Timeline of the Cold War: Key Events and Conflicts

In this thorough timeline, learn about the major wars and events that shaped the Cold War. Explore the key events that defined this period of political unrest and ideological conflict, from the Yalta Conference through the creation of NATO. Learn more about the Berlin Airlift, the Truman Doctrine, and other pivotal Cold War moments.

Yalta Conference28-Apr
Potsdam Conference1945
Truman Doctrine1947
Marshall PlanMay-05
Berlin Airlift1948
Formation of NATO1949
Chinese Communist Revolution1949
Korean War1950-1953
Warsaw Pact formed1955
Hungarian Revolution1956
Suez Crisis1956
Cuban Revolution1959
U-2 Incident1960
Bay of Pigs Invasion1961
Construction of the Berlin Wall1961
Cuban Missile Crisis1962
Assassination of JFK1963
Gulf of Tonkin Incident1964
Vietnam War1965-1973
Prague Spring1968
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty signed1968
SALT I Agreement1972
Helsinki Accords1975
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan1979
Solidarity Movement in Poland1980
Strategic Defense Initiative announced1983
Chernobyl Disaster1986
Fall of the Berlin Wall1989
Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia1989
Reunification of Germany1990
Dissolution of the Soviet Union1991
START I Treaty signed1991
Gulf War1990-1991
Signing of the INF Treaty1987
Yugoslav Wars1991-2001
NATO intervention in Kosovo1999
9/11 Attacks2001
War in Afghanistan2001-2021
Iraq War2003-2011
Russia’s annexation of Crimea2014
Syrian Civil War2011-present
North Korea nuclear tests2006-present
Annexation of Crimea by Russia2014
Conflict in Ukraine2014-present

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