Cold War Timeline 1945-1991



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Cold War Timeline 1945-1991

1945 (Eur) Feb 4: The Yalta Conference

  • (Eur) Feb 6, Russian Red Army crossed the river Oder.

  • (Eur) Apr 11, Red Army finally took the Seelow Heights north of Berlin.

  • (Amer) April 12: Roosevelt dies

  • (Eur) April 20 Battle of Berlin: The Soviet army began shelling Berlin.

  • (Amer) April 23: Truman gives tongue-lashing to Molotov indicating he was determined to take a "tougher" stance with Soviets.

  • (Eur) Apr 25, U.S. and Soviet forces linked up at Torgau.

  • (Eur) May 2 Battle of Berlin: The defenders of Berlin surrendered to the Soviet Union.

  • (Eur) Jun 4, US, Russia, England & France agreed to split occupied Germany.

  • (Eur) July 24: Truman informs Stalin that the US has nuclear weapons.

  • (Eur) Aug 2: The Potsdam Conference

  • Asia) Aug 6: atomic weapon against the Japanese city of Hiroshima

  • (Asia) Aug 8: The USSR declare war on Japan within three months of the victory in Europe, and invades Manchuria.

  • (Asia) Aug 9: atomic weapon against the Japanese city of Nagasaki

  • (Asia) Sep 2: The Japanese surrender unconditionally

  • (Amer) Sep 5: clerk in Soviet embassy in Ottawa, defects.

  • (Amer) Gouzenko affair helps change perceptions of the Soviet Union from an ally to a foe.

1946 (Asia)Jan: Chinese Civil War resumes between Communist and Nationalist forces.

  • (Eur) Jan 7: Austria is reconstituted, with its 1937 borders, but divided into four zones of control:

  • (Eur)Jan 11: Enver Hoxha declares the People's Republic of Albania, with himself as Prime Minister.

  • (Eur) Feb 22: George F. Kennan writes his Long Telegram,

  • (Eur) March: The Greek Civil War reignites between communists and the conservative Greek government.

  • (Eur) March 2: British withdraw from their zone of occupation in southern Iran. Soviets remain in their northern sector.

  • (Eur) March 5: Winston Churchill warns of the descent of an Iron Curtain across Europe.

  • (Asia) April 5: Soviet forces evacuate Iran after a crisis.

  • (Asia) May 9 Iran crisis: The Soviet Union withdrew from Iran.

  • (Asia) July 4: The Philippines gains independence from the US, and begins fighting communist Huk rebels.

  • (Eur) Sep 6: In Stuttgart, Byrnes, US Secretary of State repudiates Morgenthau Plan.

  • (Eur) Sep 8: Bulgaria votes for a People's Republic, deposing King Simeon II. vote fundamentally flawed.

  • (Eur) Oct 28, German rocket engineers began work in the USSR.

  • (Asia) Dec 19: French landings in Indochina begin the First Indochina War.

1947 (Eur) Jan 1: The American and British zones of control in Germany are united to form the Bizone also known as Bizonia.

  • (Eur) Jan 19: Rigged elections in Poland resulted in undemocratic communist state. Soviet-backed Polish communists take power.

  • (Eur) Feb 17, The Voice of America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union.

  • (Eur) Mar 10, The Big Four met in Moscow to discuss Germany.

  • (Amer) March 12: Truman announces the Truman Doctrine, that US committed to "contain" further communist expansion.

  • (Amer) April 16: Bernard Baruch, in a speech coins the term "Cold War" to describe relations between US and Soviet Union.

  • (Eur) May 22: US extends $400 million of military aid to Greece and Turkey, to contain communism in the Mediterranean.

  • (Eur) May 31, Communists grabbed power in Hungary.

  • (Eur) June 5: Marshall outlines plans for economic assistance for Western Europe, the Marshall Plan.

  • (Eur) Jun 16, Pravda denounced the Marshall Plan.

  • (Eur) Jul 3, Soviet Union didn't partake in the Marshall Plan.

  • (Eur) July 11: US announces new occupation policies in Germany.

  • (Eur) Jul 16, Raoul Wallenberg reportedly died at the Lubyanka prison in Moscow of an alleged heart attack.

  • (Amer) Jul, Kennan article "The Sources of Soviet Conflict" in the quarterly Foreign Affairs, which he signed "X,".

  • (Asia) Aug 14: India and Pakistan are granted independence by the United Kingdom.

  • (Eur) Oct 5 The Cominform was established in order to coordinate Communist parties under Soviet control.

  • (Asia) Nov 14: UN resolution for the withdrawal of foreign soldiers from Korea, free elections, and UN commission dedicated to the unification of the peninsula.

  • Russia Sgt. Mikhail Kalashnikov (b.1919) created the AK-47 (Avtomat Kalashnikova) automatic rifle.

1948 (Eur) Feb 26: Communist takes control in Czechoslovakia, after Pres Beneš accepts resignation of all non-communist ministers.

  • (Amer) April 3: Truman signs the Marshall Plan into effect.

  • (Asia) May 10: A parliamentary vote in southern Korea sees the confirmation of Syngman Rhee as President

  • (Asia) June 18: A communist insurgency in Malaya begins against British and Commonwealth forces.

  • (Eur) June 21: In Germany, the Bizone and the French zone launch a common currency, the Deutsche Mark.

  • (Eur) Berlin Blockade (24 June 1948 – 12 May 1949)

  • (Eur) June 24: Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin orders the blockade of all land routes from West Germany to Berlin,

  • (Eur) June 25 Berlin Blockade: The commander of the American occupation zone ordered an airlift of supplies into West Berlin.

  • (Eur)June 28: Soviet Union expels Yugoslavia from (COMINFORM) for the latter's position on the Greek civil war.

  • (Eur) July 2, Meeting in Paris among foreign ministers, Molotov called Marshall Plan an "imperialist" plot.

  • (Asia) July 17: The constitution of the Republic of Korea is effected.

  • (Asia) Sep 9: Soviet Union declares the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to be the legitimate government of all of Korea.

  • (Eur) Oct 16, Moscow Jews held a demonstration honoring Israeli ambassador Golda Meir.

  • (Eur) Nov 30, Communists completed the division of Berlin, installing the government in the Soviet sector.

1949 (Eur) April 4: (NATO) is founded

  • (Eur) May 11: Soviet blockade of Berlin ends with the re-opening of access routes to Berlin.

  • (Eur) May 23: In Germany, the Bizone merges with the French zone of control to form the Federal Republic of Germany,.

  • (Amer) June 8: Red Scare reaches its peak.

  • (Eur) Aug 29: Soviet Union tests its first atomic bomb.

  • (Amer) September 13: The USSR vetoes the UN membership of Ceylon, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Jordan, and Portugal.

  • (Eur) Sep 15: Konrad Adenauer becomes the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.

  • (Asia) Oct 1: Mao Zedong declares the foundation of the People's Republic of China

  • (Asia) Oct 2, USSR recognized the People's Republic of China.

  • (Eur) Oct 7: The Soviets declare their zone of Germany to be the German Democratic Republic, with its capital at East Berlin.

  • (Eur) Oct 16 End of Greek Civil War, and the first successful containment of communism.

  • (Asia) Dec 16, Chinese Communist leader Mao Tse-tung was received at the Kremlin in Moscow.

  • George Orwell wrote his novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four."

1950 (Asia) Jan 6: UK recognizes the People's Republic of China. The Republic of China severs diplomatic relations.

  • (Asia) Jan 30 Korean War: Regarding invasion of South, Stalin wrote to North Korea: "Tell him [Kim] that I am ready to help him in this matter."

  • (Asia) Jan 31: The last Kuomintang soldiers surrender on continental China.

  • (Asia) Feb 14: The Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China sign a pact of mutual defense.

  • (Asia) March 1: Chiang Kai-shek moves his capital to Taipei, Taiwan

  • (Amer) April 14: State Department Director of Policy Planning Paul Nitze issues NSC-68

  • (Eur) May 9: Schuman Declaration, it marks the beginning of the creation of the European Community.

Korean War 25 June 50 - 27 July 53

  • (Asia) June 25: North Korea invades South Korea, beginning the Korean War.

  • (Asia) June 27: The UN votes to send forces to Korea to aid South Korea.

  • (Asia) June 28: Seoul, the capital of South Korea, falls to North Korean forces.

  • (Asia) July 5: UN forces engage North Korean forces for the first time, in Osan.

  • (Asia) Sep 15: UN forces land at Incheon. Defeating the North Korean forces, they press inland and re-capture Seoul.

  • Oct 2, Mao Tse Tung sent a telegram to Stalin. China intervened in Korea.

  • (Asia) Oct 7: UN forces cross the 38th parallel, into North Korea.

  • (Asia) Oct 8: Forces from the People's Republic of China mobilize along the Yalu River.

  • (Asia) Oct 19: Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, falls to UN forces.

  • (Asia) Oct 25: China invades Korea with 300,000 soldiers, catching the UN by surprise.

  • (Asia) Nov 1 Korean War: Soviet-piloted MiG-15s first crossed the Yalu River and attacked American planes.

  • (Asia) Nov 26: UN forces approach the Yalu River. In response, China invades Korea again, but with a 500,000 strong army.

  • (Amer) NSC-68 document by Paul Nitze called for containment building up of American nuclear forces.

1951 (Asia) Jan 4: Chinese soldiers capture Seoul.

  • (Asia) March 14: UN forces recapture Seoul during Operation Ripper.

  • (Amer) March 29: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are convicted of espionage

  • (Asia) April 11: US President Harry S. Truman fires Douglas MacArthur from command of US forces in Korea.

  • (Eur) April 18: The European Coal and Steel Community is formed by the Treaty of Paris.

  • (Asia) Sep 1: Australia, New Zealand, and the US sign the ANZUS Treaty.

  • (Eur) Sep 20: Greece and Turkey join NATO.

  • (Eur) Oct 10: Truman signs the Mutual Security Act, the U.S. was prepared to provide military aid to "free peoples."

  • (Eur) Dec 12: The International Authority for the Ruhr lifted part of the remaining restrictions on German industrial production.

1952 (Asia) April 28: Japan signs Treaty of San Fran ending occupation and isolation, and becoming a sovereign state.

  • (Amer) June: SAC begins Reflex Alert deployments of long-range nuclear bombers

  • (Amer) June 14: The US lays the keel for the world's first nuclear-powered submarine, USS Nautilus.

  • (Eur) Jun 23, British diplomats and Soviet spies Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean fled to the USSR.

  • (Eur) June 30: The Marshall Plan ends, with European industrial output now well above that of 1938.

  • (Mid East) July 26: Gamal Abdel Nasser heads a coup against King Farouk of Egypt.

  • (Eur) Sep 24, The Soviet Union conducted its 2nd nuclear test.

  • (Eur) Oct 2: UK tests its atomic bomb in Operation Hurricane.

  • (Amer) Nov 1: The US detonates the world's first hydrogen bomb in Operation Ivy.

1953 (Amer) Jan 20: Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes President of the US.

  • (Eur) March 5: Joseph Stalin dies, setting off a power struggle to succeed him.

  • (Asia) April 8 First Indochina War: Viet Minh and Pathet Lao forces invaded Laos and attacked French bases there.

  • (Eur) June 16-17 Uprising of 1953 in East Germany.

  • (Eur) June 26 Beria was arrested at a special meeting of the Presidium.

  • (Asia) July 27: A Cease-fire ends fighting on the Korean Peninsula.

  • (Mid East) Aug 19: (CIA) assists coup in Iran, because of nationalization of the oil industry and fears of Iran joining Soviet camp.

  • (Eur) Sep 7: Khrushchev becomes leader of Communist Party.

  • (Amer) Dec 4-8: Eisenhower meets with Churchill and Joseph Laniel of France in Bermuda.

1954 (Amer) Jan 21: US launches world's first nuclear submarine, USS Nautilus.

  • (Asia) May 7: The Viet Minh defeat the French at Dien Bien Phu.

  • (Asia) May: The Huk revolt in the Philippines is defeated.

  • (Amer) June 2: Senator Joseph McCarthy charges that communists have infiltrated the CIA and the atomic weapons industry.

  • (Amer) June 18: The elected leftist Guatemalan government is overthrown in a CIA-backed coup.

  • (Amer) July 8: Col. Carlos Castillo Armas is elected president of Guatemalan

  • (Asia) July 21 Geneva Conference (1954): The signing of Geneva Accords

  • (Mid East) July 23: Nasser, ousts the pro-British King Farouk

  • (Asia) Aug 11: The Taiwan Strait Crisis begins with the Chinese Communist shelling of Taiwanese islands.

  • (Asia) Sep 8: Foundation of the South East Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO)

1955 (Mid East) Feb 24: The Baghdad Pact is founded by Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

  • (Mid East) March: Soviet aid to Syria begins.

  • (Asia) Apr: Bandung Conf: Non-Aligned Movement pioneered by Nehru, Sukarno, Tito, Nasser and Ghana.

  • (Eur) May 9: West Germany joins NATO.

  • (Eur) May 14: The Warsaw Pact is founded in Eastern Europe

  • (Eur) May 15: Austria is neutralized and allied occupation ends.

  • (Eur) June 2 Khrushchev and Tito issued Belgrade declaration.

  • (Eur) July 18: Eisenhower, the 'Big Four', attend the Geneva Summit.

1956 (Eur) Feb 25 : Khrushchev's speech "On the Personality Cult and its Consequences" at closed session of Party Congress.

  • (Eur) April 17 The Cominform was officially dissolved.

  • (Eur) June 28: in Poznań, Poland, anti-communist protests lead to violence.

  • (Mid East) July 26: Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal.

  • (Eur) Oct 23: Hungarian Revolution of 1956: Hungarians revolt against the Soviet dominated government.

  • (Mid East) Oct 29: Suez Crisis: France, Israel, and the UK attack Egypt with the goal of removing Nasser from power.

  • (Eur) Nov 4 Hungarian Revolution: A Soviet invasion, 2,500 Hungarians were killed in the ensuing battle.

  • (Eur) Nov 17, Khrushchev told Western diplomats "We will bury you."

  • (Amer) Dec 2 Cuban Revolution: Fidel Castro and his followers in the 26th of July Movement landed in Cuba.

  • (Africa) Dec 10 Angolan War of Independence: Marxist Popular Movement for Liberation of Angola formed.

1957 (Mid East) Jan 5: Eisenhower doctrine commits US to defending Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan from Communist influence.

  • (Mid East) Jan 22: Israeli forces withdraw from the Sinai, which they had occupied the previous year.

  • (Eur) Mar 12, German DR accepted 22 Russian armed divisions.

  • (Amer) May 2: Senator Joseph McCarthy succumbs to illness exacerbated by alcoholism and dies.

  • (Asia) A Communist insurgency begins in South Vietnam, sponsored by North Vietnam.

  • (Amer) Oct 1: SAC initiates 24/7 nuclear alert (continuous until termination in 1991)

  • (Eur) Oct 4: Sputnik satellite launched.

  • (Amer) Oct 10: Eisenhower apologies to Ghanian Finance Minister, who had been refused service at a restaurant in Delaware.

1958 (Mid East) July 14: A coup in Iraq, the 14 July Revolution, removes pro-British monarch.

  • (Asia) Aug 23: Second Taiwan Strait Crisis begins when China begins to bomb Quemoy.

  • (Eur) Aug: Thor IRBM deployed to the UK, within striking distance of Moscow.

1959 (Amer) Jan 1: Cuban Revolution. Fidel Castro becomes the leader of a new Marxist Cuba.

  • (Mid East) March 24: New Republic government of Iraq leaves Central Treaty Organization

  • (Amer) May 24: Former U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles dies from cancer.

  • (Eur) July 24: Kitchen Debate in Moscow Vice President Nixon and Khrushchev debate the capacities of each Superpower.

  • (Amer) Sep 15: Khrushchev visits U.S. for 13 days.

  • (Asia) Dec: Formation of the Viet Cong in South Vietnam.

1960 (Eur) Feb 16: France successfully tests its first atomic bomb, Gerboise Bleue, in the middle of the Algerian Sahara Desert. [1]

  • (Eur) April: Jupiter IRBM deployment to Italy begins, placing nuclear missiles within striking range of Moscow

  • (Eur) May 1: Francis Gary Powers is shot down in his U-2 spy plane while flying at high altitude over the Soviet Union,

  • (Eur) May 16, Big Four summit in Paris collapsed

  • (Asia) June: Sino-Soviet split: Chinese leadership, declares its version of Communism superior

  • (Asia) July 31: Communist insurgents in Malaya are defeated.

  • (Asia) Aug 9: The Pathet Lao (communist) revolt in Laos begins.

  • (Eur) Aug 19, Gary Powers convicted of espionage.

  • (Amer) Oct 12, Khrushchev pounding his desk with a shoe at UN incident.

  • (Asia) Dec 20 Vietnam War: NFL formed.

1961 (Amer) Jan 20: John F. Kennedy becomes President of the US.

  • (Africa) Feb 4: Angolan nationalists, including communists, begin an insurgency against Portuguese rule.

  • Apr 12, Yuri Gagarin, Russian cosmonaut, experienced the weightlessness of space for 108 minutes.

  • (Amer) April 15: Bay of Pigs Invasion: A CIA-backed invasion of Cuba by counter-revolutionaries ends in failure.

  • (Amer) May 25: John F. Kennedy announces the US intention to put a man on the moon - kickstarting the Apollo program

  • (Eur) June 4: Kennedy meets with Khrushchev in Vienna.

  • (Eur) June: Jupiter IRBM deployment to Turkey begins,

  • (Eur)Aug 13: The Berlin Wall is built by the Soviets to stop the flood of people attempting to escape East Germany.

  • (Amer)Aug 17: Alliance for Progress aid to Latin America from the US begins.

  • (Eur) Oct 31: Soviet Union detonates Tsar Bomb, 50 megatons.

  • (Eur) Nov 11, Stalingrad was renamed Volgograd.

  • (Amer) Dec 2 Castro declared he was a Communist.

1962 (Eur) Jan 23, British spy Kim Philby defected to USSR.

  • (Eur) Feb 10, Soviet Union exchanged Gary Powers.

  • June 25 Mozambican War of Independence: Mozambican Liberation Front (FRELIMO) was founded.

  • (Asia) July 20: Neutralization of Laos is established by international agreement, but North Vietnam refuses to withdraw.

  • (Asia) Sep 8: Himalayan War: Chinese forces attack India, making claims on numerous border areas.

Cuban Missile Crisis (Oct 14-28 )

  • (Amer) Oct 14, The American CIA U-2 mission detected Soviet ballistic missiles in Cuba.

  • (Amer) Oct 16 Cuban Missile Crisis: President Kennedy was shown U-2 surveillance images of SS-4 launch sites in Cuba.

  • (Amer) Oct 18, JFK met Russian minister of Foreign affairs Andrei Gromyko.

  • (Amer) Oct 22 Cuban Missile Crisis: Kennedy announced "quarantine" to prevent further weapons shipments.

  • (Amer) Oct 25, Adlai E. Stevenson presented photographic evidence of Soviet missile bases in Cuba to the UN Security Council.

  • (Amer) Oct 26 Cuban Missile Crisis: Soviet Union offered to withdraw missiles in return for U.S. guarantee not to invade Cuba.

  • (Amer) Oct 27, Khrushchev offered to remove Soviet missile bases in Cuba if the U.S. removed its missile bases in Turkey.

  • (Amer) Oct 28 Cuban Missile Crisis: Khrushchev announced that he had ordered the removal of the Soviet missiles in Cuba.

  • (Amer) Nov 2, Pres. Kennedy reported that Soviet missile bases in Cuba were being dismantled.

  • (Amer) Nov 19, Fidel Castro accepted the removal of Soviet weapons.

  • (Amer) Nov 20, USSR agreed to remove bombers from Cuba and US lifted its blockade.

  • (Asia) Nov 21: End of the Himalayan War. China occupies a small strip of Indian land.

1963 (Eur) Apr 27, Castro arrived in Moscow.

  • (Amer) June 20: The US agrees to set up a hotline with the USSR, so making direct communication possible.

  • (Eur) June 21: France announces that it is withdrawing its navy from the North Atlantic fleet of NATO.

  • (Eur) Jun 28, Khrushchev visited East-Berlin.

  • (Amer) Aug 5: Partial Test Ban Treaty prohibiting the testing of nuclear weapons anywhere except underground.

  • (Asia) Nov: South Vietnamese Prime Minister Diem is assassinated in coup, suspected CIA involvement

  • (Amer) Nov 22: Kennedy is shot and killed in Dallas by Lee Harvey Oswald.

1964 (Amer) March 30 / April 1: A military-led coup d'état overthrows democratically elected president João Goulart in Brazil.

  • (Amer) April 20: Lyndon Johnson and Khrushchev, announce cut back production of materials for making nuclear weapons.

  • (Asia) Aug 4: Gulf of Tonkin Incident leads to the open involvement of the US in the Vietnam War,

  • (Eur) Oct 14: Leonid Brezhnev succeeds Khrushchev to become General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

  • (Asia) Oct 16: China tests its first atomic bomb. The test makes China the world's fifth nuclear power.

Vietnam War: (8 March 1965 - 27 Jan 1973)

1965 (Asia) March 8: US military build up to defend South Vietnam.

  • (Amer) April 28: US forces invade the Dominican Republic to prevent a similar communist takeover like that occurred in Cuba.

  • (Asia) Aug 15: Second Indo-Pakistani War.

  • (Asia) Sep 23: The Second Indo-Pakistani War ends in a cease-fire.

  • (Asia) Sep 30: Six Indonesian generals were murdered as part of the 30 Sep Movement.

  • (Asia) Nov 14: Battle of Ia Drang, the first major engagement between US Troops and regular Vietnamese forces.

1966 (Eur) March 10: France withdraws from NATO command structure.

  • (Africa) Aug 26: South African Border War begins

1967 Jan 27, US signed Outer Space Treaty with Russia banning the orbiting of nuclear weapons.

  • Mar 6, Svetlana Alliluyeva, the daughter of Josef Stalin, defect to West.

  • (Amer) April 25: 33 countries sign Treaty of Tlatelolco, which prohibit of nuclear weapons in Latin America and Caribbean.

  • (Asia) March 12: General Suharto successfully overthrows Sukarno as president of Indonesia.

  • (Mid East) May 23: Egypt blocks Straits of Tiran, expels UN peacekeepers and moves its army into the Sinai Peninsula.

  • (Asia) May 25: Uprising in Naxalbari, India marking expansion of Maoism as a violent, revolutionary movement.

  • (Mid East) June 5: In response to Egypt, Israel invades the Sinai Peninsula, beginning the Six-Day War.

  • (Amer) June 23: Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin in Glassboro, New Jersey for a three-day summit.

  • (Asia) Aug 8: Bangkok Declaration is established to quell the communist threat in Southeast Asia.

1968 (Asia) Jan 30: Tet Offensive in South Vietnam begins.

  • (Amer) March 31: Johnson suspends bombings over North Vietnam and announces he is not running for reelection.

  • (Asia) June 8: Tet Offensive ends in Communist psychological victory over the Americans.

  • (Amer) July 1: The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is opened for signature.

  • (Eur) Aug 20: Prague Spring Reforms in Communist Czechoslovakia cause Warsaw Pact intervention to crush them.

1969 (Amer) Jan 20: Richard Nixon becomes President of the US.

  • (Asia) March 2: Border clashes between the Soviet Union and China

  • (Asia) March 17: The US begins bombing Communist sanctuaries in Cambodia.

  • (Amer) July 20: The US accomplishes the first manned moon landing, Apollo 11.

  • (Asia) July 25: ”Vietnamization” begins with US troop withdrawals from Vietnam

  • (Mid East) Sep 1: Muammar al-Gaddafi overthrows the Libyan monarchy and expels British and American personnel.

1970 (Eur) March 5: Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, ratified by UK, Soviet Union and US among others, enters into force.

  • (Asia) March 18: Lon Nol takes power in Cambodia. Khmer Rouge Communists begin attacking the new regime.

  • (Amer) Oct 24: Salvador Allende becomes president of Chile after being confirmed by the Chilean congress.

  • (Asia) Nov 18: US' aid to Cambodia to support the Lon Nol regime begins.

1971 (Asia) Feb 8: South Vietnamese forces enter Laos to briefly cut the Ho Chi Minh trail.

  • (Asia) March 25: Third Indo-Pakistani War, Bangladesh becomes independent from Pakistan.

  • (Eur) Sep 3: Four Power Agreement on Berlin is signed by the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, France, and the US.

  • (Asia) Oct 25 : UN passes Resolution 2758, recognizing People's Republic of China as the sole legitimate government of China.

  • (Asia) Dec 16 : Bangladesh and Indian joint forces defeat Pakistan in the Bangladesh Liberation War.

1972 (Asia) Feb 21: Nixon visits China, the first visit by a US President since the establishment of the People's Republic of China.

  • (Asia) March 30: North Vietnam invades South Vietnam only to be repulsed by the South with major American air support.

  • (Amer) May 26: SALT I agreement signals the beginning of détente between the US and USSR.

  • (Eur) Sep 1: Bobby Fischer defeats Russian Boris Spassky in a chess match at Reykjavík, Iceland,

  • (Amer) Sep 2 - 28: Summit Series, an ice hockey tournament between Canada and Soviet Union, is played.

1973 (Asia) Jan 27: Paris Peace Accords end American involvement in the Vietnam War.

  • Jun 19, Nixon met with Brezhnev at the White House.

  • (Amer) Sep 11: Chilean coup d'état, Salvador Allende, deposed and dies during a military coup led by Pinochet.

  • (Mid East) Oct 6: Yom Kippur War — Israel is attacked by Egypt and Syria, the war ends with a ceasefire.

  • (Mid East) Oct 22: Egypt defects to the American camp by accepting a US cease-fire proposal during the Oct 1973 war.

  • Dec 21, Geneva Conference to negotiate a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

  • Dec 28, Alexander Solzhenitsyn published "Gulag Archipelago" in Paris. It was an expose of the Soviet prison system.

1974 (Africa) Sep 12: The pro-Western monarch of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, is ousted by a Marxist military junta known as the Derg.

  • (Asia) June: SEATO formally ends after France leaves the organization.

  • (Amer) Aug 9: Gerald Ford becomes President of the US upon the resignation of Nixon.

1975 (Asia) March 11 Vietnam War: A large-scale North Vietnamese offensive began with the conquest of Buon Ma Thuot.

  • (Asia) March 27 The Pathet Lao began a military offensive against the Laotian government.

  • (Asia) April 17: Khmer Rouge take power in Cambodia and begin a genocide later referred to as "The Killing Fields".

  • (Asia) April 30: North Vietnam invades South Vietnam. South Vietnam surrenders Fall of Saigon

  • (Asia) Nov 29: Pathet Lao takes power in Laos.

  • (Asia) May 12: Mayagüez incident: Khmer Rouge seize an American naval ship

  • (Africa) June 25: Portugal withdraws from Angola and Mozambique, Marxist governments are installed, Civil war in both nations

  • (Amer) July: The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, joint flight of the US and Soviet space programs.

  • (Eur) Aug 1: Helsinki Final Act of Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe

  • Oct 9, Sakharov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

  • (Africa) Nov 11 Angolan Civil War: Portugal accepted a declaration of independence from the MPLA.

  • (Asia) Dec 2 The king of Laos abdicated, leaving leadership to Pathet Lao.

1976 (Amer) March 24: Coup d'état in Argentina. A Civil war against Argentine based guerrilla starts.

  • (Asia) July 20: US military personnel withdraw from Thailand.

  • (Asia) Sep 6, A Soviet pilot landed his MIG-25 in Tokyo and asked for political asylum in the United States.

  • (Asia) Sep 9: death of Mao Zedong

1977 (Eur) Jan 1: Charter 77 is signed by Czechoslovak intellectuals, including Václav Havel.

  • (Amer) Jan 20: Jimmy Carter becomes President of the US.

  • (Amer) June 6: Sec State Cyrus Vance assures Carter admin holds Soviets accountable for crackdowns on human rights activists.

  • (Africa) July 23: The Ogaden War begins with Somalia attacking Ethiopia.

1978 (Africa) March 15: The Ogaden War ends with a Somali defeat.

  • (Asia) April 27: Afghanistan President is overthrown and murdered in a coup led by procommunist rebels.

  • (Asia) Dec 25: A Communist regime is installed in Afghanistan

  • (Asia) Dec 25 Cambodian-Vietnamese War: Vietnamese army invaded Cambodia.

1979 (Asia) Jan 7: Vietnam deposes the Khmer Rouge and installs a pro-Vietnam, pro-Soviet government.

  • (Mid East) Jan 16: Iranian Revolution ousts Shah of Iran, and installs a theocracy under Khomeini. CENTO dissolves as a result.

  • (Asia) Feb 17: Sino-Vietnamese War, China launches a punitive attack on North Vietnam to punish it for invading Cambodia.

  • (Amer) May 9: War breaks out in El Salvador between Marxist-led insurgents and the US-backed government.

  • (Eur) June 2: Pope John Paul II begins his first pastoral visit to his native Poland.

  • (Amer) June 18: Jimmy Carter and Brezhnev sign SALT-II.

  • (Asia) July 3: Carter signs the first directive for secret aid to opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul, Afghanistan.

  • (Amer) July 19 Sandinista entered Managua.

  • (Amer) July 17: Marxist-led Sandinista revolutionaries overthrow the US-backed Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua.

  • (Asia) Sep: Marxist president of Afghanistan, is deposed and murdered.

  • (Mid East) Nov 4: Islamist Iranian students take the American embassy hostage. The Iran hostage crisis lasts until Jan 20, 1981.

(Asia) Afghanistan War: (24 Dec 1979 - 2 Feb 1989)

  • (Asia) Dec 24: Soviet Union invades Afghanistan to save the crumbling Communist regime there, resulting in the end of Détente.

1980 (Amer) Feb 22: US Olympic Hockey Team defeats Soviet Union in Winter Olympics, in the Miracle on Ice.

  • (Eur) March 21: The US and its allies boycott the 1980 Summer Olympics (July 19–Aug 3) in Moscow.

  • (Eur) Aug 31: In Poland the Gdańsk Agreement is signed after a strike wave starting at the Lenin Shipyards in Gdańsk.

1981 (Amer) Jan 20: Reagan is inaugurated as the 40th President of the US.

  • (Mid East) Jan 20: Iran hostage crisis ends.

  • (Eur) May 13, John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded.

  • (Mid East) Aug 19: Gulf of Sidra Incident: Libyan planes attack US jets Two Libyan jets shot down, no American losses.

  • (Eur) Oct 27: A Soviet submarine, the U137, runs aground not far from the Swedish naval base at Karlskrona.

  • (Amer) Nov 23: The US Central Intelligence Agency begins to support anti-Sandinista Contras.

  • (Eur) Dec 13: Communist Gen. Jaruzelski introduced Martial law in Poland

1982 (Amer) April 2: Argentina invades the Falkland Islands, starting the Falklands War.

  • (Eur) May 30: Spain joins NATO.

  • (Mid East) June 6: Israel invades Lebanon to end raids and clashes with Syrian troops based there.

  • (Eur) Nov 10 Brezhnev died of a heart attack.

  • (Eur) Nov 14: Yuri Andropov becomes General Secretary of the Soviet Union.

1983 Mar 8, Pres Reagan called the USSR an "Evil Empire."

  • (Amer) March 23: Ronald Reagan proposes the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, or "Star Wars").

  • (Asia) Sep 1: Korean Air Lines Flight 007 with 269 passengers, shot down by Soviets.

  • Sep 26, Soviet Union's early warning system wrongly signaled launch of a US missile.

  • (Amer) Oct 25: US invade Grenada

  • (Eur) Nov 2: Exercise Able Archer 83 - Soviet air defenses mistake a test of NATO's nuclear-release procedures as fake cover for a NATO attack; in response, Soviet nuclear forces are put on high alert.

1984 (Amer) Jan: US President Ronald Reagan outlines a foreign policy speech reinforcing his previous thoughts

  • (Eur) Feb 9 Andropov died

  • (Eur) Feb 13, Chernenko was chosen to be general secretary.

  • (Eur) July 28: Various allies of the Soviet Union boycott 1984 Summer Olympics.

  • (Amer) Aug 11, Reagan during a voice test "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

  • (Eur) Dec 16: Margaret Thatcher meets with Mikhail Gorbachev at Chequers.

1985 (Eur) March 10 Chernenko died of Emphysema.

  • (Eur) March 11: Mikhail Gorbachev becomes leader of the Soviet Union.

  • (Amer) May 20, FBI arrested John A. Walker. US Navy Chief Petty Officer spy.

  • (Eur) Aug 6: Soviet Union begins what it has announced is a 5-month unilateral moratorium on the testing of nuclear weapons.

  • (Eur) Nov 21: Reagan and Gorbachev meet for the first time at a summit in Geneva, they agree to two (later three) more summits.

1986 (Africa) Feb 13: France launches Operation Sparrowhawk in an effort to repulse the Libyan invasion of Chad.

  • (Mid East) April 15: US planes bomb Libya (Operation El Dorado Canyon).

  • (Eur) April 26: Chernobyl disaster

  • (Eur) Oct 11-12: Reykjavík Summit:

  • (Amer) Oct 17: Reagan signs into law approving $100 million of military and "humanitarian" aid for the Contras.

  • (Amer) Nov 3: Iran-Contra affair: Reagan administration announces that it has been selling arms to Iran to free hostages

1987 (Eur) May 28, West German pilot, landed a private plane in Moscow's Red Square.

  • (Eur) June: Gorbachev announces Glasnost and Perestroika.

  • (Eur) June 12: Reagan challenges Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.

  • (Africa) Sep 10: The Battle of Cuito Cuanavale (Angola) begins.

  • (Amer) Dec 8 - The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is signed in Washington, DC

1988 (Eur) Feb 22: Incident: USS Yorktown and USS Caron are rammed off Crimean peninsula after entering Soviet waters.

  • (Eur) May 11: Kim Philby dies in Moscow.

  • (Asia) May 15: The Soviets begin withdrawing from Afghanistan.

  • (Eur) May 29- Jun 1, Reagan and Gorbachev Moscow summit

  • (Eur) Jul 1, A four-day national conference of Communist Party members ended in Moscow.

  • (Africa) Dec 22: South Africa withdraws from South West Africa (Namibia).

1989 (Amer) Jan 20: George H. W. Bush is inaugurated as the 41st President of the US.

  • (Asia) Feb 2: Soviet troops withdraw from Afghanistan.

  • (Asia) May 15, Gorbachev arrived in Beijing for first Sino-Soviet summit.

  • (Asia) June 4: Tiananmen Square protests are crushed by the communist Chinese government.

  • (Eur) Aug: Solidarity Movement in Poland elects first non-communist government in Eastern Block.

  • (Eur)Oct 18: Hungary allows multiparty political system and free elections. 20-year rule of Erich Honecker ends in East Germany.

  • (Eur) Nov 9: The Berlin Wall is torn down.

  • Nov 11 El Salvador Civil War: The FMLN capture part of San Salvador.

  • (Eur) Nov 17 Velvet Revolution: An anti-Communist protest in Czechoslovakia was ended violently by the police.

  • (Eur) Dec 3 : Malta Summit, Gorbachev and George H. W. Bush declare that a long-lasting peaceful era has begun.

  • (Amer) Dec 14: Democracy is restored in Chile.

  • (Eur) Dec 16-25: Romanian Revolution. Rioters overthrow regime of Nicolae Ceauşescu, executing him and his wife, Elena.

1990 Jan 11, Gorbachev visited Lithuania

  • (Eur) Jan 31: The first McDonald's in Moscow, Russia opens.

  • (Eur) Feb 4, Cheering protesters thronged Moscow streets to demand that the Communists surrender their stranglehold on power.

  • (Eur) Feb 7, Communist Party agreed to let other political parties compete for control of the country.

  • (Eur) March 11 Singing Revolution: Lithuanian government declared its independence from the Soviet Union.

  • (Eur) Apr 1, More Soviet military vehicles rolled through Vilnius,

  • (Eur) May 29, Yeltsin was elected president of Russian republic

  • (Eur) June 9 Velvet Revolution: Elections in Czechoslovakia reduced the Communist Party to a minority.

  • (Eur) Jul 10, Gorbachev won re-election as leader of the Soviet Communist Party.

  • (Eur) Jul 27, White Russia declared independence.

  • (Eur) Sep 24, Supreme Soviet approval plan for switching to a free-market economy.

  • (Eur) Oct 3: Germany is reunified.

  • (Eur) Nov 9, Gorbachev signed non-aggression treaty with Germany

  • (Eur) Nov 19, Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) was signed in Paris.

  • (Eur) Dec 25, Gorbachev won sweeping new powers from the Congress of People’s Deputies.

1991 (Eur) Jan 11 Jan Events: Soviet troops violently seized important buildings in cities throughout Lithuania.

  • (Eur) Jan 13, Soviet troops besieged the Vilnius TV tower

  • (Eur) Mar 3, Latvia and Estonia voted to become independent of the USSR.

  • (Eur) Apr 1, The Warsaw Pact was officially dissolved.

  • (Eur) May, Victory Day parade, suspended with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

  • (Eur) Jun 5, Gorbachev delivered his delayed Nobel Peace lecture in Oslo, Norway,

  • (Eur) June 12 Russian presidential election, 1991: Boris Yeltsin was elected to the presidency of the Russian SFSR.

  • (Eur) Jun 20, Yeltsin was welcomed to the White House by President Bush.

  • (Eur) Jul 31, Bush and Gorbachev signed START I Treaty in Moscow.

  • (Eur) Aug 19: Soviet coup attempt of 1991. The Aug coup, in response to a new union treaty to be signed on Aug 20.

  • (Eur) Aug 20, More than 100,000 people rallied outside Russian Parliament building as protests against the Soviet coup increased.

  • (Eur) Aug 21, The hard-line coup against Gorbachev collapsed.

  • (Eur) Aug 22, Gorbachev returned to Moscow.

  • (Eur) Aug 24, Ukraine declared independence from USSR.

  • (Eur) Aug 25, White-Russia (Belarus) declared it's independence.

  • (Eur) Aug 26, Gorbachev promised national elections in a last-ditch effort to preserve his government,

  • (Eur) Aug 28, Gorbachev ordered a shake-up of the KGB and sacked his cabinet in the wake of the failed coup by hard-liners.

  • (Eur) Sep 6 Singing Revolution: The Soviet Union recognized the independence of the Baltic states.

  • Nov 2, Chechnya proclaimed independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

  • Nov 6, Yeltsin outlawed Communist Party.

  • Nov 7, Pro- and anti-Communist rallies took place in Moscow on the 74th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution.

  • Dec 8 Commonwealth of Independent States, established

  • (Amer) Dec 25: Bush, after receiving a phone call from Yeltsin, delivers Christmas Day speech acknowledging end of Cold War

  • (Eur) Dec 25: Gorbachev resigns as President of the USSR. The hammer and sickle is lowered for the last time over the Kremlin.

  • Dec 26 The Soviet Union was officially self-dissolved. De jure Russian independence from self-dissolved USSR

  • Dec 28, Boris Yeltsin ordered state land privatized as he pushed ahead with his reforms.

  • (Eur) Dec 31: All Soviet institutions cease operations.

  • Dec, remains of Czar Nicholas II, his wife Empress Alexandra, and their five children, were exhumed from a mine shaft in Yekaterinburg.



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