Policy & History

Highlights in the History of U.S. Relations With Russia, 1780-June 2006

 Office of the Historian 

Bureau of Public Affairs
May 11, 2007

This timeline depicts highlights from chronology prepared by Dr. Amy C. Garrett. Questions or comments may be sent by email to: History@state.gov.

1780-1783: United States Appoints Representative to Russia
1790: Establishment of Russian Outposts in Russian America
1803: Acceptance of First U.S. Consul in Russia
1807: Offer to Appoint Russian Minister to United States
1809: U.S. and Russia Appoint First Minister Level Representatives
1812: Establishment of Russian Colony at Fort Ross
1820-1821: Arbitration of the Treaty of Ghent
1832: Russian-American Commercial Treaty
1842: American Engineer as Consultant for Russian Railroad
1853: Organization of American Russian Commercial Company
1854-1855: American Humanitarian Efforts in Crimean War
1857: American Construction of Russian Naval Ships
1861: Russian Emancipation of the Serfs
1861-1865: U.S.-Russian Relations during the American Civil War
1867: U.S. Purchase of Alaska
1871: Pogrom against Russian Jews
1871-1872: Visit to the United States by Grand Duke Alexis
1872: General William Tecumseh Sherman Visits Russia
1878: Former President Ulysses Grant Visits Russia
1881: Assassination of Tsar Alexander II
1886: Translation of Major Works of Russian Literature
1891-1893: Americans Send Aid during Russian Famine
1890s: Construction of Trans-Siberian Railroad

1903: Kishinev Pogrom
1904-1905: Russo-Japanese War
1905: Peace Conference, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
1914: Outbreak of World War I
1917: Russian Revolution of 1917
1917: U.S. Recognition of the Provisional Government
1917-1933: The October Bolshevik Revolution
1933: U.S. Recognition of the Soviet Union
1934-1938: Stalin’s Purges and Show Trials
1939: Moltov-Ribbentrop Pact
1941: German Invasion of Soviet Union
1941: The United States Enters World War II
1943: Tehran Conference
1945: Yalta Conference
1945: German Surrender
1945: Meeting at Potsdam
1946: Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech
1947: Marshall’s Offer of Economic Assistance
1948-1949: Berlin Airlift
1949: North Atlantic Treaty Organization
1949: Soviet Atomic Bomb
1950-1953: Korean War
1952: U.S. Hydrogen Bomb
1953: Stalin’s Death
1955: Creation of the Warsaw Pact
1956: Polish Uprising
1956: Hungarian Uprising
1957-1958: Sputnik and the Space Race
1959: Khrushchev Visit to the United States
1959: Antarctic Treaty
1960: The U-2 Incident
1961: Berlin Crisis
1962: Cuban Missile Crisis
1963: Establishment of the “Hotline”
1963: Limited Test Ban Treaty
1965: U.S. Troops to Vietnam
1967: Treaty on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
1968: Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty
1968: Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia

1972: Moscow Summit
1973: Brezhnev-Nixon Meeting in the United States
1973: Force Reduction Meeting in Vienna
1974: Moscow Summit
1974: Vladivostok Meeting
1975: Apollo-Soyuz Mission
1979: Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan
1983: Announcement of Strategic Defense Initiative
1983: Downing of Korean Airlines Flight 007
1984: Soviet Olympic Boycott
1986: Televised Greetings
1986: Nuclear Test Moratorium Proposed
1986: Chernobyl Disaster
1986: Commercial Flights Resumed
1986: Reykjavik Summit
1987: Discovery of Electronic Listening Devices at U.S. Embassy
1987: Gorbachev, Man of Year
1989: Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe

1990: Discussions on the Reunification of Germany
1990: German Reunification
1990: Bush Extends Economic Assistance to Soviet Union
1990: Gorbachev Wins Nobel Peace Prize
1991: Putsch against Gorbachev
1991: Dissolution of Soviet Union
1992: Yeltsin’s Visit to the United States
1992: Formal Diplomatic Relations with Former Soviet Republics
1992: Washington Summit
1993: Russian Elections
1994: First Joint U.S.-Russian Space Shuttle Mission
1995: Joint Commemoration of 50th Anniversary of World War II
1996: Ratification of START II Treaty
1997: NATO-Russia Founding Act
1998: Launch of International Space Station

2000: President Clinton Addresses Russian Parliament
2000: Clinton and Putin Meet at G-8 Summit
2000: First Crew on Manned International Space Station
2002: Creation of the NATO-Russia Council
2003: Roadmap for Middle East Peace
2003: Russian-American Business Dialogue Report
2006: Announcement of Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism