Cold War Spies
The emblem of the Center for Cryptologic History, from the NSA
The emblem of the KGB, from the NSA

1943 - Stalin ends the Comintern - KGB and GRU (Soviet Army Intelligence) assume all espionage activities - 200 agents in U.S.

1943/02/01 - the U.S. Army's Signal Intelligence Service, a forerunner of NSA, began a secret program, later codenamed VENONA, to exploit, encrypted Soviet diplomatic communications collected since 1939

1944 - Viktor Kravchenko defected in Washington from the Soviet Government Purchasing Commission AMTORG

1944/02 - Stalin creates Department S to use American scientists as Russian spies, including Oppenheimer, Bohr, Fermi, Szilard.

1945/01 - HUAC made a permanent House committee - under John Rankin until 1946/10

1945/06/06 - Amerasia raid by FBI - arrested were editor Phil Jaffe, State Dept employees Emmanuel Larsen and John Stewart Service (would be only department employee later dismissed by Dean Acheson), Naval Intelligence officer Andrew Roth

1945/08/25 - Elizabeth Bentley's first routine interview by FBI.

1945/09/05 - Igor Gouzenko (GRU cipher clerk in Ottowa, Canada) defects to Canada and begins to reveal names of Russian agents.

1945/11/07 - Elizabeth Bentley second interview - she was a high-level controller of a KGB network in the U.S. (as was Jacob Golos and Greg Silvermaster) and implicated many others in a 90-page confession - names grew from 14 to 100 - she becomes the "blond spy queen"

1946/02 - FBI's report to Truman of results of Gouzenko and Bentley cases adds name of Harry Dexter White, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and nominated by Truman to lead the IMF - Truman does not withdraw the nomination

1946/02/15 - Canada indicts 22 communist agents due to info from Gouzenko - Allen Nunn May (Brit physicist) indicted for giving Russians info on Manhattan Project - given 10-year sentence

1946/02/22 - Kennan's Long Telegram provides the ideological foundation for new containment policy.

1946/10 - J. Parnell Thomas heads HUAC until 1949/01 (later imprisoned for taking kickbacks from his staff) - Karl Mundt replaces Thomas.

1946/07/06 - McCarran rider to Smith Act passed; State Dept. had power for dismissal.

1946/07/31 - Meredith Gardner, an Arlington Hall analyst in the Venona project began to read portions of KGB messages due to clues provided by the Gouzenko and Bentley cases. By 1952, many of the 2200 Venona messages had been translated.

1947/02/17 - VOA began regular radio broadcasts to Russia from transmitters in Munich, Manila, Honolulu.

1947/02/24 - Nixon speech in Congress attacked Gerhart Eisler who had been revealed as a German communist spy in the U.S. since 1933 who was then being detained on Ellis Island for passport fraud but refusing to testify before HUAC. House agreed with Nixon and voted a contempt charge, but Gerhart escaped to East Germany as ship stowaway.

1947/08 - 3 "pillars" of the containment policy were in place: Truman Doctrine (March 12), Marshall Plan (June 5), National Security Act (July 28). Supporting instruments included DOD, CIA, SAC, advance bases in Turkey and Libya.

1947/09 - Stalin created the Cominform, or Information Bureau of Communist parties, at the meeting in Poland of the Soviet, East European, French and Italian communist parties. Andrei Zhadov reported to the conference that America and Russia were locked in a two-camp struggle for world domination.

1947/09 - Freedom Train began to travel across U.S. through 1948

1947/09 - HUAC subpoened 41 witnesses in an investigation of communism in Hollywood films - includes the "Hollywood 19" unfriendly witnesses (13 of 19 were writers) - "Hollywood 10" jailed for contempt - 84 of 204 supporters of the Hollywood 19 or 10 who signed amici curiae Supreme Court brief were blacklisted

1948/01/27 - Smith-Mundt Act as PL402 - the U.S. Information and Education Exchange Act - to coordinate propaganda from State Dept. under Office of International Information (will become USIA by 1953)

1948/02/01 - Russia begins jamming VOA broadcasts

1948/03/02 - Truman's Executive Order 9835 establishing the Federal Employee Loyalty Program - FBI would make a name check on 2 million federal employees in 1948 plus approx. 500,000 new applicants each year (4.5 million name checks made 1948-58) - if "derogatory information" found, a full field investigation made and results given to 150 loyalty boards (27000 such field investigations were made 1948-58) - employee could be fired if "reasonable doubt" of loyalty was established by 6 categories:crimes, violent overthrow, breach of official duty or disclosure of confidential information, or membership in or association with any subversive organization - no appeal beyond loyalty boards - no permission to confront a "confidential informant" - 5000 voluntary resignations resulted from investigations before hearings conducted for great variety of reasons - only 378 employees were dismissed or denied employment by boards and none of these were spies. - Truman issued another executive order to keep these investigation files confidential and not disclosed to Congress

1948/03/10 - Czech Foreign Minister Jan Masaryk killed in "fall" from office window following communist coup Feb. 25.

1948/04/18 - Christian Democrats in Italy win election over communists - one of the first victories of the CIA's Office of Special Operations under James Angleton - next month, Kennan proposes creation of Office of Policy Coordination to do covert actions like Italy

1948/06 - FBI issues indictments against 11 leaders of the Communist Party (led by William Z. Foster, successor to Browder since 1945/07/29) - for advocating violent overthrow of the government under authority of the Smith Act - this was the first attack on the legality of the Communist Party itself - illegality of the party was affirmed in 1950 by the McCarran Act and convictions were upheld in 1951 by the Supreme Court in Dennis vs. U.S. - conspiracy does constitute a "clear and present danger" (would be reversed in 1957)

1948/06/18 - NSC directive 10/2 creates Office of Policy Coordination under director Frank Wisner to conduct covert operations for CIA - Wisner recruits Reinhard Gehlen, former Wehrmacht offcier, to carry out espionage against Russia in Eastern Europe - Gehlen warns CIA about the coming blockade of Berlin but is ignored - Gehlen exposes former Nazi officers and recruits underground liberation groups to fight a covert war against Russia in the occupied East European countries

1948/06/24 - Stalin begins the blockade of land routes to Berlin - Lucius Clay responds with the Berlin Airlift - see Douglas Aircraft ad

1948/06/28 - Yugoslavia expelled from the Cominform - sudden crack in the Soviet bloc

1948/07/31 - HUAC begins Bentley-Chambers hearings - this is the origin of the Hiss case - see Whittaker Chambers articles from the New York Times archives

1948/08/04 - Whittaker Chambers openly accuses Alger Hiss to be a communist, not only when Hiss was in the Agriculture Department in the 1930's (with Lee Pressman, Nathan Witt, John Abt, Nathaniel Weyl) but also when Hiss was in the State Department in 1944 (Hiss had gone to Yalta with FDR and helped create the UN with Stettinius) - since 1947, Hiss was President of the Carnegie Foundation of International Peace - Chambers said he kept 4 memos written in Hiss's hand and 64 memos copied by Hiss's wife Priscilla

1948/08/05 - Hiss denied all of Chambers's accusations - gave such a persuasive rebuttal that all members of HUAC believed Hiss, except Richard Nixon - this became the first of Nixon's Six Crises

1948/08/07 - Chambers 2nd testimony to HUAC - tells about Hiss's Ford auto, seeing a prothonotary warbler along the Potomac, getting a Bokhana rug

1948/08/16 - death of Harry Dexter White - Nixon fears killed by Russinas and wants to rush the prosecution of Hiss

1948/08/17 - Hiss admints Chambers was a man he once knew called George Crosley and that he did receive the gift of a rug and that he did see a warbler along the Potomac

1948/08/28 - HUAC report on Hiss - Chambers accusations are true

1948/09/27 - Hiss files civil suit against Chambers for slander

Truman whistlestop campaign 1948, from NA
Nixon 1948, from NA
Russian A-bombs

1948/11/04 - Truman defeats Dewey in the presidential election

1948/11/17 - Chambers gives to HUAC 65 pages of State Dept. documents copied by Hiss on a Woodstock typewriter and 4 pages in Hiss's handwriting, all were given to Chambers in 1938

1948/12/02 - Nixon finds pumpkin papers hidden in Chambers's Maryland garden - 5 rolls of microfilm (2 rolls contained photos of confidential government dispatches)

1948/12/15 - Hiss indicted for perjury - 1st trial ends 1949/07 with hung jury, but 2nd trial convicts Hiss 1950/01/21 - sentenced to 5 years in prison, but serves 44 months in Lewisburg prison

1949/01 - fall of Peking to communist CCF of Mao Tse-tung

1949/01/30 - John Wood headed HUAC until 1953.

1949/03/04 - Judith Coplon (Barnard graduate who worked in Justice Dept.) trial in NY, was given 10 yrs; 2nd trial in DC 1950/03/07 was given 15 yrs. This was the 1st conviction of a U.S. citizen as spy; later reversed because FBI illegal wiretaps.

1949/05/12 - Stalin ended the Berlin Blockade after 11 months of tension.

1949 - May 20 the Secretary of Defense signed a secret order creating the Armed Forces Security Agency to oversee the military intelligence agencies (Army Security Agency, Naval Security Group, and Air Force Security Service) but interservice rivalry continued; intelligence failures during the Korean War led to the creation in 1952 of the NSA.

1949/09/23 - Russia announced publicly its first A-bomb that was tested July 14

1950/01/07 - Joseph McCarthy meets with Robert Taft at the Colony Restaurant and is persuaded to use the communist issue for political gain

1950/01/12 - Acheson's Perimeter speech about Asia

1950/01/25 - Dean Acheson says he will not turn his back on Alger Hiss

1950/02/09 - McCarthy's speech to the Republican Women's Club at the McClure Hotel in Wheeling, West Virginia - said he had the names of 205 communists in the State Dept.

1950/02/10 - McCarthy's Salt Lake City speech - said he had the names of 57 communists (same number as the bottle of Heinz catsup)

1950/02/20 - McCarthy's wild 6-hour speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate - said he had the names of 81 communists in the State Dept., including "one of our foreign ministers"

1950/02/23 - Tydings Committee formed (under chairman Millard Tydings, Dem-Maryland) as a subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to investiage McCarthy's accusations

1950/03/01 - Klaus Fuchs and Allan Nunn May (both nuclear physicists at Loas Alamos) arrested in Britain - convicted and jailed until 1959 exchange to East Germany) - Fuchs passed documents to Harry Gold at Loas Alamos - Gold and Greenglass implicated Rosebergs and Sobell

1950/03/07 - 2nd trial of Judith Coplon

1950/03/30 - McCarthy accuses Owen Lattimore, but he is cleared by April 6

VOA, from National Archives

1950/04/12 - NSC-68 report finished (started Jan 30 in Paul Nitze's PPS after resignation of Kennan Jan. 1)

1950/04/20 - Truman announces the Campaign of Truth psychological offensive against communism's "Big Lie" - high power transmitters built since 1949 - Project Dumbo in Munich, Ring Plan to surround Russia with megawatt transmitters resistant to jamming

1950/06/24 - North Korea invades South Korea

1950/06/25 - Truman orders Navy and Air Force to defend South Korea

1950/07/17 - arrest of Julius and (on Aug. 11) Ethel Rosenberg - are tried beginning 1951/03/06 by Irving Saypol and his assistant Roy Cohn - are convicted and sentenced to death by Judge Irving Kaufman - they become the first civilians to be executed on 1953/06/19 for wartime espionage

Rosenbergs arrested, from Life, 1950
MacArthur, from ILN 1942/03/28

1950/07/20 - Tydings Committee report to Senate denounces McCarthy - Senate vote splits on Tydings report 48 Dem pro, 37 Repub anti - McCarthy begins public attack on members of the Committe standing for election in 1950

1950/08/18 - Morton Sobell handed over to FBI by Mexico

1950/09/15 - MacArthur lands at Inchon - begins to liberate South Korea

1950/09/17 - Congress passed McCarran Act but vetoed by Truman - House over-rides veto and Hubert Humphrey filibuster fails in Senate)

1950/09/23 - McCarran Internal Security Act - all communist-front organizations must register with Attorney-General - all communists prohibited from working in national defense - no entry into the U.S. of anyone who was a member of a totlitarian organization - established the Subversive Activities Control Board - if national emergency declared, communists could be interred

1950/10/08 - MacArthur crosses the 38th parallel and begins to liberate North Korea

1950/10/25 - first intervention by Chinese Army across Yalu River, followed by the massive intervention Nov. 25 that rolls back the American Army to the 38th parallel.

1950/12 - Senator Pat McCarran created and chaired the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee

1951 - NSC-68 and Korean War contribute to arms race - Hanford expanded

1951/06/14 - McCarthy attacks former Secretary of State George Marshall as the "instrument of a Soviet conspiracy"

1951/10/28 - McCarthy attacks Adlai Stevenson

1952/06/30 - McCarran-Walter Act - immigration quota laws revised to allow more Asians, but not "subversives" - Attorney-General to deport immigrants if were communist even after acquired U.S. citizenship

1953 - Harold Velde heads HUAC until 1954

1954 - Francis Walker heads HUAC

1954/03/16 - Army-McCarthy Hearings begin - last for 36 days and are televised for 187 hours

1954/08/24 - Communist Control Act

1954/12/02 - McCarthy is condemned (not censured) by the Senate


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