Cold War


Keenan's Long Telegram


4000ish word long telegram from a US Ambassador in Russia that effectively spooked the US government about Russia, and added distrust between ideologies

Kennan was asked to shed light on the background to Stalin’s speech and the real motives of Stalin’s foreign policy. He sent a 5,540-word telegram that warned that Russia “feared foreign penetration”, feared “learning truth about world,” or feared if “foreigners learned truth about world within.”
Stated that Stalin and successors would be worse, as they had Communism as justification. Warned that communists will overthrow West by causing disunity.
This effectively invited people to fight for their ideologies against communism.
He stated the solution was to be forceful and to resist, the Soviets were weaker, Soviet success has not been proven, and the West could grow and self-improve.

Marshall Plan Signed


Truman signed the Marshall plan, in which the US would provide economic assistance to restore the economic infrastructure of postwar Europe.



Economic association of eastern European countries.

Impact: Counter to Marshall plan, it further solidified the Eastern bloc economically.

NATO Established


“An attack on one is an attack on all” North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It was a defensive alliance composed mostly of the Western European countries, and US. It was worded so the US maintained sovereignty over declaring wars, but would still help the other members of the treaty.

Dien Bien Phu

03/13/1954 - 05/07/1954

French defeat led to their withdrawal from Vietnam, leading to the Geneva Accords.

Geneva Accords

July 21, 1954

Treaty Between Vietnam and France that ended the IndoChina War.

Although France was indirectly supported by the US, they tired of the war, and the US would not intervene directly.
Vietnam wanted their independence from France

French Troops Withdrawn
Temporarily divided Vietnam at the 17th parallel for two years before an election.
US freaked out that this would allow a communist victory in Ho Chi Minh being elected, so they delayed the elections.

Warsaw Pact founded


Soviet response to NATO, it was a Treaty Organization of Friendship, cooperation, and mutual assistance.

Impact: Solidified and strengthened the Eastern bloc

Bay Of Pigs

04/17/1961 - 04/19/1961

Gulf of Tonkin Incident/Resolution

08/02/1964 - 08/10/1964

Prague Spring

01/05/1968 - 08/21/1968

Invasion of Czechoslovakia



Approx. 1970 - Approx. 1980

Note: The dates are very approximate...

Ping Pong Diplomacy

04/10/1971 - 04/16/1971

Dates are approximate
US ping pong player chats with Chinese ping pong team, lead to China inviting the US to a friendly competition

Strengthened US-China relations
Pressured USSR to strengthen relations with the US
(Triangle Diplomacy)

ABM Treaty


Limits Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Systems in the US and the USSR.



Led to ABM Treaty
Froze number of existing strategic missile launchers

Helsinki Accords


Signed by all European countries (Besides Albania, which signed in 1979), it called for
1) Security in Post-WWII borders
2) Cooperation in economics, science, and technology
3) Human Rights

However, the USSR did not necessarily follow #3



Stop the production of nuclear weapons.

Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan

12/25/1979 - 02/15/1989

Geneva Summit

11/19/1985 - 11/20/1985

Although not much was actually decided, it did lay the foundation for better relations between the US and USSR.

Reykjavik Summit

10/11/1986 - 10/12/1986

Reagan and Gorbachev discussed the possibility of limiting each country's strategic nuclear weapons. However, no agreement was met because Reagan refused to limit SDI research and technology to the laboratory.

Regardless, both sides felt it was a success as it opened the way for further progress

Washington Summit

12/08/1987 - 12/10/1987

Reagan and Gorbachev met and signed the INF Treaty.

INF Treaty


Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF)
Eliminated all ground cruise and ballistic missiles and launchers in Europe with ranges of 320 to 3,400 miles
It was signed at the Washington Summit

Moscow Summit

05/29/1988 - 06/03/1988

Reagan and Gorbachev met to celebrate the Washington summit. However, Reagan lectured Gorbachev on the need to improve the Soviet Union's human rights record, creating a rocky start to the meeting.
In the end, Reagan and Gorbachev both saved face and kept positive fronts, but there was no further agreement on arms limitation, demonstrating that serious differences between the two countries still existed.


Berlin Blockade/Airlift

06/24/1948 - 05/12/1949

Soviets blockaded land access to Berlin after the West reformed much of German industry. As a result, the airlift occurred for 11 months, fed 2 mil people, and delivered coal.

Korean War

06/25/1950 - 07/27/1953

Note: Actual Crisis is the North Korean Invasion of South Korea.
The war itself is not the crisis

Vietnam War [Mouse over for details]

11/1/1955 - 04/30/1975

Note: This date includes all moments of American involvement, and the war after American involvement, which is why it is so long
Ground troops are not sent until after the Gulf of Tonkin Incident
All US ground troops withdrawn after 1973

French defeat in Indochina at Diem Bien Phu lead to Geneva Conference in 1954 in which it ended hostilities between the French and Vietnamese and temporarily divided Vietnam at the 17th parallel, and called for an election in 1956. This led to the US being involved because they did not want the elections. This steadily escalated from Eisenhower and JFK to full out ground troops under Johnson.

Vietnam became communist as the north took power
America now reluctant to use military power, the public was divided and Americans do not trust the government. Also, 60k Americans were killed in the war
Containment failed as Cambodia falls to communists

Hungarian Revolution

10/23/1956 - 11/10/1956

Suez Crisis


Cuban Missile Crisis

10/16/1962 - 10/28/1962

Soviet Leaders


1929 - 3/5/1953


3/1/1958 - 10/01/1964


10/14/1964 - 11/10/1982


3/11/1985 - 08/19/1991

US Presidents


4/12/1945 - 1/20/1953


1/21/1953 - 1/20/1961


01/21/1961 - 11/22/1963


11/23/1963 - 1/20/1969


1/21/1969 - 8/9/1974


8/10/1974 - 1/20/1977


1/21/1977 - 1/20/1981


1/21/1981 - 1/20/1989


1/21/1989 - 1/20/1993


Truman Doctrine


After Great Britain could no longer support Greece and Turkey, Truman asked Congress to support those countries to prevent the spread of communism.
It established the idea that the US would support any European nation that may fall to communism

Eisenhower Doctrine


Extended Truman Doctrine to Middle Eastern Countries

Brezhnev Doctrine


Soviet foreign policy that stated that the USSR would intervene in any communist country that is threatened to leave the Warsaw pact or change its communist government.
[Basically, it's the Soviet's Truman Doctrine]
It was later overthrown by the policy of Perestroika and Glasnost under Gorbachev.


Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech


Delivered by Churchill, it warned of the communist menace in Europe. However, it was not well received at the time, and was criticized for its call of an alliance.

Khrushchev's Secret Speech "On the Cult of Personality and its Consequences"


Attacked Stalin's policies of having a leader be in charge due to idolization or fear.

JFK Inauguration Speech


Optimistic Speech about using science for good, rather than destruction

Cuban Missile Speech


Nixon's Vietnamization/Silent Majority Speech


Calls for the US to stop intervening in Vietnam