Cold War Timeline

Cold War Timeline

Cold War Timeline
The dates and events leading to the Cold War
Communist witch hunt and loyalty tests
Nuclear Arms Race & atomic tests
NASA and the space race
Construction and destruction of the Berlin Wall

For comprehensive facts and information about major events refer to the Cold War

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  1945Defeat of Germany and Japan

February 4-11: Yalta Conference meeting of FDR, Churchill, Stalin - the 'Big Three'
Soviet Union has control of Eastern Europe. The Cold War Begins

May 8: VE Day - Victory in Europe. Germany surrenders to the Red Army in Berlin

July: Potsdam Conference - Germany was officially partitioned into four zones of occupation. 

August 6: The United States drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima (20 kiloton bomb 'Little Boy' kills 80,000)

August 8: Russia declares war on Japan

August 9: The United States drops atomic bomb on Nagasaki (22 kiloton 'Fat Man' kills 70,000)

August 14 : Japanese surrender End of World War II

August 15: Emperor surrender broadcast - VJ Day
  1946February 9: Stalin hostile speech - communism & capitalism were incompatible

March 5 : "Sinews of Peace" Iron Curtain Speech by Winston Churchill - "an "iron curtain" has descended on Europe"

March 10 - Truman demands Russia leave Iran

July 1: Operation Crossroads with Test Able was the first public demonstration of America's atomic arsenal

July 25: America's Test Baker - underwater explosion

March 12 : Truman Doctrine - Truman declares active role in Greek Civil War

June : Marshall Plan is announced setting a precedent for helping countries combat poverty, disease and malnutrition

September 2 - Rio Pact - U.S. meet 19 Latin American countries and created a security zone around the hemisphere

February 25 : Communist takeover in Czechoslovakia

March 2: Truman's Loyalty Program created to catch Cold War spies

March 17: Brussels Pact organized to protect Europe from communism

June 24 : Berlin Blockade begins lasting 11 months

April 4 : NATO ratified

May 12 : Berlin Blockade ends

29 August : Russia tested its first atomic bomb

October 1 : Communist Mao Zedong takes control of China and establishes the People's Republic of China

December 1 - Chiang Kai-shek moved to Formosa and created Nationalist government
  1950January 30 - Truman approved H-bomb development

February : Joe McCarthy begins Communist witch hunt and loyalty tests

June 24: Korean War begins. Stalin supports North Korea who invade South Korea equipped with Soviet weapons
  1951January 12 : Federal Civil Defense Administration established

April 11 - Truman fires MacArthur
  1952A-bombs developed by Britain 
  1953March 17-June 4 Nuclear Arms Race atomic test series of 11 explosions at Nevada Test Site

April 15: RAND report on the "Vulnerability of U. S. Strategic Air Power"

July : Korean War ends

December 8: Ike's Atoms for Peace speech
  1954March 1: H-bomb Castle-Bravo test

March : KGB established

CIA helps overthrow unfriendly regimes in Iran and Guatemala

July : Vietnam split at 17th parallel
  1955May : Warsaw Pact formed 
  1956June 29: USSR sent tanks into Poznan, Poland, to suppress demonstrations by workers

September 4: USSR sent military aid to Afghanistan

October - November : Rebellion put down in Communist Hungary.

October 29: Suez Crisis began with Israeli attack led by Moshe Dayan against Egyptian forces in the Sinai

Egypt took control of Suez Canal
  1957August 26: Vostok rocket launched 1st ICBM

October 4 : Sputnik launched into orbit

November 3: Sputnik II launched - Laika died in space
  1958January 31: Explorer I launched

July : NASA began Mercury project using Atlas rocket

November : Khrushchev demands withdrawal of troops from Berlin
  1959January : Cuba taken over by Fidel Castro

September : Khrushchev visits United States; The Kitchen Debate
  1960A-bombs developed by France

May : Soviet Union reveals that U.S. spy plane was shot down over Soviet territory

November : John F. Kennedy elected President of USA

December 19: Cuba openly aligns itself with the Soviet Union and their policies.
  1961April : Bay of Pigs invasion see Cuban Missile Crisis Timeline

August 13 : Berlin border is closed

August 17 : Construction of Berlin Wall begins
  1962U.S. involvement in Vietnam increases see Vietnam War Timeline

October : Cuban Missile Crisis see Cuban Missile Crisis Timeline
  19631963: July : Nuclear Test Ban Treaty ratified

1963: November : President Kennedy assassinated in Dallas, Texas
  1964August : Gulf of Tonkin incident - see Vietnam War Timeline

October: A-bombs developed by China
  1965April : U.S. Marines sent to Dominican Republic to fight Communism

July : Announcement of dispatching of 200,000 U.S. troops to Vietnam
  1966B-52s Bomb North Vietnam 
  1967The US Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara admits that the US bombing raids had failed to meet their objectives 
  1968January : North Korea captured U.S.S. Pueblo

President Johnson does not run for the presidency and Richard Nixon Elected President of the USA

August : Soviet Red Army crush Czechoslovakian revolt
  1969July 20 : Apollo 11 lands on the moon 
  1970April : President Nixon extends Vietnam War to Cambodia 
  1971Publication of the Pentagon Papers 
  1972February: President Richard Nixon visits China

July : SALT I signed
  1973January : Cease fire in Vietnam between North Vietnam and United States

September : U.S. supported coup overthrows Chilean government

October : Egypt and Syria attack Israel; Egypt requests Soviet aid
  19741974: August : President Nixon resigns 
  1975April 17 : North Vietnam defeats South Vietnam which falls to Communist forces 
  1976February: Soviet and Cuban forces help to install Communist government in Angola. 
  1979January: U.S. and China establish diplomatic relations.

July : SALT II signed

November : Shah of Iran overthrown; Iranian Hostage Crisis

December: Soviet forces invade Afghanistan
  1980August: Polish shipyard workers strike Solidarity Union formed. Strike leader Lech Walesa is elected as the head of Solidarity 
  1983President Reagan proposes Strategic Defence Initiative

1983: October : U.S. troops invades and overthrows regime in Grenada
  1985Mikhail Gorbachev becomes leader of the Soviet Union initiating a campaign of openness called "glasnost" and restructuring called "perestroika" 
  1986October : President Reagan and Gorbachev resolve to remove all intermediate nuclear missiles from Europe 
  1987October : Reagan and Gorbachev agree to remove all medium and short-range nuclear missiles 
  1989January : Soviet troops withdraw from Afghanistan

June : Poland becomes independent

September : Hungary becomes independent

November : Berlin Wall is demolished and East Germany allows unrestricted migration to West Germany

December : Communist governments fall in Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Rumania

Decline of the Soviet empire
  1990March : Lithuania becomes independent

May 29 : Boris Yeltsin elected as President of Russia

October 3 : Germany reunited
  1991August : End of Soviet Union and the Cold War Ends 
Cold War Timeline

Cold War Timeline
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Cold War Timeline

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