End of the Cold War
North America 1989.1222
End of the Cold War
America in World War II, the Cold War and today (22 December 1989)
Historical Map of North America & the Caribbean
The US funded the Nicaraguan Contras partly through secret arms sales to embargoed Iran, causing a political scandal when uncovered. However the importance the US placed on the Central American wars was soon to fade. By the late 1980s, the Soviet Union was facing economic woes and a costly war in Afghanistan, while the US threatened it with a high tech arms race. The new Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, responded with huge reforms and in 1989 allowed elections and revolutions to overthrow the communist regimes in eastern Europe. The Cold War was over.
SDI program started
United States Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger signs Strategic Defense Initiative Organization charter, launching what will be nick-named the "Star Wars" program to produce a high technology missile defense system
Mikhail Gorbachev becomes General Secretary of the Communist Party and effective leader of the Soviet Union
Political scandal in United States when covert government funding of Contras in Nicaragua through secret arms sales to Iran, the subject of an arms embargo, is uncovered
Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan
Fall of the Berlin Wall
After Hungary and Czechoslovakia open their borders to Austria, allowing tens of thousands of East Germans to escape to the West, the government of East Germany partially opens its border with West Germany. In the confusion over the new regulations, masses of East Germans gather at the Berlin Wall, overwhelming the guards and demanding to cross to the West. At 10:45 pm on 9 November, the guards relent. The Wall is swamped by celebrating East and West Germans, then torn down over the ensuing days.
US invasion of Panama
In Operation Just Cause, United States forces invade and occupy Panama, deposing dictator Manuel Noriega