Cold War Events Timeline

United States

Yalta Conference

February 1, 1945 - February 28, 1945

To divide Germany into zones of occupation run by the Allied military forces, our great FDR, the noble Winston Churchill, and that jerk Stalin met in Yalta. The conference ordered that traitorous Germany would pay compensation to Soviet Union. Stalin promised to give Eastern Europeans free elections. He also joined in the war against Japan.

Potsdam Conference

July 1, 1945 - July 30, 1945

That backstabber Stalin ignored our requests in the Yalta Conference and created Communist governments in Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Poland, and Yugoslavia. He also did not allow Eastern Europeans the right to vote. How rude! With our amazing Roosevelt gone, the great Truman stepped in. The great Truman, wise Winston Churchill, and the backstabber Stalin met in Potsdam, Germany. Truman asked Stalin to allow free elections, but the guy refused! Jerk...

Containment

1946

Our great President Truman created a foreign policy directed at blocking Soviet influence and stopping the expansion of communism.

Iron Curtain

1946

A division was set in place to determine how much territory the Soviets were allowed to control. It was created in order to prevent the communists from spreading into Western Europe.

Brinkmanship

1946

The willingness to go to the brink (edge) of war. This required a reliable source of nuclear weapons which needed airplanes in order to be delivered.

Marshall Plan

1948 - 1951

A US Secretary of State, George Marshall, decided that the United States should help out European countries. The program provided food, machinery, and the necessary materials to rebuild Western Europe. How nice of us!

Explosion of Joe 1

1949

The explosion of the Soviet Union's atomic bomb. Even if the Soviet's exploded their atomic weapon first, the good ole US got back into the game by developing a hydrogen bomb. Go US!

Formation of NATO

1949

Ten bold western European nations joined Canada and our great US and formed an awesome defensive military alliance. If anyone attacked a member of NATO, all nations that were members of NATO would send in their armed forces.

Korean War

1950 - 1953

The 38th parallel is a line that crosses Korea at 38 degrees north latitude. North of the 38th parallel, Japan surrendered to the Soviet Union. South of the 38th parallel, Japan surrendered to the US. This created Communist North Korea, and non-Communists South Korea.
North Korea attacked South Korea by surprise in 1950. With South Korea asking for help, the great US came to their aid! 15 nations that were a part of the UN went to stop North Korea's invasion.

Vietnam War

1954 - 1975

Vietnamese Nationalists and Communists banded together to fight against the French. The war ended with the defeat of the French forces and an international peace conference in Geneva. Vietnam was then divided.

Domino Theory

1954

The great President Eisenhower said that once one Asian country became communist, a domino effect would begin and cause other Asian nations to fall to communism.

Formation of the Warsaw Pact

1955

The stinky Soviet Union thought of NATO as a threat (pansies), so they established the Warsaw Pact. This was an alliance between the Soviet Union, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania.

Suez Canal Crisis

1956

During the Arab-Israeli War, Egypt gained control of the Suez Canal. Troops were sent in to take the canal, controlled by Britain, by the Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel Nasser. The canal was taken because President Nasser was angry at the lack of US and British financial support for building the Aswan Dam. The Egyptians really shouldn't have been mad at us though. We need money for our own stuff, not someone else's dam!

Sputnik Launched

August 1957

Sputnik was the first unmanned satellite. The Soviets launched this and became the first to develop a rocket that could travel far distances. The Americans felt really lousy for slacking and not being the first in this great feat :( But it got better for us; we launched our own in 1958!

Cuban Missile Crisis

July, 1962

The Soviet Union's crummy leader Nikita Khrushchev secretly built 42 missile sites in Cuba. An American spy plane discovered the sites and were declared a threat to the US because they were so close.

Detente

1970

Detente is a policy of lessening Cold War tensions. The great President Nixon and Soviet Union's Brezhnev met and discussed this.

SALT Talks

1972

SALT stands for Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. This was discussed between President Nixon and Soviet Union's Brezhnev. The SALT I Treaty limited the number of intercontinental ballistic and submarine-launched missiles each country could have.

Invasion of Afghanistan

1979

The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan (can't they just leave everyone alone?!). The US helped Afghanistan by giving them weapons to defend themselves. They did this because they didn't want the Soviets to threaten their oil source.

Regan's Strategic Defense Initiative

1983

This program protects against enemy missiles. Although it wasn't put into effect, it was a symbol of anti-Communist sentiment.

USSR

Yalta Conference

February, 1945

Today Stalin met with Churchill and Roosevelt to make agreements about what will happen after the war is ended. Stalin was able to make sure Germany will have to pay us for our war losses. I fear our leader Stalin, but I am thankful that he is able to help our communist causes.

Potsdam Conference

July 1945

Stalin, Churchill, and the US's new president, Truman, met again. This time, it did not seem quite as peaceful. Truman is angry with our Stalin for breaking his promise that he would allow free elections in the Eastern European countries.

Brinkmanship

1946

Well, our USSR is on the brink of war with the US. They call this brinkmanship because we are both threatening each other but neither of us actually wants to start a war. I am afraid of the US because of the way they ruthlessly bombed Japan, but at the same time I want to teach them a lesson with the weapons we have now.

Iron Curtain

1946

This year a division was set in place to determine how much territory we Soviets are allowed to control. It is called the iron curtain because it is a firm division which the democratic European countries hope will prevent us from spreading into Western Europe. This is a huge setback to our goal of world peace through communism! Arghh. . . those Americans and Western Europeans!

Containment

1946

The United States' President Truman just announced their new policy called "containment." This means the US is attempting to stop Soviet ideas from spreading. That evil Truman! It seems he doesn't want the world to ever be prosperous and peaceful - the way it would be if we can finally transition into a world with no government.

Marshall Plan

1948 - 1951

We recently successfully extended our communist power into Czecholsovakia. However, those Americans decided that they are going to begin sending money to other European countries to help boost their economies and decrease the poverty rates. That all sounds good, but they are really doing this as a sneaky attack on communism! This means less poor people - the ones who need communism the most.

Formation of NATO

1949

Our soviet government tried to keep Germany from re-unifying because we do not want our enemies to regain strength. We blockaded West Berlin, but our old friends the Allies turned against us to help Berlin. Now several European countries along with the US and Canada have formed NATO, a defensive military alliance. Now we can't attack any of those nations without a counter attack by all those nations combined. Arggh!

Explosion of Joe I

1949

This year our government exploded Joe I, our atom bomb. Now the US is scrambling to come up with a weapon more deadly before we do. We have to race to beat them!

Korean War

1950 - 1953

After WWII ended, we gained the northern section of Korea above the 38th parallel. Now that we have gained new communist territory, we are again at odds with the Western powers who control South Korea. Our communist North Korea is fighting non-communist South Korea. The UN is supporting South Korea, and we can't veto them because we support Communist China.

Domino Theory

1954

US President Eisenhower spoke to his people about his proposed "Domino Theory". He believes that once other Asian countries begin to "fall" to communism, the other Asian countries will, too. Well that is the way it should be! He is acting as if this is a bad thing, but communism is going to make the world a better place.

Vietnam War

1954 - 1975

Vietnam triumphed over the French. This is good for us, because Vietnam is strong is communism. The US is warning other nations that they should be careful of communism, calling the conversion to communism a domino affect. I don't understand why the US talks about us like we are evil.

Formation of Warsaw Pact

1955

We finally created our own alliance after the Americans and other Europeans created NATO. Now we will have some Europeans countries to back us in our rivalry against the US.

Suez Canal Crisis

1956

This year the Israelis, British, and French took Egypt's Suez Canal. We didn't like that idea, though. Along with the US, we pressured the Israelis and Europeans to leave the canal. It was interesting to cooperate with the US after all of our struggles.

Sputnik Launched

August, 1957

Hoorah! We beat the US to the big step of sending a satellite into space. Now they will have some catching up to do in order to regain their strength in the science and math systems.

Cuban Missile Crisis

July, 1962

The US had a weak response to Castro's taking over of their sugar companies in Cuba, so we realized that we could expand our Soviet influence into Cuba. We were able to point 42 missiles at the US.

Detente

1970

Soviet Premier Breshnev announced that we are going to relax the tensions we have with US. Hopefully now Breshnev and US President Nixon will be able to help our countries become peaceful with each other, although I still don't really like those Americans.

SALT Talks

1972

US President Johnson and Premier Breschnev are holding conferences to discuss the limitations each country should place on nuclear weapons. I hope this turns out well; I am afraid of the US bombing us like they did Japan.

Invasion of Afghanistan

1979

This year the USSR invaded Afghanistan so that we could help out the communists in the area. The US responded by sending weapons to the anti-communist Muslims to try to stop us. Those Americans seem to hate our communist beliefs.

Regan's Strategic Defense Initiative

1983

US Pres. Regan is looking into technology that will protect his country from our nuclear weapons. I hope it doesn't work as well as the US thinks it will. . . I want the USSR to still have a way to manipulate the US.