In pictures: The history of the Cold War
Updated 7:45 AM ET, Sun December 26, 2021
The end of World War II set the stage for the Cold War -- the struggle between communism and capitalism that pitted East against West and pushed the world to the brink of nuclear war.
The tension was at its height in the 1960s. That's the decade the Cuban missile crisis played out, the United States entered the Vietnam War to fight communist forces, and President John F. Kennedy sent a team of Cuban exiles into Cuba's Bay of Pigs to try to overthrow leader Fidel Castro.
The Cold War ended 30 years ago with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991.
Here's a look back at other momentous events from this era in history.