Social 11: Cold War Timeline


The United Nations' Establishment

June 1945

The United Nations is created in San Francisco. Canada is one of the original members to sign the Charter. The original goal of the UN was to collective security.

Russian Spys

September 1945

Soviet spy Igor Gouzenko defects to Canada and exposes a Russian spy ring in Canada.

NATO and the Warsaw Pact

1949 - 1955

NATO – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – is created as a military defense alliance because of fears created by the Cold War with Russia and its allies. In response The Eastern Bloc countries sign Warsaw Pact in 1955.

The Korean Conflict

1950 - 1953

Canada sends 27, 000 troops to the Korean War in a United Nations-supported military action. This was peace keeping.

Canada in the United Nations


Lester Pearson becomes Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations.

The Suiz Crisis


Suez, Egypt: First U.N. peacekeeping troops, negotiated by Lester Pearson, prevents war.

Nobel Peace Prize


Lester Pearson wins the Nobel Peace Prize

The Cuban Missile Crisis

1959 - 1962

Cuban Missile Crisis: The U.S. and Soviet Union come close to nuclear war. How did Prime Minister Diefenbaker respond? He preferred that the United Nations send a fact-finding mission to Cuba, and implied that he did not believe the U.S. photographs.At first, the Canadian government refused to place Canadian bases. Diefenbaker believed he was defending Canada’s independence.

The Avro Arrow


Diefenbaker’s Conservatives cancel the Avro Arrow project.

What was the Arrow? A state-of-the-art supersonic jet aircraft.



Canada participates in a U.N. peacekeeping mission to Cyprus.

It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria, northwest of Israel, north of Egypt, and southeast of Greece, a small island in the Eastern Mediterannean.

VIetnam War

1965 - 1973

What did Prime Minister Pearson think of the US policy in Vietnam? He was enraged that the Canadian leader had dared to criticize him in his own country.

China and Canada


Trudeau’s government officially recognizes Communist China (rather than Taiwan).

Peaceful visit


Pierre Trudeau visits Communist China on a peace mission.

Visit to Cuba


Pierre Trudeau visits Communist Cuba.

Cold War in Europe ended.


Berlin Wall comes down, symbolizing the Cold War in Europe was over.

Canada in the Gulf War


Canada sends troops to support the U.S. in the Gulf War against Iraq. This action was Peace keeping.

Soviet Union divided


Soviet Union dissolves into 15 countries.

Bosnia and Croatia

1992 - 1995

The ethnic problems was not solved in the former Yugoslavia. The leader of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia wanted a greater Serbia.



Somalia: what happened to tarnish Canada’s Peacekeeping reputation? One night, members of the Canadian Airborne Regiment arrested a Somali teenager found wandering in the Canadian base camp. During the night, teen was tortured and beaten to death. At first only a few low-ranking officers had been found committed this terrible, racist crime. Than a high-level attempt covered up the incident.

Civil war and chaos in Haiti

1993 - 1997

Canada sends soldiers and later police.


1994 - 1995

This small nation was torn apart by ethnic rivalries. A planned killing happened, within a few weeks, close to a million people had died. Dallaire called for help from the United Nations and United States, but no country helped.