Cold War Timeline

This year, the entire Severn School US History student body contributed to the creation of this permanent online timeline, filled with what we think are some of the most important domestic & international events in the Cold War. This was our culminating project for the 2019-2020 11th grade; the Class of 2021 was faced with unexpected challenges completing their junior year, to say the least, and this project reflects our collective desire to continue to pursue the discipline of history regardless of obstacles— for the love of it! This timeline will reside permanently, right here on the Severn Historical Society website, and we hope will be a great resource for Severn School student historians going forward.
The Cold War was a dominant theme in US History from 1945-1991, pervading American domestic politics, culture and society; in fact it is hard to look at anything in this period of time without the context of the Cold War, and the dark shadow of nuclear weapons. This of course was not simply an American event; the Cold War was also played out on a truly global stage, and the entire world community was deeply affected by it.

  • April 12, 1945

    Death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    By: Anthony Hresko – Ms. Sotiropoulos On April 12, 1945,...
  • July 17, 1945

    Potsdam Conference

    By Grace Derderian – Ms. Sotiropoulos The Potsdam Conference took...
  • August 6, 1945

    Hiroshima & Nagasaki

    Atomic Age
    THE COLD WAR BEGINS The culmination of the Manhattan Project...
  • August 9, 1945

    Worlds First Use of an Atomic Weapon. Hiroshima, then Nagasaki

    By: Shane Levay During World War II research of atomic...
  • January 1, 1946

    The Iron Curtain

    By Em Williams Iron Curtain Winston Churchill was the Prime...
  • March 1, 1946
  • March 27, 1946

    Chinese Civil War

    Chinese Civil War (War of Liberation), 1 August 1945 –...
  • January 1, 1947
  • January 1, 1947

    The Hollywood Ten

    By Emma Lavis In October of 1947, major accusations and...
  • March 12, 1947
  • July 1, 1947

    The Long Telegram

    Owen Hennessey Also known as the “X-Article”….
  • March 13, 1948
  • June 24, 1948

    Berlin Blockade

    The Berlin Blockade was initiated on June 24, 1948 and...
  • April 4, 1949

    NATO

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is founded The North Atlantic Treaty...
  • May 12, 1949

    Berlin Airlift

    By Amy Sobocinski Beginning June 24, 1948, the Berlin Airlift...
  • August 29, 1949
  • December 2, 1949

    The Red Scare

    Red Scare and the Cold War             In 1917, Russia...
  • January 1, 1950

    Korean War

    Korean War             As the Cold War, between the US...
  • March 6, 1951
  • October 10, 1951

    Mutual Security Act

    The Mutual Security Act of 1951 launched a major American...
  • October 3, 1952

    Opperation Hurricane

    By: Kylie Paquin Amidst high Cold War tensions, world powers...
  • March 5, 1953

    Death of Joseph Stalin

    By Juliet Luers On March 5, 1953, Joseph Stalin, former...
  • September 14, 1953
  • October 30, 1953

    New Look Policy

    The New Look was the name given to the national security policy of...
  • June 27, 1954

    Guatemalan Coup d’etat

    By: Caleb Morgan The 1954 Guatemalan Coup D’état was a...
  • September 1, 1954

    USA: First Nuclear Submarine

    USS Nautilus USS Nautilus (SSN-571) USS Nautilus was the first nuclear-powered submarine....
  • May 14, 1955

    Warsaw Pact Founded

    The Soviet Union and seven of its European satellites sign a treaty...
  • October 1, 1956

    Suez Crisis

    Suez Crisis             The Suez Crisis accorded in the Middle...
  • October 4, 1957

    SPUTNIK

    Oh NO! Sputnik 1 was the first artificial Earth satellite....
  • November 3, 1957

    Sputnik II

    Sputnik 2, or Prosteyshiy Sputnik 2 was the second spacecraft...
  • July 29, 1958

    Foundation of NASA

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency...
  • July 24, 1959

    Kitchen Debate

    By Gabriella Novello The Kitchen Debate took place on July...
  • September 19, 1959

    Khrushchev Denied Access to Disneyland

    By: Via Crowley – Ms. Sotiropoulos On September 15, 1959,...
  • January 1, 1960
  • May 1, 1960

    U2 Incident

    By Elizabeth Barroll
  • April 12, 1961

    Yuri Gagarin

    By: Jack O’Donnell Yuri Gagarin was a Russian cosmonaut who...
  • April 17, 1961
  • August 13, 1961

    Berlin Wall

    On August 13, 1961, the Communist government of the German...
  • August 15, 1961

    Checkpoint Charlie

    Checkpoint Charlie (or “Checkpoint C“) was the name given by the Western...
  • October 16, 1962

    Cuban Missile Crisis

    The Cuban Missile Crisis, also known as the October Crisis...
  • November 22, 1963
  • January 29, 1964

    Dr. Strangelove Released

    By: Emily Bond – Ms. Sotiropoulos Dr. Strangelove or: How...
  • October 16, 1964

    China Tests Nuclear Device

    Project 596, originally named Chic-1 by the US intelligence agencies,...
  • August 26, 1966

    South African Border War

    The South African Border War, also known as the Namibian...
  • January 5, 1968

    Prague Spring

    By Emily Sullivan Prague spring was a period of political...
  • July 20, 1969

    Apollo 11

    Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that first landed humans on...
  • February 22, 1972

    Nixon’s Visit to China

    By Caity Reiter Nixon’s hopes for his presidency were to...
  • August 9, 1974

    Nixon Resignation

    On August 9, 1974, he resigned in the face of almost certain...
  • December 25, 1979
  • January 20, 1980
  • February 22, 1980
  • September 1, 1983
  • January 1, 1984

    1984 Summer Olympic Boycott

    By Megan Owen In 1984, the Soviet Union boycotted the...
  • January 31, 1990