bomb is developed.
Communist Countries Unhappy
June 29 USSR sends tanks to Poland to put down a demonstration by workers. On September 4 the USSR sends military aid to Afghanistan. A rebellion is suppressed by forces in Hungary.
Beginning of The Space Race
It began in 1957 when Russia launched their Vostok rocket. Soon after launching Sputnik and Sputnik II.
In 1958 America launches the Explorer I, and the Mercury project is started using the Atlas Rocket.
Communist Cuba and JFK
Fidel Castro took control of Cuba, Cuba aligns itself with the Soviet Union and their policy.
John F. Kennedy is elected president of the US.
Bay of Pigs and the Berlin Wall
Cuban exiles invaded Cuba, attempting to overthrow Fidel Castro’s rule and his communist policies.
The Berlin border is closed, and the construction of the Berlin Wall begins.
Cuban Missile Crisis
A series of tenses US and Soviet Union political engagements focused on the Soviets’ decision to install nuclear missiles in Cuba.
John F. Kennedy Assassinated
JFK was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, a communist American Marine who had defected to the USSR, but later returned to America.
U.S. Marines are sent to the Dominican Republic to fight Communism. Later in July it is announced 200,000 troops would be sent to Vietnam to do the same.
President Lyndon Johnson decides not to run for presidency again and Richard Nixon is elected president.
The Moon Landing
America won the Space Race when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Neil Armstrong became the first man to step foot on the moon.
The Pentagon Papers
The Pentagon Papers are publicized. They revealed that America was expanding the battle in Vietnam to bombing Cambodia and Laos, and planning coastal attacks on North Vietnam. The media was not aware of this information beforehand.
The SALT I is signed
The SALT I set limits of missile deployment sites for the Soviet Union and the United States, this marked the beginning of more friendly relations between the Soviet Union and the United States
Vietnam Cease Fire
After the settlements in Paris between Vietnam and the US, America called for a cease fire between the Vietnam and United States forces.
Communism Wins in Vietnam
North Vietnam defeated South Vietnam, what the United States had hoped for. Despite this, Vietnam still became a communist country. Meaning the war was a waste of time and resources for the United States.
Trouble in Iran
The Shah of Iran is overthrown and the Iranian Hostage Crisis begins.
The SALT II is signed
The SALT II was an agreement between the Soviet Union and the U.S. to keep an equal amount of nuclear strategic weapons, and a promise to work on reducing them in the future.
The Soviets Invade Afghanistan
Fearing a loss of a Communist proxy, the Soviets decide to invade Afghanistan in an effort to assist the existing communist government in putting down insurgencies.
Mikhail Gorbachev Becomes Leader of the Soviet Union
Mikhail Gorbachev is elected the leader of the Soviet Union. He initiates a campaign of openness called “glasnost” and a restructuring called “perestroika”.
Nuclear Missiles in Europe
President Reagan and Gorbachev agree to remove all nuclear weapons from Europe.
Gorbachev and Reagan resolve to remove all short and medium range missiles.
Soviets Withdraw from Afghanistan
Gorbachev announced that the Soviet Union had decided to withdraw from Afghanistan, an event which had almost drove US and Soviet relations to the breaking point 8 years ago.
Poland Gains Independence
Poland decides to leave the Soviet Union after 49 years of being a part of it.
Hungary Becomes Independent
Hungary leaves the Soviet Union after socialist rule ends in their country.
The Berlin Wall Falls
The Berlin Wall is demolished, and unrestricted migration is allowed between East and West Germany. The Soviet Union declares they will not interfere. With Germany’s reunification, many European countries begin to dissolve their communist cores.
Communist governments fall in Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Rumania.
End of the Cold War
As the Soviet Union dissolved itself the Cold War officially came to an end and the Iron Curtain over Europe was lifted.