Cold war timeline


Berlin blockade/airlift

June 24, 1948 - May 12, 1949

The berlin blockade was an attempt by the Soviet Union to stop the transportation of goods into Berlin. The Soviet Union Blocked railroads and roads. But almost a year later America began the Berlin airlift. The Berlin airlift was a process in which supplies were flown into East Berlin. Every day thousands of tons of supplies were flown in. On May 12, 1949, the Soviets, concluding that the blockade had failed, reopened the borders.
• President: Harry S. Truman
• Soviet leader: Joseph Stalin

Creation of nato

April 4, 1949

The creation of Nato was meant to provide security from the Soviet Union. Nato stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organization. United States, Canada, and Belgium along with many other countries agreed to join Nato. Nato considered an attack again one country was an attack against all.
• President: Harry S. Truman
• Soviet leader: Joseph Stalin

Korean war

June 25, 1950 - July 27, 1953

The Korean War began when North Korea invaded South Korea. North Korea was governed by the Soviet Union while South Korea was governed by the US. It came to a surprise to the US when South Korea was attacked by North Korea. There was a fear of the spreading of communism around the globe. The war ended in a Military stalemate.
• President: Harry S. Truman
• Soviet leader: Joseph Stalin

Creation of Warsaw pact

May 14, 1955

The Warsaw pact was like Nato. It was made to counterbalance Nato. It was established by the Soviet Union and serval other eastern countries. The Warsaw pact had the same purpose as the Nato. Like NATO, the Warsaw Pact focused on the objective of creating a coordinated defense among its member nations in order to deter an enemy attack.
• Presidents: Dwight D. Eisenhower
• Soviet leaders: Nikolai A. Bulganin

Vietnam war

November 1, 1955 - April 30, 1975

The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War. The Vietnam war was costly armed conflict against the communist regime of North Vietnam and its southern allies. The war began after the rise to power of Ho Chi Minh and his communist Viet Minh party in North Vietnam. More than 3 million people were killed in the Vietnam War. It was a North Vietnamese victory.
• Presidents: Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford
• Soviet leaders: Nikolai A. Bulganin, Nikita S. Khrushchev, Leonid I. Brezhnev

Sputnik 1

October 4, 1957 - January 1958

Sputnik was the first artificial Earth satellite. It was launched by the Soviet Union. It was a 58 cm in diameter with four external radio antennae to broadcast radio pulses. The launch of the sputnik triggered the space race. There was a fear the Soviet Union could launch another spacecraft with nuclear weapons. America was struggling to catch up. The first U.S. satellite, the Explorer, was launched on January 31, 1958, but by that time Soviets had already achieved another victory when they launched a dog into orbit aboard Sputnik 2.
• President: Dwight D. Eisenhower
• Soviet leaders: Nikolai A. Bulganin

Bay of pigs

April 17, 1961 - April 19, 1961

On January 1, 1959, a young Cuban nationalist named Fidel Castro (1926-) drove his guerilla army into Havana and overthrew General Fulgencio Batista (1901-1973), the nation’s American-backed president. The US was working on a way to overthrow Fidel Castro. In April 1961 America launched an attack on Cuba. However, the attack did not go well and The invaders were badly outnumbered by Castro’s troops, and they surrendered after less than 24 hours of fighting.
• President: John F. Kennedy
• Soviet leader: Nikita S. Khrushchev

Creation of the Berlin wall

August 13, 1961 - 1989

the purpose of this Berlin Wall was to keep people from entering East Germany. 171 people were killed trying to get over, under or around the Berlin Wall. Escape from East Germany was not easy but more than 5,000 East Germans (including some 600 border guards) managed to cross the border by jumping out of windows adjacent to the wall, climbing over the barbed wire, flying in hot air balloons, crawling through the sewers and driving through unfortified parts of the wall at high speeds.
• President: John F. Kennedy and Ronald Regan
• Soviet leader: Nikita S. Khrushchev, Leonid I. Brezhnev, Yuri V. Andropov, Konstantin U. Cherenkov. And Mikhail S. Gorbachev

Cuban missile crisis

October 15 1962 - October 28, 1962

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, leaders of the U.S. 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 in Cuba, just 90 miles from U.S. shores. The US was prepared for nuclear war. However, disaster was avoided when the U.S. agreed to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s offer to remove the Cuban missiles in exchange for the U.S. promising not to invade Cuba.
• President: John F. Kennedy
• Soviet leader: Nikita Khrushchev

Salt I

November 1969 - 1972

The first agreement, known as SALT I was signed by the US and the Soviet Union to restrain the arms race in strategic (long-range or intercontinental) ballistic missiles armed with nuclear weapons. SALT stands for strategic Arms Limitation Talks.
• President: Richard Nixon
• Soviet leader: Leonid I. Brezhnev

Salt II

1972 - 1979

SALT II was a continuation of the SALT I talks and was led by representatives from both countries. SALT II was the first nuclear arms treaty which assumed real reductions in strategic forces to 2,250 of all categories of delivery vehicles on both sides.
• President: Jimmy Carter
• Soviet Leader: Leonid I. Brezhnev

Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

1979 - 1989

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was in late December 1979. In April 1978 Afghanistan’s centrist government, headed by Pres. Mohammad Daud Khan was overthrown by Nur Mohammad Taraki. Insurgencies arose against the government among both tribal and urban groups, and all of these—known collectively as the mujahideen. These uprisings within the government between the People’s and Banner factions prompted the Soviets to invade the country.
• President: Jimmy Carter
• Soviet Leader: Leonid I. Brezhnev


1985 - 1991

Glasnost was a policy of openness initiated by Gorbachev that provided increased opportunities for freedom of speech, association and the press in the Soviet Union.
• President: Ronald Regan and Gorge H.W. Bush
• Soviet leader: Mikhail S. Gorbachev


1985 - 1991

Perestroika was a policy of reforming the economic and political system by Mikhail Gorbachev. The literal meaning of perestroika is “restructuring”, referring to the restructuring of the Soviet political and economic system.
• President: Ronald Regan and Gorge W. Bush
• Soviet leader: Mikhail S. Gorbachev

The fall of the berlin wall

November 9 1989

The fall of the berlin wall was the removal of the wall that separated East and West Germany in 1989. It symbolized the end of the Cold War. People used hammers and picks to knock away chunks of the wall while cranes and bulldozers pulled down section after section. Soon the wall was gone and Berlin was united for the first time since 1945.
• President: Gorge H.W. Bush
• Soviet leader: Mikhail S. Gorbachev