The Cold War

Including: Yalta Conference, Iron Curtain, Suez Canal, Korean War, and many other important events in the cold war For Colours: Blue - America Red - Canada Orange - Britain Gray - Soviet Union Green - Other

Cold War

Iron Curtain Speech

March 5, 1946

Sir Winston Churchill, nine months after failing to be re-elected as Britain's Prime Minister, traveled by train with President Truman to make a speech by request from Westminster College in Missouri.
Many people declare this event as the beginning of the Cold War

Marshall Plan Announced

June 5, 1947

The Marshall Plan was intended to rebuild the economies and spirits of western Europe, primarily.
From 1945 to 1947 the United States was already assisting European economic recovery with Direct Financial Aid.
Officially known as the European Recovery Program (ERP)
George Marshall was convinced the key to restoration of political stability lay in the revitalization of national economies.

Communists take over Czechoslovakia

February 1948

Berlin Blockade

June 24, 1948 - May 12, 1949

The city of Berlin became the centerpiece of the Cold War,

Germany was divided into four zones administered by four nations: the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union. Berlin, being located in the Soviet zone was itself similarly divided into four sectors. Communism was instituted in the area controlled by the U.S.S.R. while the governments in the three remaining areas were modeled after the political systems of the West.
the Berlin Blockade lasted 320 days as Great Britain and The United States were supplied up to 13,000 tonnes of food, fuel and other items daily by aircraft.

NATO is formed

July, 1949

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was a defense pact intended to protect members against further soviet aggression. All members pledges to defend one another from enemy attacks.
Countries involved: USA, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, (1952: Greece & Turkey), (1955: West Germany) (1983: Spain)

Atomic Bomb

September, 1949

The Soviet Union exploded its first Atomic Bomb in September 1949

Korean War

June 25, 1950 - July 27, 1953

Communist North Korea, supported by Communist China decided to attack South Korea.
The Security Council of the United Nations condemned the attack by North Korea and called on UN members "to render every assistance" to South Korea
(Taken from textbook: Canada Face of a Nation, Authors: Angelo Boletta, Charles Hawkes, Fred Jarman, Marc Keirstead, Jennifer Watt. Page 189)

Civil Defense

January 12, 1951

In fear from the Soviet's first atomic explosion and the Korean War, North America established the Federal Civil Defense Administration, a civil defense campaign emphasizing the use of fallout shelters commenced.

The Rosenburg Execution

June 19, 1953

Julius Rosenburg and Ethel Greenglass were raised in poor Jewish families in New York City, married the same year Juluis graduated from the City College of New York with a degree in electrical engineering.
In 1942, Julius obtained a position in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. as a civilian engineer. In 1945 he lost his job due to allegations of communist activities.
Harry Gold and David Greenglass (Ethel's brother) and Julius Rosenburg were arrested June 17, 1950, And Ethel Rosenberg was arrested and then Morton Sobell, a Russian diplomat, was arrested about six days later after being deported from Mexico.
The five were arrested for being involved in a spy ring which sold atomic weapons to the Soviet Union.
April 5th, 1953, Ethel and Julius are sentenced to death, and are executed by electric chair June 19th, 1953

Vietnam War

July, 1954 - April 17, 1975

In 1954, the Geneva Accords were signed. The agreement split Vietnam at the 17th parallel until unified elections, which were to be held in 1956. It also forbid the presence of foreign troops in Vietnam. Since the United States refused to sign the Geneva Accords, it remained as the primary supporter of anti-communist efforts in South Vietnam.

North Vietnam Defeats South Vietnam April 17th, 1975

Warsaw Pact Formed

May, 1955

The Warsaw Pact was established by the Soviet Union as a response to NATO. It has the same aspects of NATO
Countries under the Warsaw Pact: U.S.S.R, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Rumania (Now known as Romania)

Suez Canal Crisis

October, 1956

In 1956, the first large international peacekeeping force was dispatched to the Suez Canal area to keep the peace while the British and French removed their troops from Egypt.
In the summer of 1956, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser seized control of the Suez Canal, a critical shipping route, which was run by French and British interests.
It was the first large international peacekeeping force. It included 6000 men from ten countries under the command of a Canadian General E.L.M. Burns. It helped to keep peace in the Middle East until Egypt demanded that it leave the area in 1967.
Lester Pearson received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1957, and was elected Prime Minister of Canada in 1963

Sputnik 1 Launched

October 4, 1957

The Sputnik 1 satellite was launched into orbit around the Earth by the Soviets. However, the rocket that was used to launch the Sputnik 1, was capable of launching missiles anywhere in the world and it would be nearly impossible to stop
In fear of the rocket, The United States created nuclear tipped Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)

Cuba taken over by Fidel Castro

January, 1959

Bay of Pigs Invasion

April, 1961

Berlin Border Closes

August 13, 1961

The border between East and West Germany began to close with the placement of barbed wire and machine-gun nests.
On August 12, 1961, the decision was made by the East German government to close the Berlin border. The next day, just minutes after midnight, East German troops erected barbed wire barricades and roadblocks.

Berlin Wall

August 17, 1961 - November, 1989

The Berlin wall, at first was 6 feet tall with barbed wire at the top to permit the two halves from crossing over. This design was quickly rebuilt and reinforced with guard dogs, machine-gun nests, flood lights, and observation towers.
Berlin Wall falls in November, 1989.
Reunification of Germany on October 3, 1990.

US involvement in Vietnam increased


Cuban Missile Crisis

October 15, 1962 - November 21, 1962

The Days that the Whole World held its breath:
Ranging from: October 15 - November 21 1962
President Kennedy ordered U-2 planes to fly over Cuba and take photos, once the film had arrived, intelligence officers identified MRBMs (Middle Range Ballistic Missiles) that were an offensive weapon.
The President immediately ordered an assembly of his most trusted advisers. The ExComm was composed of fourteen people who's job was to analyze the situation. ExComm met every morning at 10:00 a.m at an upmost secrecy so the press could not be involved.
It was decided that President Kennedy keep his regular appearance so no one suspected the Crisis.
On October 17th the Soviet leader Khrushchev sent a letter to Kennedy assuring him that "under no circumstances would surface-to-surface missiles be sent to Cuba." By this time ExComm had already narrowed their recommended course of action down to two events: a blockade or an air strike.
On October 21st, ExComm, and President Kennedy decided that a quarantine was the best course of action. The administration called it a quarantine, because the term "blockade" would symbolize war.
On October 22nd, President Kennedy told United States what was happening. DEFCON was lowered to DEFCON 3 (the lowest it has been since World War II)
On October 24th before the quarantine could go into effect American intelligence officers noticed something strange. Of the nineteen Soviet ships en route to Cuba, sixteen, including five which were suspected of carrying missile cargoes
On October 25th, Walter Lippmann wrote abut a possible trade-off. The Cuban missiles for the missiles that the Untied States had put in Turkey. While analysis continued at ExComm, the Cubans continued to build their missile silos. Meanwhile at the United Nations, the Secretary General U. Thant proposed a cease of actions on both sides. This idea was overruled by both the Americans and the Russians.
On October 26th, The United States Navy boarded the Russian ship
There was a meeting between John Scali, a well respected ABC news diplomat and Alexander Fomin. At this meeting, Fomin told the diplomat of the situation in Cuba an offered a resolution. The resolution basically consisted of:
The missile sites in Cuba would be taken down and sent back to Russia
The Soviets would send no more offensive missiles to Cuba
The United States would have to pledge not to invade Cuba.
The Soviet leader sent a message to Kennedy saying:

"…If the President of the United States would give their assurance that the United States would itself not take part in an attack upon Cuba and would restrain others from such actions, if you recall your Navy – this would change everything.

Let us therefore display statesmanlike wisdom. I propose: we, for our part, will declare that our ships bound for Cuba are not carrying any armaments. You will declare that the United States will not invade Cuba with its troops and will not support any other forces which might intend to invade Cuba. Then the necessity for the presence of your military specialists in Cuba will be obviated."
When ExComm members receive this letter, they began to prepare a positive response. President Kennedy; however, sent his brother on a secret mission. The attorney general went through the back door of the Soviet embassy late that night for the purpose of meeting with Ambassador Dobrynin. At this meeting Robert Kennedy suggested another possible resolution. He intimated at a possible trade. Cuban missiles for Turkish missiles.
On the 27th, during an ExComm meeting, another letter from the Soviet leader began to come through. Apparently Khrushchev was facing some pressure from his aids back in Moscow. This new letter was polished, shined, and edited to be exact. A new variable had entered into the equation: Turkey. ExComm members were shocked and did not understand how Khrushchev came up with the idea of a missile trade. Kennedy kept quiet about the covert mission from the previous night. Now the Soviets would only withdraw their missiles from Cuba if the United States would withdraw its missiles from Turkey.
President Kennedy sent another letter to Khrushchev accepting the terms which the Soviet leader had proposed in his letter dated the 26th
On October 28th, over Radio Moscow, Nikita Khrushchev accepted President Kennedy’s terms, over the next month, negotiations continued
On November 21st, 1962 President Kennedy ended the quarantine, and the crisis officially ended.
(Taken from

President Kennedy Assassinated

November 22, 1963

Assassinated in Dallas, Texas

Soviet troops crush Czechoslovakian revolt

April 1968

Apollo 11

July, 1969

Apollo 11 lands on the moon with Neil Armstrong.

President Nixon extends Vietnam War to Cambodia

April, 1970


July, 1972

SALT I, the first series of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, extended from November 1969 to May 1972. During that period the United States and the Soviet Union negotiated the first agreements to place limits and restraints on some of their central and most important armaments.

Cease of Fire

January, 1973

North Vietnam cease fire against United States

Egypt Request Soviet Aid

October, 1973

Egypt and Syria attack Israel.

President Nixon resigns

August 9, 1974


July, 1979

A major breakthrough occurred at the Vladivostok meeting in November 1974, between President Ford and General Secretary Brezhnev. At this meeting, the sides agreed to a basic framework for the SALT II agreement. Basic elements of the Aide-Memoire, which recorded this agreement, included:

-- 2,400 equal aggregate limit on strategic nuclear delivery vehicles (ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers) of the sides;
-- 1,320 equal aggregate limit on MIRV systems;
-- ban on construction of new land-based ICBM launchers;
-- limits on deployment of new types of strategic offensive arms; and
-- important elements of the Interim Agreement (e.g., relating to verification) would be incorporated in the new agreement.

Strategic Defense Initiative

March 23, 1983

Proposed by President Reagan.
The intent of this program was to develop a sophisticated anti-ballistic missile system in order to prevent missile attacks from other countries

Iran-Contra Affair


Arms sold to Iran, profits used to support contras in Nicaragua

Reagan and Gorbachev

October, 1986

Reagan and Gorbachev resolve to remove all intermediate nuclear missiles from Europe

Treaty Signed

October, 1987

Reagan and Gorbachev agree to remove all medium and short-range nuclear missiles by signing treaty


January, 1989

Soviet Union withdraw from Afghanistan


June 1989

Poland becomes independent country


June, 1989

China puts down protest for Democracy


September, 1989

Hungary becomes independent country

Soviet Empire Ends!

December, 1989

Communist governments fall in Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Rumania


March 1990

Lithuania becomes independent country

Boris Yeltsin

May 29, 1990

Boris Yeltsin elected to President of Russia

Germany Reunited

October 3, 1990

Warsaw Pact Ends

April, 1991

End of Soviet Union

August, 1991

End of Cold War!

World War II

Yalta Conference - Cold War begins!

February 4, 1945 - February 11, 1945

The three most powerful leaders met in Yalta (Winston Churchill, Harry Truman, and Joseph Stalin) to agree to: Dividing up Germany, the creation of the United Nations, German War Reparations, The entry of Soviet forces into the Far-Eastern front (Japan), and the future of Poland.

Hiroshima & Nagasaki

August 6, 1945 - August 11, 1945

(World War II) President Truman decided to use atomic bomb (first atomic bomb to be used) because he believed it to be the only way to get Japan to surrender and save American lives.

Japan Surrenders! (End of WWII)

August 15, 1945 - September 2, 1945

(World War II) August 15th: Empire of Japan formally surrenders to the United States of America.
September 2nd: Douglas MacArthur accepts surrender.


Joseph Stalin

April 3, 1922 - October 16, 1952

William Lyon Mackenzie King

October 23, 1935 - November 15, 1948

Harry Truman

April 12, 1945 - January 20, 1953

Louis St. Laurent

November 15, 1948 - June 21, 1957

Sir Winston Churchill

October 26, 1951 - April 7, 1955

Dwight D. Eisenhower

January 20, 1953 - January 20, 1961

Nikita Khrushchev

September 14, 1953 - October 14, 1964

Anthony Eden

April 7, 1955 - January 10, 1957

Harold Macmillan

January 10, 1957 - October 18, 1963

John Diefenbaker

June 21, 1957 - April 22, 1963

John F. Kennedy

January 20, 1961 - November 22, 1963

Lester Pearson

April 22, 1963 - April 20, 1968

Alec Douglas-Home

October 18, 1963 - October 16, 1964

Lyndon B Johnson

November 22, 1963 - January 20, 1969

Leonid Brezhnev

October 14, 1964 - November 10, 1982

Harold Wilson

October 16, 1964 - June 19, 1970

Pierre Trudeau

April 20, 1968 - June 4, 1979

Richard Nixon

January 20, 1969 - August 9, 1974

Edward Heath

June 19, 1970 - March 4, 1974

Harold Wilson

March 4, 1974 - April 5, 1976

Gerald Ford

August 9, 1974 - January 20, 1977

James Callaghan

April 5, 1976 - May 4, 1979

Jimmy Carter

January 20, 1977 - January 20, 1981

Margaret Thatcher

May 4, 1979 - November 20, 1990

Joe Clark

June 4, 1979 - March 3, 1980

Pierre Trudeau

March 3, 1980 - June 30, 1984

Ronald Reagan

January 20, 1981 - January 20, 1989

Yuri Andropov

November 12, 1982 - February 9, 1984

Konstantin Chernenko

February 13, 1984 - March 10, 1985

John Turner

June 30, 1984 - September 17, 1984

Brian Mulroney

September 17, 1984 - June 25, 1993

Mikhail Gorbachev

March 11, 1985 - August 24, 1991

George H. W. Bush

January 20, 1989 - January 20, 1993

John Major

November 20, 1990 - May 2, 1997