As most people know, the Cold war was a very important time in World History; however, not many people actually know the events that occurred during the Cold War.
The Yalta Conference in the early 1940's was the very beginning of the Cold War. The Soviet Union wanted Poland under Soviet control, while the United State and Great Britain wanted a free and sovereign Poland. In 1948 communists took control over Czechoslovakia , and the following year Mao Zedong took power as China 's leader. The same year that Mao Zedong took office, 1949; the Soviets proved to the world that they were atomic power by successfully exploding their first atomic bomb.
June of 1950 saw the beginning of the Korean War, were the Soviet supported north was trying to take control of the U.S. backed south. The war lasted until July of 1953 with both sides at a stand still at the 38 th parallel. The Soviet security agency known as the KGB was officially established in March of 1954. The Warsaw Pact was signed in 1955, which was basically a communist version of NATO. On October 4, 19 57 the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, a spy satellite and pulled ahead in the space race. Fidel Castro takes over Cuba in January of 1959. September of the same year Nikita Khrushchev visits the United States, he is denied access to Disneyland.
In May of 1960 the Soviet Union shot down a United States spy plane that was traveling over Soviet territory. The failed overthrow of communist Cuban leader Fidel Castro took place in April of 1961, and became known as the Bay of Pigs. On August 17 th of the same year the Soviet Union constructed the Berlin Wall, separating East and West Berlin. U.S. spy planes saw Soviet missiles on the island of Cuba , leading to the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Cuban Missile Crisis is arguably the “hottest” and most tense time of the Cold War, since the Soviets were in atomic striking range of the United States. During August of 1964 North Vietnamese combatants sunk a U.S. naval ship in the Gulf of Tokin , the incident lead to an increase of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. 1965 was a major year for the combat of communism; U.S. marines were sent to the Dominican Republic in April, and in July 150,000 troops were sent to Vietnam. In August of 1968 Czechoslovakian citizens tried to revolt against their communist government; Soviet troops crushed the revolt and maintained the communist regime. Apollo 11 landed on the moon July 20, 19 69. The United States had won the space race, although some conspiracy theorists say that it never happened.
January of 1973 saw the cease fire called between the United States and the North Vietnamese. Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in October, an event that became known as the Six Day War. Egypt was backed by the Soviets and Israel was able to beat back both the Soviet funded Egypt and Syria. August 17, 1975 North Vietnam officially defeats South Vietnam to form one communist loving Vietnam ; American soldiers return home to unthankful hippies. The U.S. supported Shan of Iran was overthrown in November of 1979. The Iranian Hostage Crisis began on November 4th, 1979, when 52 United States diplomats were taken hostage by Iranians for 444 days.
The Iran-Contra Affair occurred in 1985 when arms were sold to Iran and the profits were used to support anti-Sandinista rebels, call Contras, in Nicaragua. The Soviet Union gets a new leader in 1985 when Mikhail Gorbachev gains the title of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; basically he becomes the President of the USSR. Gorbachev severs economic aid to Soviet supported countries, essentially ending the Warsaw Pact although the Warsaw Pact did not officially end until 1991. Both sides agree to remove their intermediate missiles from Europe in October of 1986; one year later they agree to remove their middle and short range nuclear missiles, by signing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Soviet troops begin to withdraw from Afghanistan in 1989 ending the Soviet War in Afghanistan. One of the most well known events of the late 1980's was the Berlin Wall coming down; this event took place on the 9th of November 1989. The Soviet empire continued to crumble in December 1989 when communist governments fell in Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania.
The 1990s was a relatively slow time for the Cold War. It ended primarily in August of 1991; however, it did have some highlights: Boris Yeltsin was elected President of Russia, and the Warsaw Pact officially ended in April of 1991.