Like a winter storm forms from two air masses clashing, the Cold War ensued from tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union after WWII. The Cold War timeline spans 46 years and nine U.S. presidents.
Two months after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, George Orwell wrote an essay called, “You and the Atomic Bomb,” in which he used the phrase “cold war” for the first time recorded in print.
American involvement in the Cold War was reportedly fueled by fear: of nuclear war, the Soviet Union becoming more powerful than the U.S., and the threat of communism spreading to other countries in a “domino effect.”
For those living during the Cold War era, which also encompasses the Korean War and the Vietnam War, the threat of nuclear war hung over their consciences like permanent storm clouds. Orwell described the idea of a cold war as “peace that is no peace,” which proved an accurate prediction for Americans for the next four decades.
The Cold War Timeline (1945-1991)