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1954

Jan 5  China is one year into its five-year industrialization plan and its economy is growing about 15 percent per year. And China has begun a planned 14-year move from family-owned farms to collectivization.

Jan 7  In his state of the Union message, Eisenhower speaks of the Free World gathering strength. He also recommends legislation that takes away the citizenship of anyone  "conspiring to advocate the overthrow of this government by force or violence." 

Jan 14  The Democratic National Committee proclaims that President Eisenhower has not been "soft" on the investigation of Communists in government, despite the "insinuations" of Senator Joseph McCarthy and others.

Jan 17  President Tito complains to a meeting of his Central Committee that articles written by comrade Milovan Djilas amount to a call for elimination of party discipline. He describes Djilas as creating "enormous harm not only to Yugoslavia's Communist Party but also to the unity of the country."

Jan 20  The CIA builds a tunnel from west Berlin into East Berlin to tap Soviet and East German communications.

Jan 21  The first atomic submarine, the USS Nautilus, is launched.

Feb 23  In the US the inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine begins.

Feb 23  In Egypt, Gamal Abdul Nasser becomes prime minister.

Mar 1  Another nuclear bomb is tested across Bikini atoll (in the Marshall Islands). This one is a hydrogen bomb, believed to be 1,000 times as powerful as the one dropped on Hiroshima. Japanese tuna fishermen are accidentally exposed to the bomb's radiation. 

Mar 1  Puerto Rican nationalists open fire from the gallery of the US House of Representatives, wounding five congressmen. 

Mar 6  Edward R. Morrow of CBS television broadcasts his "Report on Senator McCarthy."

Mar 10  President Eisenhower describes Senator McCarthy as a peril to the Republican Party.

Mar 17  The American Cancer Society voices its "suspicion" that cigarette smoking might contribute to lung cancer.

Mar 22  In the US the first shopping mall opens, in Southfield, Michigan.

Mar 30  Canada's first subway line opens, in Toronto.

Apr 15  Margaret Sanger, birth control advocate, testifies before the Japanese Diet.

Apr 29  India recognizes Chinese rule in Tibet and signs an agreement with China regarding trade with Tibet.

Apr 23  An Afro-American, Hank Aaron, hits a home run, the first of his record 755 home runs.

May 7  After 55 days of fighting at Dien Bien Phu, Vietnamese overrun French forces.

May 15  China and India agree to respect each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty, to not aggress upon one another and not to interfere in each other's internal affairs.

May 17  In a case concerning elementary education, the US Supreme Court unanimously rules that segregation in public education denies equal protection under the law. Eisenhower does not like the decision but feels that it is his duty to accept it. He believes that southern whites are good people who just don't want their daughters sitting next to black children, and he believes that one can't change hearts. 

May 19  US Postmaster General Summerfield approves a CIA mail-opening project.

May 29  Pope Pius XII issues a holy declaration that canonizes Pope Pius X.

Jun 2  Senator McCarthy claims that Communists are working in the CIA and in atomic weapons plants.

Jun 14  President Eisenhower signs a law that adds the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance.

Jun 17  The American College of Chest Physicians refuses to declare cigarette smoking as a possible cause of lung cancer.

Jun 18   In France, Pierre Mendes-France forms a government and promises to end the war in Vietnam. Some Roman Catholics prefer continued colonialism to abandoning Vietnamese Catholics to Communism. Emotions by those opposed to pulling out of Vietnam run high. Slurs are made against the Jewish origins of Mendes-France.

Jun 27  The Eisenhower administration sees President Arbenz of Guatemala as too leftist. A force financed by the US and trained in Nicaragua overthrows Arbenz. Howard Hunt, a CIA agent involved in the overthrow, prevents Arbenz from being murdered. Arbenz and his wife go into exile in Mexico.  

Jul 3  In Britain, food rationing, in place since World War II, ends.

Jul 7   Elvis Presley debuts on radio in Memphis Tennessee, singing "That's All Right (Mama)."

Jul 12  President Eisenhower proposes an interstate highway program to counteract inefficiency in the transportation of goods and "appalling inadequacies to meet the demands of catastrophe or defense, should an atomic war come."

Jul 15  Boeing's first passenger jet makes its maiden flight.

Jul 13-21  In Geneva a settlement is signed that divides Vietnam temporarily. For two years the French are to be allowed to maintain administration in the southern half of Vietnam. Then elections are to be held to reunite Vietnam. The Vietnamese are talked into signing by China's delegate, Chou Enlai. France, the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam and Britain sign the agreement. The US does not, but it pledges to "respect" the agreements. 

Jul 31  In California, the Stanford Research Institute has declared Southern California's abundant sunshine is largely responsible for the smog in Los Angeles.

Aug 9  Turkey, Greece and Yugoslavia sign a 20-year treaty of military and political cooperation.

Aug 21  Prime Minister Nasser describes both the Muslim Brotherhood and Communists as a "corrupting force."

Aug 24  In the United States the Communist Control Act goes into effect, providing severe penalties for Communists who fail to register or become involved in Party activities.

Aug 27  The government of Pierre Mendes-France wins support in the National Assembly for making peace with those in Morocco and Tunisia advocating independence.

Sep 3  The United States has allowed Chiang Kai-shek to move 58,000 soldiers to Quemoy and 15,000 to Matsu. These are islands off the coast of mainland China, within artillery range of the mainland and jumping off points for infiltration by Chiang's agents. China begins shelling Chiang's forces. 

Sep 6  A US plane is shot down over Siberia.

Sep 8  The Eisenhower administration creates the South East Asia Treaty Organization, a political-military alliance to "contain communism." Members: the Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, the US and France.

Sep 23  East German police arrest 400 citizens as US spies.

Oct 4  Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio separate after 9 months of marriage.

Oct 6-15  For nine straight days the Los Angeles metropolitan area has been blanketed with chocking, eye-stinging smog, angering residents. Yours truly, Frank Smitha, less than one month out of the Marine Corps, tells himself he should move out of the area.

Oct 19  Britain signs a pact with Egypt, Britain agreeing to withdraw its force from the Suez Canal Zone within 20 months and Egypt agreeing to maintain freedom of canal navigation.

Oct 22  West Germany joins the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Oct 26  A member of Muslim Brotherhood shoots at but misses Prime Minister Nasser.

Oct 29  Nasser bans the Muslim Brotherhood.

Nov 1  In Algeria, between midnight and two in the morning, a rebel organization reveals itself by making simultaneous attacks against military and police targets at various points across the country. The war for Algerian independence has begun.

Nov 8  President Eisenhower has recently given the Legion of Merit to the Venezuelan dictator, Perez Jimenez, for "special meritorious conduct in the fulfillment of his high functions and anti-Communistic attitudes."

Nov 13  Pierre Mendes-France tells France's National Assembly that Algeria has been French for so long (124 years) that "secession is unthinkable."

Nov 14  Egypt's president, General Naguib is accused of being a tool of the Communists and of the Muslim Brotherhood. He is driven from the presidency by his fellow army officers. Nasser becomes "President."

Nov 20  The US begins sending aid directly to the regime of Ngo Dinh Diem in the southern half of Vietnam, by-passing the French.  

Nov 22  The Humane Society forms, to prevent cruelty to animals.

Nov 26  More smog causes Los Angeles County officials to ask that people stop trash burning for at least twenty-four hours.

Dec 2  The US Senate votes 67-22 to censure their colleague, Joe McCarthy, for "conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute."

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