Cold War History

Cold War History

Reagan and Gorbachev: The Reykjavik Summit

The Reykjavík Summit, held on October 11 and 12, 1986, was the second meeting of US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. Following up on the previous year’s Geneva Summit, Reagan and Gorbachev continued to work toward and debate the possible terms of nuclear arms reduction at Reykjavík. The two leaders did not reach an agreement at Reykjavík, though many diplomats and experts consider the summit a turning point in the Cold War.

Reagan and Gorbachev: The Geneva Summit

The Geneva Summit, the first meeting between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, was held on November 19 and 20, 1985. The two leaders met to discuss the Cold War-era arms race, primarily the possibility of reducing the number of nuclear weapons. Hosted in Geneva, Switzerland, the meeting was the first American-Soviet summit in more than six years.

Camp Century

During the Cold War, the U.S. Army built a military complex under the Greenland ice sheet as a prototype for nuclear missile silos.

Nuclear Close Calls: The Cuban Missile Crisis

During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union were largely prevented from engaging in direct combat with each other due to the fear of mutually assured destruction (MAD). In 1962, however, the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the world perilously close to nuclear war.

The Berlin Wall

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev decided that the time had come to erect a wall between the eastern and western portions of Berlin. In 1961, preliminary construction of the Berlin Wall began.

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