behind which lay the countries of Central and

February 4 -- A conference at Yalta, a city on the


February 25 -- A coup begins in

Crimean peninsula, begins, where the “Big Three,”   Czechoslovakia, undertaken by the
FDR, Churchill, and Stalin, agree on the post-war   Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and
reorganization of Europe.  Among other points, the   supported by the Soviet Union.
United States and Great Britain accepted Soviet    
possession of eastern Poland, and free elections   June 24 -- Soviets halt all road and rail traffic
were promised (but never held) for Poland and   between Berlin and the West, effectively
other countries in Eastern Europe.   blockading the city from the ground, while
    President Truman and other Western leaders  
May 8 -- World War II ends in Europe.   approve a plan to supply the city from the air.
    Within a year, the American-led airlift
July 17 -- President Truman attends a conference   effectively overcomes the Soviet blockade.
at Potsdam, Germany with Stalin and Churchill    
(later, Atlee) to discuss post-war Germany.  Here   August 3 -- Whittaker Chambers, a former
Truman learns of the successful testing of the   member of the American Communist
atomic bomb and approves its use against Japan.   underground, begins testifying before the
    House Un-American Activities Committee
August 6 -- United States uses the first atomic   (HUAC) and names a former State

bomb against the Japanese city of Hiroshima killing


Department employee, Alger Hiss, as having

upwards of 100,000 people in the blast.   been a communist.  Eventually, Hiss would be
    confirmed as having been a Soviet spy.
August 9 -- United States drops a second atomic    

bomb on the Japanese city of Nagasaki killing an


April 4 -- North Atlantic Treaty (NATO) is

  estimated 40,000 - 70,000 people in the blast.   ratified by the Senate and signed by President
      Truman.  It is the first peacetime military
  August 14 -- Japan surrenders ending World War   alliance in American history.  The United
  II.   States and Canada join ten West European
      countries after the Europeans request the
1946 February 22 -- U.S. diplomat to the Soviet   alliance in the face of the Czech coup and the
  Union, George Kennan, writes his “Long   Berlin blockade.
  Telegram” to Washington, in which he warns of    

Soviet ambitions in Europe and argues for

    August 29 -- Soviets detonate their first
aggressive action to thwart their aims. atomic bomb, Joe 1, estimated at between
  10-20 kilotons.  Americans realize they no
March 5 -- Winston Churchill speaks at Fulton, longer are the sole nuclear power in the world,
Missouri, declaring “…an iron curtain has and the arms race begins in earnest.
descended across the Continent” (of Europe)  
Eastern Europe, “in what I must call the Soviet October 1 -- Mao Zedong, a Communist,
sphere….” announces the formation of the People’s
  Republic of China, effectively ending twenty
July 1 -- Operation Crossroads, Test Able, years of civil war with Chaing Kai-shek and
features a nuclear air burst at Bikini Atoll, Marshall the Chinese Nationalists, who retreat two
Islands, in the Pacific Ocean.  This was the first months later to the island of Taiwan.  Fears
public demonstration of America’s atomic arsenal rise within the United States about a growing
and began a series of nuclear tests. Communist monolith.

March 12 -- President Truman declares the



  Truman Doctrine in asking for aid for Greece and  
  Turkey to thwart communist expansion into these  
  June 5 -- The Foreign Assistance Act (Marshall  
  Plan) is announced at Harvard by Secretary of  

State George Marshall.  Eventually, grants and


loans totaling $14 billion would be made to


Western European countries.




July 26 -- President Truman signs the National

Security Act, installing civilian department heads
over military branches, establishing departments to

aid the president in formulating and implementing

  foreign policy, and creating the CIA.