History Cold War Timeline


Cold War

1945 - 1991

The Cold War was a series of nuclear threats between the US and the USSR. Thus called a "cold war" since there was never any battles that actually occurred.

Yalta Conference

February 4 1945

It was a meeting between the US, UK and Soviet Union to discuss re-organization of the nations of war-torn Europe.

President Truman

April 12 1945 - January 20 1953

Harry Truman becomes President, and this is when I believe the Cold War started. President Truman did't trust the USSR and this caused the two nations to become more distant and the start of the Cold War.

Potsdam Conference

July 1945

Was to discuss what to do with Germany, and the outcome was that they divided it. Russia wanted major repercussions on Germany.

United Nations

October 24 1945

The UN was founded after World War II to replace the League of Nations in order to stop wars between countries, and to provide a place to talk about problems going on between countries.

Containment Policy


It was a United States policy which gave the government the power to spend a significant amount of resources to prevent the spread of communism.

Iron Curtain

March 5 1946

It was a term created by Winston Churchill which described how there was a division between Europe.

Truman Doctrine

March 12 1947

Created by Truman stating that they would give support and aid to Turkey and Greece in order for them to not fall under Communist control.

Marshall Plan

June 1947

The Marshall plan was much like the Truman doctrine, yet in this plan, America gave aid to all of Europe, in order for the war torn countries to rebuild their economies and not fall to communism.

Berlin Airlift

June 24 1948 - September 30 1949

This was a reaction to the USSR cutting off east Berlin from the rest of the world. The USSR cut off all transportation routes and stopped any help from other Countries. The Soviets were starving Eastern Berlin, so therefore the British and US responded with an airdrop. They continued to drop supplies for 11 months and finally the Soviets called off the Blockade.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

April 4 1949

It was an alliance between North America and Europe. Its main purpose was to defend each other from the possibility of communist Soviet Union taking control of their nation.

Domino Theory

1950 - 1980

The domino theory stated that if one country became communist, its neighbors would also give in to communism and so on. This gave the US motivation to do everything they could to support free governments and condemn communist.

Mutually Assured Destruction(MAD)

1950 - 1990

Now that USSR had atomic bombs also, both counties were at a standoff. This idea stated that if one country were to fire its nukes, the other would have enough time to fire theirs also and therefore both countries would be destroyed.

Korean War

June 25 1950 - July 27 1953

Started 1950 when Communist North Korea invaded South Korea with 100,000 men. The US went right to the UN and got them to agree to give aid to South Korea. Americans and the UN finally pushed back the North Koreans to the 38th Parallel. Seeing a chance to unify Korea they advanced all the way up to Chinas Borders. This caused China to send 300,000 men to help aid the North Koreans and push back the US and UN near the 38th Parallel. Finally in 1953 a stalemate was called

Nikita Khrushchev

1953 - 1964

Leader of the Soviets during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Gave aide and support to the Cubans in order for the Soviets to have missiles there. He had a major role in the the Russian Space Program and also was a major factor in desalinization.

Dwight Eisenhower

January 20, 1953 - January 20, 1961

Dwight Eisenhower was the US president during the Korean War.
He is also the creator of the domino theory.

Warsaw Pact

May 1955

The Soviet Union made the Warsaw Pact in retaliation to NATO. The Warsaw pact had the same guidelines of protecting each other but against democracy and capitalism. The members were made up of the Soviet Union and its Satilite states.

The Vietnam War

November 1 1955 - April 30 1975

Vietnam War started off as the US giving aid to the south who were not communist. Then the US started placing soldiers to help and soon they had 1/2 a million men serving the South their service against the North. Many Americans died fighting the Viet Cong which brought many protests to America’s involvement with Vietnam.

Fidel Castro

1959 - 1991

Was a revolutionary who became prime minster of Cuba. He disliked the US and denounced them as imperialist. He was into nationalism and wanted the US gone. So he did just that and took over most of the properties and businesses owned by the US.
Castro supported the USSR’s policy and in return Russia sent thousand of advisors, technicians and workers to help Castro.

John Kennedy

January 20, 1961 - November 22, 1963

Was the newly elected US President who gave the all clear to invade Cuba to overthrow Castro. This failure destroyed the U.S image and strength.

Bay of Pigs

April 17 1961

A force of 1,500 trained men landed on Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. Unfortunately the force was all either captured or killed within three days. This was due to lack of support from common Cubans and air support that never showed. This action pushed Cuba faster towards being a communist country.

Berlin Wall

August 13 1961 - November 9 1989

This wall was created by East Germanys Communist leaders in order to stop eastern Germans from fleeing west. 3.5 million had already done so the wall divided Berlin, free on the west and communist controlled on the east. The wall did its purpose and stopped the rate of fleeing easterners

Cuban Missile Crisis

October 1962

Russia had brought it's nuclear weapons to Cuba with its permission. This brought superpowers very close to the use of Nuclear Warfare.

Richard Nixon

January 20 1969 - August 9 1974

Was a president of the US who recieved alot of heat for the bombing in cambodia and the Watergate scandal. He also pulled out the troops from Vietnam.

Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT)

November 24 1969

SALT also known as Strategic Arms Limitation Talks ended between the Soviets and US in 1972. During this time only two agreements were made.



Détente was a reduction of hostility, agreed between the US and the Soviet Union in order to cool down the tension between the two. This caused the two countries to cooperate.



Taliban were an army “of religious students” who tried unifying the Afghan lands in 1994. They captured Kabul after an 11 month siege and proclaimed the Islamic State of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan 1979

April 14 1979

It basically was the Soviet Union who tried putting someone who they could control as leader of the government. This didn’t go well with the people of Afghanistan, and they revolted and finally defeated the Soviet controlled government after 9 years. The recieved support from the U.S, Iran and China.

Lech Walesa and Solidarity

1980 - 1995

Lech Walesa was a polish politician and a trade union organizer. He was the man who created Solidarity which was a trade union federation in 1980. It was the first non-communist controlled trade union in the Warsaw pact.

Ronald Reagan

January 20 1981 - January 20 1989

Was a United Stated President who helped the American economy and is credited with ending the Cold war. He spent his 2nd term working on foreign affairs. He was very strongly against communism and supported all who opposed it.

Mikhail Gorbachev

1985 - 1991

He was General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and the first president of the Soviet Union from 1988 until it dissolved in 1991. He completely changed the was the Soviet Union had been run and opened it to a new era.

Perestroika and Glasnost


This was the moto that Mikhail Gorbachev's used. It was a political movement for reformation within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. There were many reforms.

Boris Yeltsin

1990 - 1999

He was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999. He helped the economy of Russia and made many reforms within society and the government.

The Collapse of the Soviet Union


I believe this is the time period in which the Cold War finally ended. After Mikhail Gorbachev came into power, the Soviet Union basically imploded, the Soviet Union broke up into independent states and that is what ended the war.