May 1945 – Korea is split into two.
Korea is split between communist North Korea and anti-communist South Korea after World War II at a point known as the 38th parallel. Russia is in charge of North Korea, while the United States is in control of South Korea.
March 12, 1947 – Harry Truman makes a commitment to combat Communism.
President Harry Truman delivers a speech in which he declares that the United States would assist any nation endangered by communism. The Truman Doctrine is the title of the speech.
June 25, 1950 – Invasion of South Korea by North Korea
North Korea invades South Korea with permission from Russia and advances to the capital of Seoul. South Korea lacks the military might necessary to thwart it.
June 25, 1950 – Syngman Rhee, South Korea’s president, kills 100,000 people.
President Syngman Rhee, fearful that South Koreans may join the communists, initiates the Summer of Terror and orders the assassination of over 100,000 individuals.
June 27, 1950 – The US enters the Korean War.
President Harry Truman commits American forces to Korea. The United States and other United Nations members enter the war to prevent spread of communism to South Korea.
July 4, 1950 – At Osan, the United States is beaten.
In Osan, American soldiers face off against North Korean forces. The Americans anticipated a straightforward win, but are shocked to discover that they are no match for the North Korean army.
September 15, 1950 – At Inchon, the United States triumphs.
General Douglas MacArthur conducts the assault of South Korea’s Inchon city. From there, UN forces go to Seoul and reclaim it from North Korea.
October 20, 1950 – US soldiers arrive in North Korea’s capital.
US soldiers make their way into Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital. Soldiers think the conflict will finish soon and begin wagering on the date of the war’s formal conclusion.
October 1950 – China enters the Korean War.
China enters the battle on North Korea’s side. China’s army, dubbed the People’s Volunteer Army, wins many significant battles and forces US and South Korean soldiers to retreat over the 38th parallel.
November 24, 1950 – The United Nations troops begin the assault “Home by Christmas.”
General MacArthur directs the United Nations troops to relocate to the Yalu River, which separates North Korea from northeast China. MacArthur said that the UN forces would return home by Christmas, but they are assaulted and forced to withdraw by 180,000 Chinese soldiers.
February 1, 1951 – Peace negotiations commence.
Peace negotiations begin with neither side gaining momentum. However, as the conflict goes on, it takes two years to reach an accord.
April 1951 – General Douglas MacArthur is relieved of command.
General MacArthur is fired after openly opposing President Truman’s decision not to bomb China. Truman felt that attacking China would have escalated the conflict significantly.
September 13, 1951 – The Battle of Heartbreak Ridge officially begins.
American and French soldiers engage in combat with North Korean and Chinese forces in the Punchbowl region of South Korea. The United States and France prevail in the month-long conflict. Over 25,000 troops from China and North Korea are killed.
November 4, 1952 – Dwight Eisenhower is elected as US President.
General Dwight Eisenhower is elected President of the United States by defeating Illinois Senator Adlai Stevenson. Eisenhower campaigned on a promise to bring the Korean War to a conclusion.
July 27, 1953 – North and South Korea reach an agreement on a truce.
North and South Korea reach a cease-fire deal. Although Korea remains separated, the two nations agree to establish a neutral zone known as the Demilitarized Zone to separate them.
April 1954 – The Geneva talks fall short of uniting Korea.
In Geneva, representatives from the United States and China gather to discuss the possibility of unifying Korea. However, the nations are unable to reach a deal, and Korea continues to be separated.