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Diplomacy in Action

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: The new Government of the United States of America appointed Francis Dana as Minister to St. Petersburg.  Photo shows view of downtown St. Petersburg. [AP photo]1867:  The United States purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million.  Photo shows Alaska's Mount McKinley which is North America's tallest peak. [AP photo]1994:  The first joint U.S.-Russian Space Shuttle Mission launched on February 3 with Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, front, onboard the U.S. Space Shuttle Discovery. [AP photo]2006:  U.S. President George W. Bush, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, at G8 Summit site in St. Petersburg, Russia, July 15. Presidents Bush and Putin announced the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. [AP photo]

17001800190020001780-1783: The new Government of the United States of America appointed Francis Dana as Minister to St. Petersburg.  Photo shows view of downtown St. Petersburg. [AP photo]1867:  The United States purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million.  Photo shows Alaska's Mount McKinley which is North America's tallest peak. [AP photo]1994:  The first joint U.S.-Russian Space Shuttle Mission launched on February 3 with Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, front, onboard the U.S. Space Shuttle Discovery. [AP photo]2006:  U.S. President George W. Bush, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, at G8 Summit site in St. Petersburg, Russia, July 15. Presidents Bush and Putin announced the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. [AP photo]

graphic: 1700

  • 1780-1783: United States Appoints Representative to Russia
  • 1790: Establishment of Russian Outposts in Russian America

graphic: 1800

graphic: 1803-1857

  • 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

graphic: 1861-1890

  • 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


graphic: 1900

graphic: 1903-1949

  • 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

graphic: 1950-1968

  • 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

graphic: 1972-1989

  • 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

graphic: 1990-1998

  • 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

graphic: 2000

  • 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



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