Cold War Timeline
The Cold War lasted more than 40 years and affected nations around the world. The potential threat of combat became an everyday presence for citizens in both the Eastern and Western blocs.Bridge of Spies, a new film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks, takes place during the Cold War when negotiations between countries was challenging but necessary.
Explore key dates of the historic rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union below:
March 1947:President Harry Truman announces the Truman Doctrine.
1948– 1949: The Soviets blockade West Berlin and the West (including the U.S.) in an effort to starve the Western Allies out of the city. The West responds with the Berlin Airlift, which provided food and fuel.
August 1949: The Soviet Union tests its first atomic bomb. The bomb was large enough to vaporize an island, blew a huge hole in the ocean floor, and had the power to destroy half of Manhattan.
October 1957: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik, the first man-made satellite, which was considered a huge threat to the U.S.
July 1958: President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an order creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a federal agency dedicated to space exploration.
November 1989: The Berlin Wall is demolished, and East Germany opens the border with the West.
December 1991: The Soviet Union dissolves, which marks the end of the Cold War.
Learn more about Bridge of Spies: