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The Cold War

  • Alger Hiss Case

    Alger Hiss Case
    Alger Hiss, a U.S. State Department official, was accused of spying for the Soviet Union, imprisoned and was eventually convicted of two counts of perjury, but never of convicted of espionage. In 1996, shortly after Hiss's death, a collection of documents were declassified, many of which referring to a spy under the code name "Ales". The information contained in the documents has lead analysts at the National Security Agency to conclude that Ales could only have been Alger Hiss.
  • The Russian Revolution

    The Russian Revolution
    The Russian revolution began on March 8, 1917 and lasted until November 7th of the same year. The revolution began as a riot due to a lack of food and ended with the monarchy being overthrown. This was a violent period of time and marked "the end of the Romanov dynasty and centuries of Russian Imperial rule" ( It was a significant event of the 12th century as it lead to a change in the way people thought of the economy, society and the government in Russia.
  • The Berlin Airlift

    The Berlin Airlift
    At the end of WWII, Allied powers decided to split Germany into four “allied occupation zones”. Soviets soon became unhappy with the agreement and blocked all access to food and water from the allies during the Berlin Blockade. The Allies then decided they would supply their sectors of Berlin from the air. "Allied cargo planes would use open air corridors over the Soviet occupation zone to deliver food, fuel and other goods to the people who lived in the western part of the city ("
  • The Iron Curtain

    The Iron Curtain
    Initially a non-physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from 1945 until 1991. The term symbolizes the "efforts by the Soviet Union to block itself and its satellite states from open contact with the West and its allied states" (
  • The Potsdam Conference

    The Potsdam Conference
    The Potsdam Conference was the last of the World War II meetings and was help by the "Big Three", Harry S. Truman, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin in Potsdam, Germany on July 17, 1945. Although there were numerous disagreements between the leaders, the did come to the conclusion to demilitarize and disarm Germany and split it into four zones, controlled by the allies.
  • The Atomic Bombs at Nagasaki/Hiroshima

    The Atomic Bombs at Nagasaki/Hiroshima
    The United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945. The first bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima, Japan and immediately killed an estimated 80,000 people, with tens of thousands dying or suffering with the affects of radiation for decades. The second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki and killed another 40,000 people. Japan’s Emperor Hirohito then announced his country’s unconditional surrender due to the attack.
  • The Long Telegram

    The Long Telegram
    George Kennan, the American charge d’affaires in Moscow, sent the "Long Telegram", an 8,000-word telegram to the Department of State "detailing his views on the Soviet Union, and U.S. policy toward the communist stat" ( The Clifford-Elsey reports took the facts and decided how they affected the world and how the US should act on their new knowledge.
  • The Molotov Plan

    The Molotov Plan
    The Molotov Plan was a system created by the Soviet Union in order to provide aid and help rebuild the countries in Eastern Europe that were politically and economically aligned to the Soviet Union. The plan was designed as a refusal to accept aid from the Marshall Plan, because of the belief that the US was using it an attempt to weaken Soviets and making beneficiary countries economically dependent on the United States.
  • Hollywood Ten

    Hollywood Ten
    10 members of the Hollywood film industry publicly denounced the tactics employed by an investigative committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, during its probe of alleged communist influence in the American motion picture business. "These prominent screenwriters and directors, who became known as the Hollywood Ten, received jail sentences and were banned from working for the major Hollywood studios (
  • The Truman Doctrine

    The Truman Doctrine
    An American foreign policy whose stated purpose was to "provide political, military and economic assistance to all democratic nations under threat from external or internal authoritarian forces" ( The Truman Doctrine effectively reoriented foreign policy by changing the US' usual standpoint of retreating from conflicts that didn't directly influence the, to one that provided a possible intervention by the US in far away conflicts
  • Berlin Blockade

    Berlin Blockade
    The Soviet Union's attempt to force allies to vacate their Post-WWII jurisdictions in West Berlin. The allies refused and instead created one economic unit, leading Soviet representative to leave the Allied Control Council and the Soviet forces in Eastern Germany began a blockade of all communications between Berlin and the West. Allies agreed to release the areas from their control and on June 26 the United States and Britain were able to begin supplying food and other vital supplies by air.
  • The Marshall Plan

    The Marshall Plan
    Named after it's creator, U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the Marshall Plan was also known as the European Recovery Program. The program was created as an attempt to provide aid to Western Europe following the devastation of World War II. Enacted in 1948, the Marshall plan provided more than $15 billion to help finance rebuilding efforts on the continent
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

    North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
    An international political and military alliance that consists of 29 member states from North America and Europe. It was established at the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on April 4, 1949, in the aftermath of the Second World War. Its purpose was to secure peace in Europe, to promote cooperation among its members and guard their freedom.
  • First Soviet Bomb Test

    First Soviet Bomb Test
    Internally code named "First Lightning" and known by American forces as "Joe 1", the first Soviet atomic test was run on August 29, 1949 at the Semipalatinsk test site, which is located in modern-day Kazakhstan. The bomb had an uncanny resemblance to the US "Fat Man" bomb which was dropped on Nagasaki and was also a "plutonium-based implosion device" (
  • Korean War

    Korean War
    The Korean War began when 75,000 soldiers from North Korean crossed the boundary between the "Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south" ( This was the first military action of the cold war and in July, American troops joined the war on behalf of South Korea.
  • Rosenburg Trial

    Rosenburg Trial
    Julius Rosenberg was a key Soviet spy who passed along information to the Soviet Union and recruited Manhattan Project spies. He was U.S. citizen and electrical engineer. In 1951, he and his wife were tried and convicted of espionage for providing the Soviet Union with classified information. On March 6, 1951 their trial began in New York and lasted for nearly a month.
  • Battle of Dien Bien Phu

    Battle of Dien Bien Phu
    The Battle of Dien Bien Phu was the "decisive engagement" in the First Indochina War. The battle was fought between France and the Viet Minh over control for a small mountain outpost on the Vietnamese border near Laos and the Viet Minh's victory acted as an effective end the the eight year long war.
  • Army-McCarthy Hearings

    Army-McCarthy Hearings
    The Army-McCarthy hearings dominated national television from April to June 1954 and the publicized event made clear McCarthy's methods and manner, destroying his support and leading to his censure by the Senate on December 2, 1954. McCarthy had "turned his investigations to army security, but the army in turn charged him with using improper influence to win preferential treatment for a former staff member, Pvt. G. David Schine" (
  • Geneva Conference

    Geneva Conference
    A conference held in Geneva, Switzerland between many nations with hopes that they could settle ongoing issues related to the Korean War and the First Indochina War. The conference lasted from April 26, 1954 until July 21 of the same year.
  • The Warsaw Pact

    The Warsaw Pact
    The Warsaw pact, otherwise known as the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, was a "collective defense treaty signed in Warsaw, Poland between the Soviet Union and seven other Eastern Bloc socialist republics" from Central and Eastern Europe during the Cold War. The treaty required member states to come to the "defense of any member attacked by an outside force and it set up a unified military command under Marshal Ivan S. Konev of the Soviet Union" (
  • Hungarian Revolution

    Hungarian Revolution
    In October of 1956, thousands of Hungarians rose up against occupying Soviet forces during the battle from October 23 until November 10, 1956. During those three weeks, roughly 3,000 Hungarian civilians were brutally murdered in the fight for freedom.
  • The U2 Incident

    The U2 Incident
    The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics shot down an American U-2 spy plane in Soviet air space and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers and, after it was admitted that the CIA had been flying spy missions over the USSR for many years, Powers was convicted of espionage and sentenced him to 10 years in prison. However, after serving less than two years, he was released in exchange for a captured Soviet agent in the first-ever U.S.-USSR “spy swap.”
  • Bag of Pigs Invasion

    Bag of Pigs Invasion
    On January 1, 1959, Fidel Castro drove his guerilla army into Havana and overthrew General Fulgencio Batista, Cuba's American-backed president. In April 1961, the CIA launched a full-scale invasion of Cuba by 1,400 American-trained Cubans who had fled their homes when Castro took over. However, the invasion came to an end, with the invaders surrendering after less than 24 hours of fighting, due to being outnumbered by by Castro's troops.
  • The Berlin Wall

    The Berlin Wall
    On August 13, 1961, the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic began to build a barbed wire and concrete wall between East and West Berlin.They claimed that the wall kept "Western “fascists” from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state" (
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    Cuban Missile Crisis
    U.S. leaders and the Soviet Union engaged in a tense, 13-day political and military standoff in October 1962 over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles on Cuba. The missiles were stationed about 90 miles from U.S. shores and sent a wave of fear and panic through Americans all over the nation. US leaders avoided disaster by agreeing not invade Cuba in exchange for Cuba removing the missiles.
  • Assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem

    Assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem
    Ngo Dinh Diem, the president of South Vietnam and his brother and adviser, Ngo Dinh Nhu, were assassinated on November 2, 1963 in Ho Chi Mihn City. Their deaths were a major turning point in the war in Vietnam.
  • Assassination of JFK

    Assassination of JFK
    At 12:30 p.m. on November 22, 1963, 46 year old President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed while riding in his modercade on a visit to Dallas, Texas. After the shooting, the driver of the president’s vehicle raced to nearby Parkland Memorial Hospital, but Kennedy was pronounced dead at 1 p.m. By 2:15 pm, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for the assassination.
  • Tonkin Gulf Resolution

    Tonkin Gulf Resolution
    The Tonkin Gulf Resolution was the response to the response to an alleged attack on two U.S. naval destroyers stationed off the coast of Vietnam. On August 7, 1964 congress authorized President Johnson to “take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression” by the communist government of North Vietnam. (
  • Operation Rolling Thunder

    Operation Rolling Thunder
    "Operation Rolling Thunder" was the name given to the gradual and sustained bombing by the United States and Vietnam Air Force against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The operation lasted from March 2, 1965 until November 2 1968.
  • Election of Nixon

    Election of Nixon
    Richard Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 presidential election
  • The Tet Offensive

    The Tet Offensive
    A coordinated series of North Vietnamese attacks on more than 100 cities and outposts in South Vietnam as an attempt to encourage the United States to scale back its involvement in the Vietnam War and dissuade rebels from fighting back.
  • The Assassination of MLK

    The Assassination of MLK
    Martin Luther King, JR. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968 at a hotel where he was staying. MLK was standing on the 3rd floor balcony when a snipper's bullet struck King's throat. He was rushed to a local hospital but was soon pronounced dead.
  • Assassination of RFK

    Assassination of RFK
    American politician and lawyer, Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated on June 6, 1968 in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angles, California.
    Kennedy was shot with a .22 caliber revolver and was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
  • Invasion of Czechoslovakia

    Invasion of Czechoslovakia
    On August 20, 1968, the Soviet Union led troops in an invasion of Czechoslovakia in an attempt to crack down on reformist trends and while the action successfully halted the pace of reform in Czechoslovakia, it had unintended consequences for the unity of the communist bloc
  • Riots of Democratic Convention

    Riots of Democratic Convention
    The Democratic National Convention was held between August 26 and 28, 1968. The convention took place at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago, Illinois. Tens of thousands of protesters swarmed the streets to rally against the Vietnam War and the political status quo.
  • Kent State Shooting

    Kent State Shooting
    Four Kent State University students were killed and nine were injured on May 4, 1970, when members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a crowd gathered to protest the Vietnam War
  • Nixon visits China

    Nixon visits China
    President Richard Nixon's visit to the People's Republic of China in 1972 played a large roll in the Nixon administration's "resumption of harmonious relations between the United States and mainland China after years of diplomatic isolation" (
  • Ceasefire in Vietnam

    Ceasefire in Vietnam
    On January 15, 1973, President Richard Nixon ordered a ceasefire of the aerial bombings in North Vietnam. The decision came after Henry Kissinger, the National Security Affairs advisor to the president, returned to Washington, DC, from Paris, France, with a draft of a peace proposal.
  • The Fall of Saigon

    The Fall of Saigon
    The Fall of Saigon was the capture of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, by the People's Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong on April 30, 1975.
  • Reagan's Election

    Reagan's Election
    Ronald Reagan beat Republican nominee Jimmy Carter in the 1980 election held on Tuesday, November 4, 1980. Reagan would go on to become the highly influential voice of modern conservatism.
  • SDI Announced

    SDI Announced
    On 23 March 1983, Reagan announced SDI in a nationally televised speech, stating "I call upon the scientific community who gave us nuclear weapons to turn their great talents to the cause of mankind and world peace: to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete. For the next 10 years, the US spent up to $30 billion on developing the concept, but the futuristic program was formally scrapped by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
  • Geneva Conference with Gorbachev

    Geneva Conference with Gorbachev
    The Geneva Conference with Gorbachev, historically know as the Geneva Summit of 1985, was a Cold War-era meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. It was held on November 19 and 20, 1985, between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. The two leaders met for the first time to hold talks on international diplomatic relations and the arms race.
  • "Tear Down This Wall" Speech

    "Tear Down This Wall" Speech
    "Tear down this wall", also known as the Berlin Wall Speech, is a speech delivered by President Ronald Reagan in West Berlin on June 12, 1987 while standing less than 100 feet from the Berlin Wall. Reagan demanded that Gorbachev "open this gate" and "tear down this wall". His speech ultimately played a role in the destruction of the Berlin Wall.
  • The Fall of the Berlin Wall

    The Fall of the Berlin Wall
    On the evening of November 9, 1989, East Germany announced an easing of travel restrictions to the west, and thousands demanded passage through the Berlin Wall. Faced with a growing demonstration, East German border guards allowed citizens to cross.Thousands of East Germans climb on top of the once-imprisoning wall and many brought with them tools and weapons and began tearing apart the confining wall.