April - This Month in the Cold War

3 April 1948 — President Harry S. Truman signed the European Recovery Program proposed by Secretary of State George C. Marshall. The Marshall Plan was intended to stop the spread of Communism and restore the economies of European countries devastated by World War II. Over four years, the program distributed $12 billion to the nations of Western Europe.

4 April 1949 — Twelve nations signed the treaty creating NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a common military alliance against the threat of expansion by the Soviet Union into Western Europe.

5 April 1986 — A bomb exploded at a popular discotheque frequented by American military personnel in West Berlin, killing two U.S. soldiers and a Turkish woman. American intelligence analysts attributed the attack to Muammar Qaddafi of Libya. Nine days later, President Ronald Reagan ordered a retaliatory air strike against Libya.

12 April 1961 — Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space.

14 April 1986 – U.S. warplanes, on orders from President Ronald Reagan, bombed the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi in retaliation for the April 5th terrorist bombing of a discotheque in West Berlin.

17 April 1961 — The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba undertaken by a Central Intelligence Agency sponsored paramilitary brigade. The attempt to overthrow Premier Fidel Castro of Cuba failed.

20 April 1978 —A Korean Airlines commercial airliner traveling to Seoul was shot down over Soviet airspace and forced to make an emergency landing on a frozen lake near the Finnish border. The incident killed two of the 109 passengers and crew members aboard.

26 April 1986 — An explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine, caused a meltdown of the nuclear fuel and spread a radioactive cloud into the atmosphere. The Chernobyl accident is considered the most disastrous nuclear power plant accident in history, both in terms of cost and casualties.

March - This Month in the Cold War

4 March 1950 — US Navy PB4Y2 was shot down over the Baltic Sea by Soviet aircraft. The Soviets claimed that the plane had violated Soviet airspace. Later that year. the US claimed at least one member of this aircraft's crew had been sighted in a Soviet prison camp. The Soviets denied the claim.

26 March 1979 — Thirty years of warfare between Israel and Egypt ended with the Camp David Accord signed by Prime Minister Begin of Israel and Egyptian President Sadat.

31 March 1991 — The birthplace of Josef Stalin, the Soviet Republic of Georgia, voted to declare independence from the Soviet Union. Following the vote, Soviet troops were deployed under a state of emergency.

January - This Month in the Cold War

January 1, 1959 - Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba and established a Communist dictatorship.

January 23, 1968 - The American ship USS Pueblo was seized by North Koreans in the Sea of Japan.

28 January 1964 - An unarmed United States Air Force T-39 Sabreliner on a training mission was shot down over Erfurt, East Germany by a Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19.

January 30, 1968 – The Tet Offensive in Vietnam began when North Vietnamese troops attacked provincial capitals and major cities in South Vietnam.  Attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Saigon and the presidential palace were repelled.

December - This Month in the Cold War

8 December 1987 - President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Russia's General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev signed the INF Treaty eliminating all intermediate-range and shorter-range nuclear missiles.

8 December 1991 - The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ceased to exist. The leaders of Russia, Byelorussia and the Ukraine signed an agreement creating the Commonwealth of Independent States.

21 December 1972 - East and West Germany established diplomatic ties, paving the way for international recognition of East Germany

21 December 1993 - The KGB (Soviet Secret Police) organization was abolished by Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

24 December 1979 - Soviet troops invade Afghanistan.

25 December 1989 – Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife were executed following a popular uprising. A pro-democracy coalition took control of the country.

November - This Month in the Cold War

2 November 1962 - President John F. Kennedy announced, "the Soviet bases in Cuba are being dismantled, their missiles and related equipment being crated, and the fixed installations at these sites are being destroyed."

3 November 1957 – The Soviet Union launched the world's first space capsule, Sputnik II, containing a dog named Laika.

4 November 1956 - Soviet troops moved in to crush an uprising in Hungary.

4 November 1979 - Iranian militants stormed the U.S. Embassy in Teheran, Iran, and took 90 hostages, including 52 Americans. The hostage crisis lasted 444 days.

6 November 1951 - A US Navy P2V Neptune was shot down by Soviet fighters over international waters about 20 miles from Vladivostok.

11 November 1954 – A US Air Force B-29 was shot down by Soviet fighters about 10 miles from the Soviet-controlled Kurile Islands.

9 November 1989 - The Berlin Wall was opened after 28 years.

19 November 1951 - A US Air Force C-47 was shot down by either Hungarian or Romanian antiaircraft fire near the Yugoslav frontier. The aircraft was en route from Munich to Belgrade. The crew survived and were released.

20 November 1990 - The Cold War came to an end during a summit in Paris as leaders of NATO and the Warsaw Pact signed a Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe.

20 November 1962 - The Cuban Missile Crisis concluded. President John F. Kennedy lifted the U.S. Naval blockade of Cuba stating, "the evidence to date indicates that all known offensive missile sites in Cuba have been dismantled."

22 November 1963 - President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas Texas.

October - This Month in the Cold War

October 6, 1973 - The Yom Kippur War started as Egypt and Syria launched attacks on Israeli positions on the East Bank of the Suez and the Golan Heights.

October 6, 1978 - Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini was granted asylum in France after being expelled from Iran for his opposition to the Shah.

October 6, 1981 - Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated in Cairo by Muslim fundamentalists while watching a military parade. He had signed an American-sponsored peace accord with Israel but had been denounced by other Arab leaders.

October 7, 1949 - The German Democratic Republic came into existence in East Germany. Dominated by Soviet Russia, it lasted until German reunification in 1990.

October 10, 1954 - Ho Chi Minh entered Hanoi, Vietnam, after the withdrawal of French troops, in accordance with armistice terms ending the seven-year struggle between Communist Vietnamese and the French.

October 15, 1964 - Soviet Russia's leader Nikita Khrushchev was deposed as First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party and replaced by Leonid Brezhnev.

October 16, 1964 - China detonated its first nuclear bomb at the Lop Nor test site in Sinkiang.

October 22, 1962 - President John F. Kennedy appeared on television to inform Americans of the existence of Russian missiles in Cuba. The President demanded their removal and announced a naval "quarantine" of Cuba. Six days later, the Russians announced they would remove the weapons. In return, the U.S. later removed missiles from Turkey.

October 23, 1956 - A Hungarian uprising against Communist rule began with students and workers demonstrating in Budapest. Soviet Russians responded by sending in tanks and put down the revolt after several days of bitter fighting.

October 23, 1983 - Terrorists drove a truck loaded with TNT into the U.S. and French headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, exploding it and killing 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French paratroopers.

October 23, 1989 - Hungary declared itself a republic, 33 years after Soviet Russian troops crushed a popular revolt against Communist rule.

October 23, 1990 - Ukrainian Prime Minister Vitaly Masol resigned after mass protests by students, becoming the first Soviet official of that rank to quit under public pressure.

October 25, 1955 - Austria reassumed its sovereignty with the departure of the last Allied forces. The country had been occupied by the Nazis from 1938-45. After World War II, it was divided into four occupation zones by the U.S., Russia, Britain and France.

27 October 1962 - A U-2F, piloted by USAF Major Rudolf Anderson, was shot down by a S-75 Dvina (NATO designation SA-2 Guideline) surface-to-air missile launched from Cuba. Anderson was killed.

28 October 1962 - The Cuban Missile Crisis ended with the announcement by Soviet Russia's leader Nikita Khrushchev that his Soviet government was halting construction of missile bases in Cuba and would remove the offensive missiles. President Kennedy accepted the offer then lifted the U.S. naval blockade of Cuba.

30 October 1956 - A joint British and French force invaded Egypt to regain control of the Suez Canal which had been nationalised by the Egyptian leader Nasser. The British and French were forced to withdraw and a UN peace keeping force was sent to establish order.