1945: Ho Chi Minh declares Vietnam's independence
Significance: Ho Chi Minh and his People's Congress create the National Liberation Committee of Vietnam to form a provisional government. Japan transfers all power to Ho's Vietminh.
1946: Indochina War
Following months of steadily deteriorating relations, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam launches its first consorted attack against the French.
1950: Soviet Helps Vietnam
The Soviet Union recognizes Ho Chi Minh's government, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
1950: The U.S. Aids the Republic of Vietnam
The United States recognizes Bao Dai's government, the Republic of Vietnam, and gives France $15 million in military aid.
1954: Vietnam Gets Divided
France and Ho Chi Minh sign the Geneva Accords, in which Vietnam is to be divided at the seventeenth parallel until elections can be held in 1956 to reunify the country. The South Vietnamese government and the United States refuse to sign, though both promise to abide by the agreement.