Cold War: American Leaders Photo Gallery and related media
Cold War: American Leaders
Gorbachev and Reagan Sign INF pact
In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev worked together to diffuse U.S.-Soviet tensions, and lay the groundwork for the end of the Cold War.
Related Photo Galleries (10)
Cold War: American Leaders
Cold War: American Leaders(13 Photos)
From 1945 until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, U.S. presidents and politicians developed strategies to limit the spread of communism.
Space Race(13 Photos)
Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis(10 Photos)
In October 1962, Cold War tensions erupted when the United States and Soviet Union faced off during the Cuban Missile Crisis, bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower(19 Photos)
See pictures from the life and presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman(19 Photos)
See pictures from the life and presidency of Harry S. Truman.
John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy(20 Photos)
See pictures from the life and presidency of John F. Kennedy.
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson(19 Photos)
See pictures from the life and presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson.
Richard Nixon(18 Photos)
See pictures from the life and presidency of Richard Nixon.
Related Videos (10)
Kennedy Responds to Berlin Wall
Kennedy Responds to Berlin WallVideo Clip (2:53)
Video Clip (2:53)
President Kennedy's diplomatic resolve was tested as tension mounted at the Berlin wall.
Inside a Prefab Fallout Shelter
Inside a Prefab Fallout ShelterVideo Clip (0:48)
Video Clip (0:48)
In a History Rewind video, a new housing development near Denver, Colorado displays the first model homes with built-in fallout shelters. The room is designed with an atomic war in mind, proving to be just what the harried house wife is looking for.
History Rewind: Red Spy Films Chambers Farm Yields Top Secret Documents
History Rewind: Red Spy Films Chambers Farm Yields Top Secret DocumentsVideo Clip (0:52)
Video Clip (0:52)
Council for the Un-American Affairs Committee and Congressman Nixon examine microfilm, a state department document found on the farm of Whittaker Chambers, self-confessed one-time Communist spy.
The Great Communicator
The Great CommunicatorVideo Clip (4:18)
Video Clip (4:18)
Ronald Reagan galvanized the American public through his famous speeches that helped redefine American politics in the 1980s.
Tom Brokaw on 60s music
Tom Brokaw on 60s musicVideo Clip (1:05)
Video Clip (1:05)
Tom Brokaw reflects on the music of the 1960s.
JFK's Road to the White House
JFK's Road to the White HouseVideo Clip (3:43)
Video Clip (3:43)
John F. Kennedy sets his sights on the White House.
Deconstructing History: Berlin Wall
Deconstructing History: Berlin WallVideo Clip (2:27)
Video Clip (2:27)
For 30 years, the Berlin Wall was the defining symbol of the Cold War, separating families and keeping the people from jobs and opportunity in the west.
Ask HISTORY: Kennedy and the Jelly Doughnut
Ask HISTORY: Kennedy and the Jelly DoughnutVideo Clip (1:59)
Video Clip (1:59)
Did JFK actually say he was a jelly doughnut? Find out the real translation of “Ich bin ein Berliner.”
Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile CrisisVideo Clip (2:22)
Video Clip (2:22)
Get the story of the dramatic face-off that nearly ended in nuclear war, as told by musician and artist Jeffrey Lewis.
Cold WarVideo Clip (2:31)
Video Clip (2:31)
The Cold War is over, but what it left behind may surprise you.
Related Speeches & Audio (10)
Bush and Gorbachev Sign the START I Treaty
Bush and Gorbachev Sign the START I TreatyAudio Clip (2:25)
Audio Clip (2:25)
On July 31, 1991, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty was signed in Moscow by U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, committing each superpower to reducing nuclear arms by a third. In a press conference held at the Kremlin, President Bush discusses the economic cooperation implicit in the peace negotiations.
Ford's Address at the Helsinki Conference
Ford's Address at the Helsinki ConferenceAudio Clip (1:54)
Audio Clip (1:54)
On August 1, 1975, at the Helsinki Accords, a major diplomatic agreement was signed by 35 nations, including the United States and the Soviet Union, in an attempt to secure peace between the eastern and western blocs. In a speech delivered at the Finland conference, President Gerald Ford promises to do his part for the good of all nations.
Bush and Gorbachev Declare End of Cold War
Bush and Gorbachev Declare End of Cold WarAudio Clip (1:45)
Audio Clip (1:45)
President George H. W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declared an end to the Cold War at the Malta Summit on December 3, 1989. At a joint press conference aboard the Soviet passenger liner Maxim Gorky in Marsaxlokk Harbor, President Bush speaks about his hopes for a cooperative U.S.-Soviet relationship.
Reagan Addresses British Parliament
Reagan Addresses British ParliamentAudio Clip (0:17)
Audio Clip (0:17)
On June 8, 1982, in the first speech by an American president to a meeting of both houses of the British Parliament, President Ronald Reagan presents his hope for a future that would "leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash heap of history."
McCarthy Questioned on Anti-Communist Investigation
McCarthy Questioned on Anti-Communist InvestigationAudio Clip (3:38)
Audio Clip (3:38)
In a 1953 episode of NBC's "Meet the Press," Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy is questioned by a panel of reporters on his role as the new chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
Kennedy Diary Recording of Cuban Missile Crisis
Kennedy Diary Recording of Cuban Missile CrisisAudio Clip (3:19)
Audio Clip (3:19)
On October 18, 1962, President Kennedy met with nine of his advisers to discuss what to do about the Soviet missiles that U.S. aerial surveillance discovered in Cuba on October 16. After the meeting, President Kennedy went to the White House Oval Office and recorded his recollections of the meeting.
Russia Has A-Bomb
Russia Has A-BombAudio Clip (0:56)
Audio Clip (0:56)
In the January 5, 1951, episode of Edward R. Murrow's Hear It Now radio broadcast, Atomic Energy Commissioner Gordon Deane fields questions from reporters about Russia's possession of the atomic bomb.
U.S.-Soviet Tension Builds
U.S.-Soviet Tension BuildsAudio Clip (2:32)
Audio Clip (2:32)
On February 28, 1946, Secretary of State James Byrnes addresses the Overseas Press Club to discuss the purposes of the United Nations. In his speech, Byrnes makes an indirect reference to the Soviet Union when he declares that the United States is prepared to "act to prevent aggression."
What the Russian Atomic Bomb Means to America
What the Russian Atomic Bomb Means to AmericaAudio Clip (5:13)
Audio Clip (5:13)
On October 12, 1949, two weeks after President Harry Truman announced that Russia had developed the atom bomb, Gen. Omar Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivers a speech about the impact of this discovery on American policy.
U.S. and U.S.S.R. Tussle Over Germany
U.S. and U.S.S.R. Tussle Over GermanyAudio Clip (2:38)
Audio Clip (2:38)
Upon his return from commanding U.S. occupation forces in Germany, Gen. Lucius Clay holds a press conference on May 17, 1949, and fields questions about the growing tension between the United States and the Soviets over the division of Germany.
Most Popular Videos on History.com
Keep up with the latest History shows, online features, special offers and more.Sign up