Cold War Origins

Who Caused the Cold War?

Berlin Blockade 1948-49

The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe

Korean War 1950-53

The Berlin War 1961

Politics 1950s and 60s

Cuban Missile Crisis 1962

Vietnam

For Further information refer to the following pages:
The Vietnam War
Cold War Key Developments
Cold War Superpower Relations
End of the Cold War
Policy Changes of Nikita Khrushchev
The Soviet Union Under Stalin
The Soviet Union Under Brezhnev
Brezhnev Foreign Policy
Brezhnev
Cold War Significant Events Timeline
Cold War Timeline
Fulgencio Batista
Gorbachev
Khrushchev
Mao Zedong and the PRC
NATO
Stalin 1941-1953
Stalin's domestic policies
Stalin's foreign and domestic policies

Timeline adapted from the book "The Cold War: Collapse of Communism" by Earle Rice Jr.
1917
November 7
Bolsheviks seize power in Russia
1942
November 6
NKVD chief Laventy Beria informs Soviet premier, Joseph Stalin of atomic research by Western power
1945
February 4-12
Yalta Conference; meeting of President F.D.R, Prime Minister Churchill and Premier Stalin

March 23
Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov announces that Polish elections will be conducted Soviet-style

April 12
President Roosevelt dies; VP Harry S. Truman takes over

June 26
Signing of the UN Charter

July 17-August 2
Potsdam Conference; meeting of President Truman, Prime Minister Churchill (is replaced by Clement Attlee on July 28), and Premier Stalin

August 6
The US drops A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the 9th

August 8
The Soviet Union declares war on Japan

September 2
Japan surrenders, WW2 ends

October 24
UN Day (UN Charter ratified)
1946
January 5
Truman's letter is sent to Secretary of state James F. Byrnes which starts the American policy against the USSR

March 5
Churchill makes his "iron curtain" speech
1947
February 21
Britain informs the US that it will stop sending aid to Greece and Turkey on March 31

March 12
President Truman announces his Truman Doctrine
1948
June 5
Marshall Plan announced

June 18
Western powers introduce a new deutshe mark (currency) intp West Germany

June 23
Soviet Union issues their own version of the mark to East Germany

June 24-May 5, 1949
Berlin Blockade and airlift
1949
April 4
NATO is formed

May 23
West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany) is formed

August 29
The Soviet Union detonate their first nuclear weapon

October 7
East Germany (German Democratic Republic) is formed
1950
June 25
Korean War begins
1952
November 1
US tests the Hydrogen bomb

November 4
Eisenhower becomes president
1953
March 5
Stalin dies

June 19
The Rosenbergs are executed for spying on behalf of the USSR

July 27
Korean war ends
1955
November 9
The Soviet Union test their hydrogen bomb
1956
July 19-December 4
Suez Crisis, occurs because the US withdrew financial support for the Aswan Dam
1957
January 5
Pres Eisenhower gets the US to defend the Middle East, Eisenhower Doctrine

October 4
Sputnik 1 is lunched (space race)
1959
April 4
Pres Eisenhower gets the US to support South Vietnam

July 8
First American serviceman killed by the Viet Cong
1960
November 8
J.F.K becomes pres
1962
October 14-Nov 7
Cuban Missile Crisis
1963
August 5
US, Great Britain and the USSR sign the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963

November 22
J.F.K is assassinated, VP Johnson becomes pres
1972
May 26
Nixon and Kosygin (Soviet premier) sign SALT I
1973
December 31
US forces in Vietnam is reduced to fifty men
1975
April 30
Vietnam War ends
1979
December 27
The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan
1985
March 11
Gorbachev is elected Soviet Secretary
1987
June 12
Reagan asks Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall
1988
May 31
Reagan addresses students at Moscow University during summit meetings with Gorbachev

June 28
19th Conference of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union convenes in Moscow

October 1
Gorbachev is elected Soviet president and Chief of state
1989
February 15
The Soviet Union leaves Afghanistan

November 9
The Berlin Wall is breached
1991
January 22
Gorbachev denies any role in the Vilnius revolt

March 17
Soviet citizens approve referendum aimed at preserving the Soviet Union

June 12
Boris Yeltsin wins election as president of the new Russian Federation

July 29
George Bush and Gorbachev signs START treaty

August 19-22
Coup against Gorbachev fails

December 8
Russia, Ukraine and Belarus sign an agreement creating the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as the successor to the Soviet Union

December 25
Gorbachev resigns, marking the collapse of Communism


Analysis of Sources used in this Cold War Project


Learning Curve
It is a site designed to help teach history through original documents, photographs and film from "The National Archives", supported with background information. This makes the site a secondary or historiographical source which provides primary documents and films while providing background information to assist in the analysis of such sources.

Credits from Learning Curve: Cold War
Author: Ben Walsh
General editors: Tom O'Leary and Sarah Price
Researcher: Sarah Price
Website Design: Robert Daoust and Harpal Sabharwal
We would like to thank the following copyright holders for permission to use items in this exhibition: Associated Newspapers; Centre for the Study of Cartoons and Caricature; Daily Telegraph; David King Collection; Imperial War Museum; John Jensen; Korea Film Export and Import Corporation; Liz Lochead; Medical & Scientific Aid for Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia; National Archives and Records Administration; Punch Archive; US Government Printing Office, Dr James Fox and the Bunker Preservation Trust and the Vietnamese Embassy.
ITN Archive:The Production is licensed to end user for access only on end user's personal computer solely for the end user's private use. No part of the Production shall be copied, downloaded, stored, manipulated, reformatted, republished, redistributed, posted, printed, displayed, broadcast, transmitted or otherwise used in any way.

The Cold War: Collapse of Communism
Book written by Earle Rice Jr.
This book is a historiographical source that discusses the social, economic and political reasons behind the events of the Cold War
Unfortunately this source was not thoroughly investigated for the purpose of this Cold War project