Social 11: Cold War Timeline


United Nations

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 maintain world peace and security.

Igor Gouzenko

September 1945

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

NATO and Warsaw Pact


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.

Korea Conflict

1950 - 1953

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

Lester Pearson


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

Suez Canal Crisis


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

Nobel Peace Prize


Lester Pearson wins the Nobel Peace Price.

Avro Arrow Cancelled


Diefenbaker’s Conservatives cancel the Avro Arrow project. The Arrow was a state-of-the-art supersonic jet aircraft.

Cuban Missile Crisis


The U.S. and Soviet Union come close to nuclear war. He appealed to Canadian nationalism, including Canada’s right to decide for itself on international matters. He disagreed with America’s opinion about having nuclear weapons, which means his movement was anti-nuclear movement.



Canada participates in a U.N. peacekeeping mission to Cyprus. Cyprus is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Vietnam War

1965 - 1973

Prime Minister Pearson criticized Operation Rolling Thunder—the name of the U.S. bombing campaign of North Vietnam—in a speech at a university in Philadelphia.

The recognition of Communist China


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

Visiting of Communist China


Pierre Trudeau visits Communist China on a peace mission.

Visiting of Communist Cuba


Pierre Trudeau visits Communist Cuba.

Falling of Berlin Wall


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

Soviet Union Breaks Down


Soviet Union dissolves into 15 countries.

Gulf War


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



One night, members of the Canadian Airborne Regiment arrested a Somali teenager found wandering in the Canadian base camp. During the night, the teen was tortured and beaten to death because of racism. This event tarnished Canada’s peacekeeping reputation.

Bosnia and Croatia

1992 - 1995

This region was in fighting. The U.N. peacekeepers could not keep peace. Frustrated by the failure of the United Nations to control the situation, the countries of NATO threatened to take steps to end the fighting.

Civil War and Chaos in Haiti

1993 - 1997

Canada sends soldiers and later police.


1994 - 1995

The world was horrified to learn of a massive wave of killing in Rwanda. Within a few weeks, close to a million people had died, including many women, old people, and babies.