Dr. Quintard Taylor, Jr.
Scott and Dorothy Bullitt
Professor of American History 
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African American History | African American History in the West (Now available at www.blackpast.org)  

United States History:

Timeline: Cold War

Before 1600 | 1600 - 1700 | 1700 - 1800 | 1800 - 1900 | 1900 - 2000 | American Revolution Timeline | Cold War Timeline


1945 Feb.       Yalta Conference

        May       World War II ends in Europe.

        Aug.       U.S. drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

                     Potsdam Conference - Truman - Stalin and British divide up Europe


1946 Jan.        First East European Communist government set up in Albania.


1947 Jan.        Communists seize power in Poland.

        March     Truman Doctrine announced.


1948 June       Berlin Airlift begins (ends May 19, 1949)


1949 April       North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) established.

        Aug.       Soviet Union explodes its first atomic bomb.

        Oct.       Communists win Chinese Civil War.


1950 June       U.S. and other U.N. members fight North Korean forces.

                        (the Korean War ends July 27, 1953)


1953 Aug.       U.S. sponsored coup overthrows Iranian government.


1954 June       U.S. sponsored coup overthrows Guatemalan government.

       Sept.       Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) formed.


1955 May        Warsaw Pact formed.

       July         First Summit Meeting between President Dwight Eisenhower and Premier Nikita Khrushchev.


1956 Nov.        Red Army crushes the Hungarian Revolution.


1957 Oct.        Soviets launch first man‑made satellite.


1959 Feb.        Fidel Castro becomes premier of Cuba, installs Communist government.


1961 Apr.        Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

       Aug.        East Germany builds Berlin Wall.


1962 June       Sino‑Soviet Conflict begins.

        Oct.       Cuban Missile Crisis.


1964 Oct.       China explodes its first atomic bomb.


1965 April      U.S. sends troops to the Dominican Republic.

        Aug.      U.S. commits combat troops to South Vietnam.


1968 Aug.      Soviet Red Army crushes Czech Uprising.


1972 Feb.       President Richard Nixon visits China.


1973 Sept.      U.S. supported coup overthrows Chilean government.


1975 Apr.       South Vietnam falls to Communist forces.


1976 Feb.       Soviet and Cuban forces help install Communist government in Angola.


1979 Jan.        U.S. and China establish diplomatic relations.

        Dec.       Soviet Red Army invades Afghanistan


1980 Aug.       Polish shipyard workers strike, Solidarity Union formed.


1983 Dec.       U.S. invades Grenada.


1985 Mar.      Mikhail Gorbachev becomes leader of the Soviet Union, the following year he declares glasnost and     perestroika.


1989 May       Led by university students, over one million Chinese in Tiananmen Square demand reforms by

                    the Chinese Communist government.

        Sept.     Solidarity forms the first post-war non-Communist government in Poland

        Oct.       Hungary declares a non-Communist government.

        Nov.       East Germany allows unrestricted migration to West Germany.

        Dec.       Berlin Wall is demolished.


1990 May       George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev agree to the reunification of Germany in 1994


1991 Aug.       Hard-line Communists stage unsuccessful coup against Mikhail Gorbachev.

        Dec.       The Soviet Union is abolished.  Boris Yeltsin becomes President of Russia.