The Cold War: Timeline

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- The USA test and use the first A- Bomb

- The USA decide to occupy South Korea, the Soviet Union occupy the north.

- Ho Chi Min proclaims an independent Vietnam.

- Stalin eradicates the opposition in Hungary.



- Winston Churchill first introduces the term Iron Curtain in a speech at Westminster College.

- The US tries to get a law passed so that the UN would be in control of all nuclear material. The soviet objects to come under the control of any US dominated agency.

- Poland accepts communist reforms



- US congress grants $400 million to aid Turkey and Greece in the fight against communist guerrillas. This is one of the first indicators of things to come.

- The U.N. authorizes the creation of the State of Israel.

- Rumanias monarchy replaced by a communist regime.



- Communist coup in Czechoslovakia, non-communist countries respond by forming the Atlantic regional mutual-defence treaty.

- Koreans people’s democratic republic founded.



- NATO is formed by : Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy,Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United States. Later joined by Greece, Spain, Turkey, and West Germany. In 1955 Soviet Union forms competing Warsaw Pact.

- Truman announces that the USSR exploded an Atomic Bomb in the latter half of August.



- The state of Vietnam is recognised by the US

- Senator Joseph P. McCarthy delivers speech to Republican Women's Club of Ohio County, Wheeling, West Virginia, in which he claims to have a list of "known" Communists "making policy" in the Department of State.

- The US claim that Soviet have “design for World Domination”.

- The Korean War begins as North Korean Troops launch a surprise attack on South Korea. Chinese troops cross the Yalu River into Korea.



- The US put their first nuclear sub-marine in use.



- Josef Stalin dies.

- The Korean War ends and a Demilitarised Zone is created between North and South Korea.



- Soviet unveals first jet propelled long range bomber.

- U.S. back the overthrow of the Guatemalan government.

- Communist party outlawed in the U.S.

-  SEATO: Australia, Britain, France, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, New Zealand, and the United States form an anti-communist alliance against "massive military aggression."

- W. Germany joins NATO



- Warzaw pact signed, calling for the mutual defence of the Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Rumania.



- Britain, France and Israel attack Egypt, Egyptian soldiers from this war later becomes terrorist leaders.



- Eisenhower doctrine presented to congress, allowing the President to commit troops to the Middle East to prevent communist aggression there. This would come back to haunt the Americans 44 years later.

- Soviet Union launches Sputnik and Sputnik II, the first satellite to orbit earth and bringing the first living creature into space; Laika.

- A report of Soviets superiority in the field of long-range missiles spreads fear in the U.S.



- Khrushchev becomes Soviet premier in addition to being first secretary of the Communist party

- Khrushchev deliver ultimatum, begin talks of unifying Germany or else… but he backs down.



- Fidel Castro becomes the leader of Cuba after a communist revolution.

- Nixon and Khrushchev debate capitalism vs. communism when the American president visits the Soviet Union



- CIA begins to train Cuban exiles to subvert the Cuban regime. This is not the last time they use this tactic, it fails more often than not.

- Ho Chi Minh, leader of the Republic of Vietnam, arranges the NLA (national liberation army) to try to overthrow the US supported Ngo Dinh Diem regime.



- John F. Kennedy is inaugurated.

- Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man to orbit earth.

- Bay of Pigs landing by more than 1,000 CIA trained Cuban exiles fail to “liberate” Cuba.

- Alan B. Shepard becomes the first American in space.

- Kennedy authorizes advisors to aid South Vietnam against forces from North Vietnam.

- Kennedy pledges to put a man on the moon within a decade.

- East Germany begin preparations to build the Berlin wall.

- Both the Soviet and the US once again resume nuclear testing.



- The East-West conference to ban nuclear arms collapses in Geneva.

- John Glenn is the first American to orbit earth.

- The US establishes an air and sea blockade of Cuba in response of photographs of missile silos being built on Cuba. The USA threatens to invade Cuba. They also state that an attack launched from Cuba would be considered a Soviet attack and would cause full retaliation.



- South Vietnamese president Ngo Dihn Diem is assassinated.

- American president John F. Kennedy is assassinated.



- Khrushchev is ousted; Brezhnev and Kosygin replace him.

- China detonates their first nuclear bomb.

- Lyndon B. Johnson elected president.



- Johnson sends troops into the Dominican Republic “to prevent another communist state in this hemisphere”

- Hard clashes between the US and North Vietnamese in la Drang and Da Nang.



- U.S. forces double in Vietnam (362,000).

- The Chinese Cultural Revolution begins, further strengthening communism in China.



- A treaty signed by every M. American nation but Cuba prevents the production of nuclear arms on that continent.



- Communism softens up to socialism in the Czechoslovakia; this is ended by a Soviet invasion six months later.

- Martin Luther King jr. and Robert Kennedy assassinated.

- Lyndon B. Johnson withdraws as president, Nixon is elected.

- U.S. forces number 535,000 in Vietnam.



- Nixon begins to pull troops out of Vietnam.

- U.S. bombing of Cambodia begins.

- Ho Chi Minh dies.



- Paris peace talks begin.

- Nixon authorizes U.S. backed coup on Chile.



- China joins the U.N.



- Nixon visits China and pledges to withdraw U.S. forces from Taiwan.

- Nixon and Brezhnev sign an agreement that recognizes the U.S.S.R. as an international policeman in Eastern Europe. They also open for an economic relationship between the two countries.

- Watergate burglary.

-  Paris Peace Talks break down.

- Nixon re-elected.



- Nixon announces that the Vietnam War will end on January 28, and troops will be removed within 60 days. January 29 the troops leave.

- U.S. bombing of Cambodia ends.

- Yom Kippur War begins between Egypt, Israel and Syria. Osama Bin Laden fights for the first time.

- Arab oil producers begin embargo against the U.S.



- Nixon named unindicted co-conspirator in the Watergate scandal.

- Arab oil embargo ends.

- Nixon announces his resignation.

- Gerald Ford sworn in as president.



- U.S. forces pull out of Cambodia, Red Khmer victors.

- Helsinki accords makes U.S. and Soviet to accept European borders and respect human rights.

- Gerald ford survives two assassination attempts.

- Palestinian terrorists raid OPEC meeting in Vienna, killing three.



- Socialist republic of Vietnam is proclaimed.

- Jimmy Carter is elected president.

- Mao Tse-Tung dies, setting of great struggle and suffering in China.



- Velvet Coup in Afghanistan.



- Camp David peace agreement ends 30 years of war between Egypt and Israel and returns Sinai to Egypt. Many “holy warriors” find themselves without a cause.



- Shah of Iran flees and Ayatollah Khomeini returns to found Shiite fundamentalist movement.

- Nicaraguan revolution overthrows the dictator Somoza. Socialist Sandistia replaces him.

- The Red Army enters Afghanistan. The U.S. embargo the U.S.S.R. and boycott the 1980 Olympics.



- Solidarity union formed in Poland under leadership of Lech Walesa

- Ronald Reagan becomes president of the U.S.



- Walesa leads polish workers in an illegal strike for a five-day workweek.

- Marshall Law is imposed in Poland



- U.S. strategic arms reduction treaty is outlined.



- Reagan proposes a defence system popularly known as Star Wars. This will intercept missiles in the air.

- Poland lifts martial law.

- Korean passenger aircraft is shot down over Soviet territory. 269 are killed.

- Terrorist attack on U.S. Marines headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon kills 241.

- The United States invades Grenada.



- U.S.S.R. and US agree to discuss nuclear arms and space politics.



- Michael Gorbachev succeeds Chernenko as Soviet General Secretary.

- Reagen and Gorbachev agree to a nuclear arms reduction of 50 percent.



- The United States launches air strike against Libya as retaliation for terrorist acts.

- The Chernobyl accident spreads nuclear waste over great areas.

- In a meeting with Gorbachev, Reagan refuses to give up the Star Wars program.

- The Iran-Contra scandal is revealed, where the U.S. sold arms to Iran to finance the Nicaraguan Contras rebels.



- Both Reagan and Gorbachov address to their people that the U.S.S.R. and the United States are closer than ever to agreeing to a nuclear arms pact, and getting closer to permanent peace.



- The Soviet Union agrees to withdraw forces from Afghanistan after seven years of peace talks.

- Important American diplomats are indicted for dealing arms to Iranian guerrillas.

- The Soviet Union leaves Afghanistan and leave Afghani soldiers without an enemy.

- Gorbachov proclaims that some key points of communism are outdated and he suggests several changes. They are called Glasnost.

- Pro-solidarity strikes in Poland. Workers want the government to accept the union.

- George Bush elected.



- Gorbachov visits China in an attempt to save relations between the countries after pro-democracy protest.

- Student protests on Tienanmen Square end in massacre as hundreds of students are killed.



- East and West Germany united as East Germans accepts market based economy and democracy.

- Americans take guard planes of continuos watch of Soviet for the first time in twenty years.

- Lech Walesa elected president of Poland.



- Bush and Gorbachov sign treaty to destruct several nuclear weapons.

- Coup against Gorbachov fails, but the power shifts to Russian president Boris Yeltsin.

- American weaponry put of alert.

- Gorbachov resigns as Soviet president. The world recognizes six new republics: Armenia, Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Russia and Ukraine. This marks the somewhat surprising end to the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.






Related documents:

The Cold War: Important People
The Cold War: Conflicts
The Cold War: Communism vs. Capitalism

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