Cold War

Main

World War II

1939 - 1945

Potsdam Conference

1945

USSR, US, and UK meet to decide punishment for Nazi Germany.

Atomic bombing of Hiroshima by the US

1945

Atomic bombing of Nagisaki by US

1945

USSR explodes first atomic bomb

1949

NATO forms

1949

Communists takes control of China

1949

Korean War

1950 - 1953

US explodes first hydrogen bomb on Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands

1952

USSR announces testing of hydrogen bomb

1953

Vietnam War/Conflict

1954 - 1975

Warsaw Pact formed

1955

USSR builds intercontinental ballistic missile

1957

US builds intercontinental ballistic missile

1958

Berlin Wall starts to be erected

1961

Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba

1961

Cuban Missile Crisis

1962

Détente between USSR and US

1968 - 1979

During the time period of détente, two treaties were signed (SALT I and SALT II) to help limit the production of strategic arms. It is important to understand, however, that this was not exactly a time of total peace and harmony. Important events, such as the Arab-Israeli War (where the USSR supported the Arabs and the US supported Israel) left the world knowing that there was still distrust between the nations.

USSR invades Afghanistan and US cancels SALT II

1979

US and 60 others boycott Moscow Olympic Games

1980

Reagan introduces Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)

1983

The SDI was known as "Star Wars". Its purpose was to use lasers fired from satellites to defend from foreign missiles.

USSR boycotts Los Angeles Olympic Games

1984

Mikhail Gorbachev becomes Soviet leader

1985

On November 21, Gorbachev and Reagan met in Geneva and talk about making a fresh start.

Reagan and Gorbachev sign Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty

1987

During a summit in Washington D.C., Reagan and Gorbachev sign Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, destroying all missiles with ranges between 310 and 3.441 miles.

Tearing down of the Berlin Wall

1989

Significant fall of communism in Europe

1989

Significant communist governments fall across Europe, such as Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, and Hungary.

Germany reunites as one nation

1990

End of the USSR

1991

Warsaw Pact ends

1991

Signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between US and USSR

1991