Time Line Project

  • Period: to

    Cold War son

  • Truman Doctrine (1)

    The Truman Doctrine set way by President Harry Truman’s speech was enacted to change the United States foreign policy to try and stop the spread of Communism in Europe after World War II. The speech ended up setting the policy to give millions of dollars to European countries in danger of falling under Communism to help pull these countries out of poverty and resist Communism.
  • Formation of CIA (1)

    With the National Security Act drafted and put into effect, the Central Intelligence Agency became the first government-wide department in the United States to carry out top secret missions throughout the world. The CIA continues today do classified activities under the governmental department.
  • The Marshall Plan (1)

    After President Truman’s Truman Doctrine, the President’s Secretary of State, George Marshall, came up with plans for another European recovery plan dealing with Communism. President Truman signed the first part of the Act on April 3, thus starting the commencement of the Marshall Plan.
  • Split of Berlin (1)

    After the country of Germany had been divided, and the central town of Berlin had been divided, Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin sealed off access to all of Berlin in order to force the Allied Forces out of the country. With the sealing of the town, the residents of the Allied Power’s territories required airdrops to continue to live.
  • Soviet Union Testing (1)

    In August of 1949, the Soviet Union tests its very first atomic bomb, letting every nation know they now have nuclear weapons. This event sent the United States into a panic because with the Soviets having nuclear weapons, the earlier use of deterrence from the United States was now invalid against the Soviet Union.
  • Chinese Revolution (1)

    When the Chinese Communists emerge after the ongoing Civil War in China, the United States became more worried about the spread of Communism. With both the Soviet Union and China being Communist, the idea of containment was more necessary than ever.
  • Alger Hiss (1)

    Alger Hiss was an American mid-level federal employee who was accused of espionage against his country. Hiss was later convicted of the offense. This event led to an outbreak in fear from the United States Federal government in worrying about possible Communist spies and traitors against the country.
  • Korean War (1)

    When Communist North Korea invaded Democratic South Korea, United States President Harry Truman says he will only back the South if the United Nations is involved. By preserving South Korea as a Democratic nation, the spread of Communism would be stopped in coastal Asia, securing the Truman Doctrine.
  • The Rosenbergs (1)

    Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were two Americans who were in similar circumstances as Alger Hiss. They were husband and wife who both worked on the Manhattan Project in the early 1940s. They were later convicted in March of 1951 and sentenced to death for espionage against the United States in later years.
  • Iranian Coup (1)

    Trouble in the Middle East was imminent when the United States intervened in Iran and placed Shah Pahlavi as supreme ruler of the country after a coup organized by the Central Intelligence Agency. The coup took place and the agreement stopped potential Communism from spreading to a country rich in oil.
  • Supreme Court ruling on Brown v. Board of Education (2)

    The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of desegregation of public schools. The ruling was made that separate but equal did not apply to public education.
  • Guatemalan Coup (1)

    In Guatemala, the leader of the country, Jacobo Guzman, was seen as semi-socialist. This made the United States nervous in dealing with the spread of Communism throughout the world. With such a place so close to the homeland, the CIA went into Guatemala and replaced the government so that Communism would not spread.
  • Geneva Summit (1)

    During the Geneva Summit in 1955, the countries propose an “open skies” policy where the United States and the Soviet Union could send recon planes across either’s skies. The Soviet Union turned this proposal down; however, the United States continued to send recon planes over Soviet airspace.
  • Murder of Emmet Till (2)

    Emmet Till was murdered by J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant. Till was murdered for whistling at a white woman. His mother held an open casket wake in order to make a statement against racism in the US.
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    Vietnam War

  • Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus (2)

    Rosa Parks as an innocent and up standing citizen starts the Montgomery Bus Boycott. As a member of the NAACP, she was supported and helped to remove prejudice on Montgomery public buses.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. helps to form the SCLC (2)

    MLK Jr. works toward peaceful protest and nonviolent reaction. MLK Jr. is the first president of the SCLC
  • Little Rock Nine start school year (2)

    Orval Faubus publically opposes the Supreme Court ruling on desegregation of schools. When the Little Rock Nine enroll in Central High School, Faubus closes the school rather than finish it with black students.
  • First sit-in movements (2)

    4 black students at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College begin the sit-in movements. The black students gain public support because of their peacefulness and the unjust beatings that they took.
  • U-2 Incident (1)

    When the Soviet Union captured American spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers in Soviet territory, they then secured the idea that the United States had not abided by the ruling at the Geneva Summit years prior. This proved to the Soviets that the “open skies” policy that the United States brought up had continued to go through, even though the Soviets said no.
  • Bay of Pigs (1)

    After Fidel Castro’s takeover of Cuba, President Kennedy had Cuban exiles trained to invade Cuba and take out the possible threat of communism. The force moved in, but was surprised by the opposing force, and the mission became a terrible failure on the United States side.
  • Freedom Riders begin (2)

    Supported by CORE and SNCC, the Freedom Riders fight for the end of segregation. The volunteers, black and white, help to push the enforcement of federal laws in favor of civil rights.
  • Kennedy Supports War (3)

    Kennedy sides with the South Vietnamese supplying them with aid and providing military help for their war efforts. The next year we supply the South Vietnamese with air support against the north.
  • Operation Ranchhand (3)

    We try to expose Vietcong by clearing vegetation so that they could not hide so easily. Later on we use a chemical called agent orange to kill vegetation in a large amount so that Vietcong would be even more visible.
  • James Meredith enrolls in University of Mississippi (2)

    James Meredith becomes the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. His enrollment brings outrage and riots from whites in the area.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis (1)

    American spy planes spotted missile sites being erected in Cuba, just 90 miles off the coast of Florida. These missile sites were the work of the Soviet Union and set a precedent for nuclear missiles being so close to the United States; well within striking distance of major cities.
  • MLK Jr. arrested and jailed (2)

    MLK Jr. is arrested and jailed voluntarily. While in jail, he writes the Letter From Birmingham Jail which called for people to do the same as him a fight for the remova of unjust laws.
  • MLK Jr. gives “I Have A Dream Speech” (2)

    200,000 people join the March on Washington to witness MLK Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech. The speech is one of the most famous in history.
  • 24th Amendment passed (2)

    The 24th Amendment is passed to give blacks and easier chance of voting. The amendment removed the poll tax that was originally created to discourage poor blacks from voting.
  • LBJ signs Civil Rights Act of 1964 (2)

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government the ability to enforce desegregation and prohibited discrimination of any kind not only based on race, but all aspects of a person.
  • Three Civil Rights Activist killed by KKK (2)

    Two white and one black civil rights activist are killed by the KKK after being removed from jail. The incident became very public and inspired the movie “Mississippi Burning”
  • Gulf on Tonkin Resolution (3)

    President Johnson and advisers decided to use military action in response to an attack on U.S. destroyers heading towards South Vietnam. Congress then forms a document allowing for such actions and future involvement in Vietnam without the United States having to declare war.
  • China's Atomic Bomb (3)

    During the time the U.S. starts to become majorly involved, China has developed an atomic weapon. Since China is communist the U.S. is now at threat from a possible deadly ally.
  • Operation Rolling Thunder (3)

    An operation under Johnson that would bomb the North Vietnamese heavily over a short period of time. The goal of the bombing was to weaken the North Vietnamese’s support for attacking the south.
  • “Bloody Sunday” (2)

    Blacks marching to Montgomery in support of voting rights are stopped at the Pettus Bridge. They are attacked by police with tear gas and beaten with clubs.
  • Operation Starlite (3)

    This is the first major battle that the United States fought during the war. The United States are victorious killing around 700 Vietcong while only having 45 killed.
  • The tet Offensive (3)

    During the time the U.S. starts to become majorly involved, China has developed an atomic weapon. Since China is communist the U.S. is now at threat from a possible deadly ally.
  • My Lai Massacre (3)

    U.S. troops under command of Lieutenant William Calley Jr. killed over 200 Southern Vietnamese citizens while looking for Vietcong. This event helps create a large decrease in the overall popularity of the war.
  • MLK Jr. Assassinated (2)

    MLK Jr. is assassinated causing widespread sorrow. While he was an important figure in the fight for civil rights, his death did not cause widespread protest because of the Vietnam War.
  • Vietnamization (3)

    Starting in 1969 this plan was developed under Nixon to decrease the amount of U.S. forces in Vietnam. The plan succeeded in reducing the number of soldiers from hundreds of thousands to around 25,000.
  • The Draft (3)

    A lottery was implemented in 1969 to determine who would be drafted to serve in the Vietnam War. The draft started with men who were 20 years old at the time of the draft and continued onwards.
  • Cambodia Invasion-College Campus Violence (3)

    In order to clear out North Vietnamese troops president Nixon secretly decides to invade Cambodia. In protest to these actions, a large mass of students assembled and burned down the ROTC building at Kent State University. The National Guard was called into stop the violence and killed several protesters by doing so. The student protests then spread to other areas and became a large topic of debate.
  • Pentagon Papers (3)

    Daniel Ellsburg leaked a document containing information on the plans for the United States in the Vietnam war. The document explained to the American people that there was never any intent to end the war against North Vietnam.
  • Christmas Bombing (3)

    Kissinger, Nixon’s key advisor in Vietnam decided against his original actions by taking U.S. troops out of South Vietnam. He decided to withdraw the troops as election time was nearing and Nixon needed public support for his next election. Before leaving however, the U.S. bombed two large North Vietnamese cities making there mark in the Christmas Bombing incident.
  • War Powers Act (3)

    This act was created to prevent the president from declaring war without first informing congress within two days. In addition, the troops may not remain in an area longer than 90 days without the approval of congress.
  • Saigon Withdrawal (3)

    U.S. troops are removed from the South Vietnamese city of Saigon. Shortly after, the city was taken over by a close North Vietnamese city where a victory was celebrated. At this point the U.S. is no longer involved in the war.