Social 11: Cold War Timeline


The United Nations

Approx. 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 keep world peace and preventing new wars.

The Gouzenko Affair

September 5, 1945

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

NATO ( The North Atlantic Treaty Organization)


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

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

Lester Pearson


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

The Suez Crisis


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

Nobel Peace Prize


Lester Pearson wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow

October 4, 1957

Avro Arrow could reach a speed nearly three times the speed of sound, travelling at an altitude of 60,000 feet.Diefenbaker’s Conservatives cancel the Avro Arrow project.

Cuban Missile Crisis


During the Cold War, the US and the Soviet Union stockpiled their nuclear weapons in various countries around the world. In 1962, The United States spotted Soviet missiles in Cuba through aerial surveillance. Advance warning of a possible Soviet nuclear attack on the US had now been reduced from half an hour down to a few minutes. The US set up a naval blockade around Cuba, defying Soviet ships to continue bringing in missiles to Cuba.The U.S. and Soviet Union come close to nuclear war. Diefenbaker preferred that the UN send a fact-finding mission to Cuba, it implied that he didn’t believe the U.S. photographs.

U.N. peacekeeping mission to Cyprus


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

Vietnam War

1965 - 1973

Within a few years, there was a civil war between the two groups which separately supported by USA and USSR. Canadian Prime Minster Pearson criticized the 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 China


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

Trudeau Visits China


Pierre Trudeau visits Communist China on a peace mission.

Trudeau Visits Cuba


Pierre Trudeau visits Communist Cuba

Fall of the Berlin Wall


Berlin Wall comes down, symbolizing the consolidation of East and West Germany.

Collapse of the Soviet Union


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.

Bosnia and Croatia

1992 - 1995

the Bosnia War was an international armed conflict. It happened in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Somalia: Tarnished Reputation


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. At first, a military inquiry found that only a few low-ranking officers had committed this terrible, racist crime. As more evidence came to light, however, it became clear that there had been a high-level attempt to cover up the incident. And in 1995, the Airborne Regiment was disbanded.

Civil war and chaos in Haiti

1993 - 1997

Canada sends soldiers and later police

Disaster in Rwanda

1994 - 1995

It was a massive wave of killing in Rwanda. Within a few weeks, close to a million people had died, included women, old people and children.