Cold War
Timeline
1948
1947 and early 1948 Western powers occupying Germany (Britain, USA, France) decided to restore Germany's currency and economy and make their occupied zones into one self sufficient state. This alarmed Stalin.
  April 1 Berlin Blockade: Stalin blocked all road, river and rail traffic into Western-controlled West Berlin. This cut all essential supplies to West Berlin. The West responded by airlifting supplies to West Berlin beginning June 21 and counter-blockading East Germany. The blockade ended after 321 days.
  August 15

Republic of South Korea (non- Communist South Korea) founded.

September 9: Korean People's Democratic Republic (Communist North Korea) is founded.

1949 April 4 NATO established: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United States. Later joined by Greece, Spain, Turkey, and West Germany. In 1955 Soviet Union forms competing Warsaw Pact.
  May 12 End of Berlin blockade.
  September 21 German Federal Republic (West Germany) created from American, British, and French occupation zones.
  September 23 Truman announced that the Soviet Union exploded an atomic bomb sometime during the latter half of August.
  October 1 People's Republic of China (Communist) established under Mao Tse Tung.
  December 7 Mao's opponents form Chinese Nationalist government in Taiwan.
1950 January 31 Truman approved development of the hydrogen bomb.
  February 7 Vietnam and the Kingdoms of Laos and Cambodia formally recognized by United States.
  February 9 McCarthyism: US Senator Joseph McCarthy begins campaign to locate alleged Communist spies in US government. Most accusations are false but McCarthy unleashed an anti-Communist hysteria in the USA. Many government workers, actors, journalists and other figures had their careers ruined.
  February 15 Defence Treaty between USSR and China. Treaty involved agreement about borders, co-operation on defence and aid to China. USA alarmed.
  April NSC 68 Reappraisal of America's strategic position by the NSC. The definition for the Cold War shifted from political to military, postulating a Soviet "design for world domination." NSC 68 called for both a build-up of nuclear weapons and for enlarged capacity to fight conventional wars whenever the Russians threatened "piecemeal aggression." It also called for a reduction of social welfare programs and other services not related to military needs and for tighter internal security programs.
  May 9 Truman announced military aid to French in Indochina (Vietnam).
  June 25 North Korean troops cross the 38th parallel in a surprise invasion of South Korea.
  September UNO forces (mainly US) landed in Korea and drive back North Koreans. By October UN forces under General MacArthur had invaded North Korea and were close to Chinese border.
 

September 23

Congress passes McCarran Internal Security Act to monitor domestic Communist activities.
  October 19: Chinese units cross the Yalu River into Korea.
1951 January-July Korean War reached stalemate with UN and Communist forces camped on either side of 38th parallel. Fighting continued until 1953.
  September 8 Peace treaty with Japan is signed. United States retains military presence for defence of Japan. United States also negotiates mutual security agreement with Philippines, Australia, New Zealand (ANZUS Pact).
1952 January 16 Soviet Union restricts mobility of all foreign diplomats in Moscow to a 25-mile radius.
  June 14 Truman launched U.S.S. Nautilus, first nuclear submarine.
  November 1 Hydrogen bomb exploded by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) at Enewetok, Marshall Islands.
  November 4 Eisenhower elected president.
1953

March 5

Death of Stalin; after two years of manoeuvring Nikita Khrushchev emerged as new Soviet leader.
  July 27 Armistice is signed ending the Korean War. Korea remained divided at the 38th parallel.
  August 14 Soviet Union exploded a hydrogen bomb.

1954 May 8 Fall of Dien Bien Phu: The French army defeated in Vietnam.
  July 17-28 Geneva Accords end French colonialism in Indochina; Vietnam divided at the 17th parallel.
  August 24 Communist Party outlawed in United States
  September 7 SEATO: Australia, Britain, France, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, New Zealand, and the United States form an anti-communist alliance against "massive military aggression."
  December 2 Senate condemns McCarthy, ending the McCarthy era.
1955 May West Germany became part of NATO.
  May 14 Warsaw Pact signed, calling for the mutual defence of Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, and the Soviet Union.
1956 February 14 Khrushchev denounces Stalin in speech to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
  July 26 Egyptian nationalist leader Abdul Nasser nationalized Suez Canal.
  October 29-31 Britain, France, and Israel attack Egypt.
  November Soviet tanks and troops moved into Hungary to overthrow Nagy and restore Communist rule loyal to Moscow. Bitter fighting involving Hungarian civilians and units of Hungarian army against the Soviet troops.
1959 January 1 Cuban Revolution; Fidel Castro becomes premier of Cuba on January 6.
  July 24 Nixon visits the Soviet Union, takes on Khrushchev in the "kitchen debate" on the merits of capitalism vs. communism.
  September 15 Khrushchev visits United States, meets Eisenhower at Camp David, agrees to summit meeting in Paris, May 16, 1960.
1960 August 19 U-2 pilot Gary Powers sentenced by the U.S.S.R. to ten years in prison; he is exchanged for a Soviet spy in 1961.
  November 8 Kennedy elected president.
  December 20 Ho Chi Minh, leader of the Republic of Vietnam, organizes the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (NLF). Ho commits the NLF to the overthrow of the U.S.-supported Ngo Dinh Diem regime, the ousting of U.S. advisers, and the unification of Vietnam.
1961 January 20 John F. Kennedy inaugurated.
  May 11 Kennedy authorizes American advisors to aid South Vietnam, against the forces of North Vietnam.
  May 25 Kennedy pledges to put man on the moon before decade ends.
  June 3 Vienna Summit: Khrushchev gave ultimatum to begin talks on Germany within 6 months or face a permanent division of Germany. Kennedy began military build-up, beginning of civil defence program.
  August 13 East Germany closes the Brandenburg Gate, sealing the border between East and West Berlin in preparation for building the Berlin Wall.
1962 October Cuban Missile Crisis
1963 June 26 Kennedy visits Berlin, declares "Ich bin ein Berliner."
  June 10 Kennedy, in speech at American University, calls for reconsideration of Cold War as "holy war."
  June 20 "Hot Line" established, a direct teletype link between the White House and the Kremlin, to start service August 30.
  November 22 President Kennedy is assassinated.
1964 October 15 Khrushchev is ousted, replaced by Brezhnev and Kosygin.
  November 3 Lyndon B. Johnson elected President.
1965 March 8 Vietnam: First U.S. Marines in Vietnam wade ashore at Da Nang.
1968 January Alexander Dubchek became First Secretary of the communist party in Czechoslovakia.
  April The Prague Spring, "Socialism with a Human Face" - Dubchek ended censorship and instituted liberal economic reforms.
  July Czech and Soviet leaders met at Cierna near the border to "discuss" the situation.
  June 1968 Warsaw Pact military exercises held in Czechoslovakia.
  August Warsaw Pact forces moved into Czechoslovakia. The Czech army did not resist; although there were a few isolated outbreaks of fighting.
  September Brezhnev Doctrine published in Soviet newspaper Pravda justified the intervention.