Cold War Comforts
Canadian Women, Child Safety, and Global Insecurity
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Cover, Title Page
List of Acronyms and Initialisms
I always enjoy reading acknowledgements because authors are usually so giddy that the book is finally finished that they are full of glee, love, and good humour. More importantly, acknowledgements are excellent reminders that, although...
Vigilant would best describe Ottawa resident Goldie Josephy’s state of mind in the 1960s and 1970s. Throughout these decades Josephy could be regularly found on Parliament Hill carrying a nuclear disarmament picket sign, holding a memorial outside the American...
Part I: At Home
1. Cold War Canada: Mobilizing Women for a New War
In a publicity campaign run by the Department of National Health and Welfare in the 1950s, a woman became the spokesperson to warn Canadians of the possibility of a nuclear war and to advise them on preparing for it. “Bea Alerte,” a smiling brunette...
2. The Home Front Becomes the Front Line: Fallout Shelter Madness
In the fall of 1961 Canadians were abuzz over the construction of the Berlin Wall. The wall became a symbol of Cold War ferocity and paranoia, representing the expanding divide between East and West. Suddenly Winston Churchill’s iron...
3. In the Name of Children: The Disarmament Movement
In 1965 Dr. Ursula Franklin found herself the recipient of over 45,000 baby teeth donated by Canadian mothers whose children proudly wore stickers that declared “I gave my tooth for science.”1 Each tooth was accompanied by a record detailing...
Part II: Abroad
4. Seeds of Destiny: The United Nations and Child Welfare
In November 1961 Mrs. Wayne Elwood, a California housewife, mailed a cheque for $1,000 to the UN, explaining in her letter to Secretary-General U Thant that this was the advertised cost to build a fallout shelter, but she preferred to invest..
5. Long-Distance Mothers: Foster Parent Plan Programs
Dear my loving mother …”1 These are the words that open twelve-year-old Chin Ho’s 1968 letter to his Canadian foster mother, Rita Black. Charlottetown resident Black sponsored the Korean boy through the Canadian foreign relief agency, the Unitarian...
6. A Change in Direction: Starving, Knitting, and Caring for Vietnam
One October morning in 1968 Claire Culhane began a ten-day hunger strike and demonstration on Parliament Hill to protest what she considered to be the Canadian government’s hypocritical position on the war in Vietnam. Culhane, a fifty-year-old mother...
7. The Politics of Orphans: Origins of International Adoption and Operation Babylift
As a teenager in the 1950s, Sandra Simpson watched a newsreel about postwar South Korea. She was so moved by the plight of the Korean orphans featured in the film that she left the theatre in tears. “It was already in my mind but I guess it was then that I decided...
This study comes to a conclusion in 1975, amid shifts in international relations, sites of activism, and women’s lives. Détente, a thaw in Cold War rivalries begun in the 1960s, continued to percolate. New international treaties between the Soviet Union and the United States...