Social 11: Cold War Timeline


The creation of 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 make plans for an international agency that would prevent another global conflict to maintain peace and security.

Soviet spy in Canada

5 September 1945

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

Stalin speech: communism& capitalism were incompatible

9 February 1946

Communism & capitalism were incompatible.

Berlin Blockage begins lasting 11 months

24 June 1948

NATO ratified

4 April 1949

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.

Berlin Blockade ends

12 May 1949

Russia tested its first atomic bomb

29 August 1949

Communist Mao Zedong took control of China

1 October 1949

Korean War begins

24 June 1950

Canada sends 27, 000 troops to the Korean War in a United Nations-supported military action. This was peace making.Stalin supports North Korea who invade South Korea equipped with Soviet weapons.

Federal Civil Defense Administration established

12 January 1951

Canada’s ambassador, Lester Pearson, to the United Nations


Korean War ends

July 1953

Vietnam split at 17th parallel

July 1954

Warsaw Pact formed

May 1955

Suez Crisis, Egypt


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

Nobel Peace Prize


Lester Pearson, Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations, wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

Avro Arrow project was cancelled


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

Cuba taken over by Fidel Castro

January 1959

A-bombs developed by France


Berlin border is closed

13 August 1961

Construction of Berlin Wall begins

17 August 1961

U.S. involvement in Vietnam


Cuban Missile Crisis


The U.S. and Soviet Union come close to nuclear war. Diefenbaker, the Prime Minister was reluctant to have Canada drawn into a major conflict that seemed largely rooted in the United States policy and interest. Canadian government refused to put NORAD forces on alert. It did not allow U.S. planes with atomic weapons land at Canadian bases.

A-bombs developed by China

October 1964

Vietnam War

1965 - 1973

US military buildup to defend South Vietnam. North Vietnam has also committed its forces in the war. US begins sustained bombing of North Vietnam. Pearson criticized Operation Rolling Thunder in a speech at a university in Philadelphia which enraged President Johnson.

Officially communists recognition


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

Pierre Trudeau visits China


Pierre Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister, visited Communist China on a peace mission.

North and South Vietnam

17 April 1975

North Vietnam defeated South Vietnam which falls to Communist forces.

Pierre Trudeau visits Communist Cuba


U.S. and China establish diplomatic relations

January 1979

Berlin Wall comes down


It was symbolizing the Cold War and the tensions that divided East from West.

Poland becomes independent

June 1989

Hungary becomes independent

September 1989

Canada 's peacekeeping action


Canada sent troops to support the U.S. in the Gulf War against Iraq.

Soviet Union dissolves into 15 countries


The dissolution of Warsaw Pact

July 1991

Bosnia and Croatia

1992 - 1995

Multiple ethnics and cultures. Fighting over land, religious beliefs. Ethnic cleansing.



Canada’s Peacekeeping reputation: A teenager found wandering in the Canadian base camp was tortured and beaten to death by some Canadian soldiers which ruined the reputation of Canada’s armed forces.

Civil war and chaos in Haiti

1993 - 1997

Canada sends soldiers and later police.


1994 - 1995

This small nation was torn by ethnic rivalries. It was facing genocide.