The Cold War

(From the end of WWII to the end of the Soviet Union)


Red Scare

1947 - 1957

The red scare occurred due to fear by people (primarily in America) because of the growing powers by the communist countries, mainly the Soviet Union. Americans believed that the Soviet Union's goal was to force communism around the world, given that it already had much of Eastern Europe. Russian espionage struck fear in millions of American citizens, including the government. There were other smaller issued that also had worsened the widespread panic, such as the Korean War, the Rosenberg trial (trial against two Russian spies), and the Chinese Civil War.

Berlin Blockade

1948 - 1949

The Berlin Blockade was an attempt by the USSR to limit access to Berlin (in Germany) by France, Britain, and the US. Under Soviet control, Berlin was not able to get supplies and provisions, and the Soviet Union had blocked any way into the city: railroads, streets, and canals were blocked. It was finally lifted when a massive U.S.-British airlift broke in, carrying supplies for the two million citizens.

USSR's first atomic device


In 1949 the Soviet Union had created its first tested atomic device, nicknamed the "First Lightning" (RDS-1).

NATO created


NATO, known also as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is a military alliance between 29 countries in Europe and North America that was created to limit communist expansion, and promised to defend any countries invaded (primarily the Soviet Union). Created to promote democratic values in politics and solve military disputes peacefully, NATO is still around today.

Churchill's second government term

1951 - 1955

Churchill had served a total of two terms, one during WW2 (1940-1945), and again during the Cold War (1951-1955). He made incredible efforts for peace between America and the USSR. He tried diligently to initiate meetings with Stalin's successors in the Kremlin(Moscow). He made many speeches and efforts for European unity, communism, the atomic bomb, and ultimately, the Cold War.

Stalin's death


On March 5, 1953, Stalin dies and Nikita Khrushchev succeeds him as leader.

Baghdad Pact (CENTO)


The Baghdad Pact, also known as CENTO, was an organization formed by Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq and the United Kingdom. It was meant to oppose the threats of Soviet Invasion, as they contain valuable supplies such as oil; however, it was not very effective in its job and dissolved in 1979.

Khrushchev's government terms

1955 - 1964

Nikita Khrushchev played a big role in the cold war during his service. Having served as premier from 1958 to 1964, and before that first secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party. He played a big role in many international decisions as well as putting into action de-Stalinization. He played a primary role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, among others, and although he was said to be less severe than his preceding ruler, Stalin, he had approved the building of the Berlin wall and transferred or removed people who threatened his power.

Warsaw Pact


The Warsaw Pact was created to counter NATO, and was between the Soviet Union, and multiple adjoining countries such as Poland, Romania, Hungary, East Germany, and Bulgaria. Their agreement was similar to NATO: to defend each other should one of the countries be attacked by another power.

Space Race Begins

Oct 4, 1957

The space race had officially begun when the Soviet Union launched the first man-made satellite in space, Sputnik. This marks the beginning of the space rivalry between America and the Soviet Union, known as the space race.

First man in space


Yuri Gagarin become the first man in space (USSR) on the Vostok I when it completed an orbit around the Earth. Alan B. Shepard, the American, soon followed.

Cuban Missile Crisis


The Cuban Missile Crisis was an epidemic around America and the Soviet Union. It began when Soviet nuclear weapons were found in Cuba, a mere 90 miles from the US. The tension went on for 13 days, with America and the Soviet Union in a political and military standoff until they reached a compromise. American president John F. Kennedy agreed to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s offer to remove the nuclear missiles from Cuba, as long as the US promised not to invade Cuba itself ( staff) on Oct 28, 1962.


May 26, 1972

SALT-1 is a treaty between the USSR and the United States intended to restrain the arms race. Nuclear weapons were heavily restricted, and the treaty was signed by US president Nixon and Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev in Moscow.

Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan

1979 - 1989

In 1979, the USSR began to invade Afghanistan and had a shaky hold on them for ten years. They invaded and took control to access their huge supplies of oil, their leadership was weak, and they wanted to preserve their pro-communist society. They eventually left mainly due to the Soviet Union falling apart, and began to deport out from May 1988 to February 1989.


June 18, 1979

SALT-2 was meant to resolve problems left over from SALT-1 , and was signed by President Jimmy Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in Vienna. However, it never was put into effect, since it was signed by both parties, but not officially ratified by the US senate due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Both sides still, however, respected the treaty.

Chernobyl disaster


The Chernobyl nuclear power station explodes, and radioactive material covered large areas of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia as well as a smaller impact on the rest of Europe. It had been said to play a part in the fall of the Soviet Union.

First Soviet Countries declare independance


Lithuania was the first soviet country to declare their independence on March 11, 1990. Estonia gained its independence on the 30th of the same month, Latvia followed close behind on May 4. These three countries were the first to declare independence even before the Soviet Union officially fell.

Russia's first elected president


Boris Yeltsin becomes Russia's first elected president in the Russian republic. Gorbachov, the leader at the time, was not well liked by the people, and the citizens were looking for new leadership.

The Soviet Union falls

Dec 25, 1991

The fall of the Soviet Union ended the Cold War after about 45 years, and allowed for the first time, a Republic based country as well as 15 separate self-governing Republics.

Gorbachev resigns

December 25, 1991

Gorbachev, the leader of the Soviet Union, resigns due to the economy failing, Gorbachev's sunk popularity, and the crumbling of the Soviet Union.