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Timeline of the Cold War. Part 1 The 1940s. Yalta Conference. February 1945 Cold war begins (prior tensions?) Free elections in Eastern European countries – Poland, others? Create new international peace keeping body based on Atlantic Charter principles

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yalta conference
Yalta Conference
  • February 1945
  • Cold war begins (prior tensions?)
  • Free elections in Eastern European countries – Poland, others?
  • Create new international peace keeping body based on Atlantic Charter principles
  • USSR to enter war against Japan after Germany surrenders in exchange for islands (?)

The “Big Three”





allied occupation of germany
Allied Occupation of Germany
  • Potsdam Conference July 1945
  • German occupation zones
  • (draw)
the atomic bomb
The Atomic Bomb
  • August 1945
  • Save American lives
  • Justify the cost
  • Intimidate USSR
iron curtain
Iron Curtain


  • March 1946
  • Churchill speech


“From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an "iron curtain" has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow.”
truman doctrine
Truman Doctrine
  • March 1947
  • Greek civil war
  • US policy of aiding nations defending themselves against communist forces
  • Greece and Turkey
marshall plan
Marshall Plan
  • June 1947
  • Sec. State George Marshall
  • USA provide aid to all European nations that needed it
  • Congress approves $12.5 billion after Soviet tanks enter Czechoslovakia
berlin blockade and airlift
Berlin Blockade and Airlift
  • June 1948 to May 1949
  • USSR cuts off West Berlin
  • Operation Vittles
  • 1.5 million tons
  • 200,000 flights
  • The Candy Bomber!
  • July 1949
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • 12 nation mutual defense agreement
chinese revolution ends
Chinese Revolution ends
  • September 1949
  • Mao Zedong’s Communist forces declare victory
  • Chiang Kai-Shek’s Nationalists set up separate Chinese government on Taiwan
  • Who “lost” China to communism?
  • So much for “containment” ????
korean war begins
Korean War Begins
  • June 1950
  • North Korea invades South Korea
  • US leads UN force to drive North Koreans out of South Korea
  • China enters war when UN/US forces get too close to their border (Yalu River)
the hydrogen bomb
The Hydrogen Bomb
  • November 1952
  • USA detonated first thermonuclear bomb
  • August 1953
  • USSR detonated its own h-bomb
  • Arms race is on in earnest
the rosenbergs
The Rosenbergs
  • June 1953
  • Julius and Ethel Rosenberg executed for spying
  • USSR able to detonate first atomic bomb ahead of schedule thanks to information gained from them
korean war ends
Korean War ends
  • July 1953
  • Eisenhower is new president of USA
  • Stalin died in March
  • Armistice signed
  • 38th // remains in place
  • 94,000 UN dead (54, 000 Americans)
  • 1 million South Koreans
  • 2 million North Koreans
  • July 1954
  • Geneva Accords temporarily divide Vietnam at the 17th //
  • North Vietnam (communist)/ South Vietnam (democratic)
  • until elections (1956?) can be held to unify the country
warsaw pact
Warsaw Pact
  • May 1955
  • USSR with satellite nations of Eastern Europe
  • Formed as counterweight to NATO
  • October 1957
  • Using an ICBM
  • USSR launched first unmanned satellite
  • Implications for the USA?
  • Space race begins
cuban revolution
Cuban Revolution
  • January 1959
  • Fidel Castro’s Communist forces take over Cuba
u 2 shot down
U-2 Shot Down
  • May 1960
  • Gary Powers captured alive
  • Soviet Premier Krushchev uses beginning of the Paris conference to denounce both USA and Eisenhower, then leaves abruptly
  • The 1960s open with tension between superpowers as high as ever
bay of pigs invasion
Bay of Pigs Invasion
  • April 1961
  • CIA trained and equipped Cuban exiles fail to overthrow Castro’s communist regime
  • President Kennedy takes full responsibility
  • Significant propaganda victory for Castro
the berlin wall
The Berlin Wall
  • August 1961
  • Millions of East Germans have “escaped” into West Berlin
  • Krushchev wants it stopped
  • He knows USA won’t give up on West Berlin
  • So he orders a wall to be built across the city
the cuban missile crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis
  • October 1962
  • Afraid that USA still intends to overthrow him, Castro asked USSR for protection
  • U2 flights take pictures of Soviet nuclear weapons sites on the island
  • Pres. Kennedy demands USSR withdraw weapons from Cuba
  • 13-day crisis ends with Soviets backing down
positive consequences of missile crisis
Positive Consequences of Missile Crisis
  • April 1963
  • “Hot line” established between Oval Office and Kremlin
  • July 1963
  • Limited (Nuclear) Test Ban Treaty
  • No nuclear bomb testing in the atmosphere
jfk assassinated
JFK Assassinated
  • November 1963
  • Lee Harvey Oswald, a communist sympathizer????
  • Was the USSR involved ???
gulf of tonkin incident
Gulf of Tonkin Incident
  • August 1964
  • USS Maddox fired on by North Vietnamese gun boats in international waters (?)
  • Congress passes Tonkin Gulf Resolution
  • LBJ given “broad military powers” in Vietnam (?)
escalation of the war in vietnam
Escalation of the War in Vietnam
  • February 1965
  • Operation Rolling Thunder
  • Bombing of North Vietnam
  • March 1965
  • First American combat troops to South Vietnam
  • June 1965
  • 50,000 US troops fighting Vietcong
  • Vietnam War now “Americanized”
  • January – Tet Offensive launched by Vietcong in South Vietnam
  • April – MLK assassinated
  • June – Robert Kennedy assassinated
  • August – Soviets crush uprising in Czechoslovakia
  • 500,000 US troops now in South Vietnam
  • November – Nixon elected with “secret plan” for ending war in Vietnam
apollo 11
Apollo 11
  • July 1969
  • First moon landing
  • USA definitely winning the “space race”