Cold War timeline, 1945-1953
January 5, 1946: President Harry
Truman indicates that the US will not recognize future communist
governments, since "I'm sick of babying the Soviets"
February 9, 1946: Before the
Communist Party Congress, Stalin suggests that communism and capitalism
February 22, 1946: George
Telegram, one of the most famous documents of the Cold War, contending
that Russian behavior was determined by a "traditional and instinctive
Russian sense of insecurity," and that "we have here a political
force committed fanatically to the belief that with US there can be no
permanent modus vivendi."
March 5, 1946: Former British
prime minister Winston Churchill, at Fulton, Missouri, declares that an "Iron
Curtain" has descended on Europe.
March 10, 1946: Truman demands
Russia withdraw from
had been jointly occupied by the British and the Red Army during World War
II, with no oil concessions and no annexation of Azerbaijan.
September 12, 1946: Former Vice
President and then Secretary of Commerce
delivers a Madison Square Garden speech announcing ""the tougher we
get with Russia, the tougher they will get with us"; he was forced to
resign as Secretary of Commerce September 20.
March 12, 1947: President Truman
Truman Doctrine, informing Congress, "I believe that it must be the
policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting
attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."
June 5, 1947: Secretary of State
George Marshall, in a
commencement address at Harvard University, announces a package of
economic assistance to aid in European recovery. Though not "directed not
against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation
and chaos," the Marshall Plan further divides Europe into
spheres of influence.
July 26, 1947: Congress passes the
National Security Act, which creates a civilian Secretary of Defense
(the first was James Forrestal), a National Security Council, a Central
Intelligence Agency--but does not call for universal military training.
July 1947: Foreign Affairs publishes
"X" Article on the "Sources of Soviet Conduct," publicizing his
February 25, 1948: Communists
overthrow the government of
in Czechoslovakia, the last democratic nation in the Soviet bloc.
June 24, 1948: Further increasing
tensions over Europe's future, the Soviets begin a blockade of the Western
zones in occupied Berlin; the Allied powers would respond with an 11-month
airlift to supply the
Apr. 4, 1949: The
NATO treaty is
July 14, 1949: The USSR explodes
its first atomic bomb.
Oct. 1, 1949: The Communist Party
completes its triumph in the
Chinese Civil War,
as Mao Zedong assumes power.
January 1950: Truman announces that the
United States will build the
June 1950: North Korea invades South Korea;
invokes its collective security provisions to aid the South; and the
United States send troops. The war will end in
nearly three years later.
Fiscal Year 1951: With the implementation of
68, U.S. military spending
1953: Republican Dwight Eisenhower