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1956

Jan 1  For Sudan, a transition period toward independence ends. With the consent of Britain and Egypt, Sudan becomes sovereign.

Jan 9  Former Communist, Louis Budenz, a leading source for the FBI on Communism, describes co-existence as a Russian trick. He urges the US to break relations with the Soviet Union.

Jan 15  In China all individually owned enterprises are transferred to joint state-private ownership. 

Jan 16  Premier Nikolai Bulganin of the Soviet Union offers technical assistance, trading arrangements and expanded diplomatic and cultural relations with Latin American nations.

Jan 16  President Nasser of Egypt vows to reconquer Palestine.

Jan 20  At a Party Congress in China, Zhou En-lai delivers a report on the "Question of Intellectuals." Open criticism and freedom of thought is supported for the sake of advancing the Revolution.

Jan 25  The First Secretary of the Soviet Union's Communist Party, Nikita Khrushchev, says he believes that Eisenhower is sincere in his efforts to abolish war.

Jan 25-26  Mao Zedung has announced that socialism on a national scale could be completed in about three years. A comprehensive twelve-year development plan for collectivizing agriculture is announced.

Jan 26  Porkkala Peninsula, about 30 kilometers southwest of Helsinki, leased to the Soviet Union as part of its armistice with Finland, is returned to Finland ahead of schedule. The Finns find the Russians were sloppy and abusive in their care of the area.

Feb 17  The US announces suspension of all arms shipments to Israel and Arab nations.

Feb 23  In a six-hour speech to a closed session of the Communist Party's 20th Congress, Nikita Khrushchev denounces the "crimes" of Stalin against the Party and denounces the "cult of personality" that developed with Stalin's leadership.

Mar 2  France recognizes the independence of Morocco. 

Mar 15  Marx's gravesite monument, established by British Communists, is unveiled in London.

Mar 20  After four years of guerrilla warfare, Tunisia acquires independence from France. By agreement, some French troops will remain.

Mar 22  In Alabama, a court of law rules Marin Luther King Jr. guilty. His crime was organizing a bus boycott. King vows to use "passive resitance and the weapon of love" in the fight for human rights.

Mar 28  British Communist Party members question their leadership's past subservience to Stalin.

Mar 29  In the United States, the Communist Party's newspaper, the Daily Worker, has been seized for non-payment of taxes. From the paper's office, US Treasury agents remove wastebaskets full of invoices, receipts, financial ledgers and subscribers' lists. 

Mar 30  In China, Communist Party leaders worry over what to say about Stalin, whom Mao described as the "teacher and friend of mankind" and "the greatest genius of the present age."

Apr 5  The French decide to send 100,000 more troops to Algeria.

Apr 7  Spain officially relinquishes the "protectorate" in what had been "their part" of Morocco.

Apr 19  Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier III of Monaco.

Apr 22  Morocco becomes a member of the United Nations.

May 2  In the United States the Methodist Church opens full ordained clergy status to women and calls for an end to segregation within the denomination.

May 16  Egypt's Nasser withdraws recognition from the government of Chiang Kai-shek on Taiwan and extends it to the Communist government on the mainland.

May 21  The US drops a hydrogen bomb on Bikini Atoll – a test.

May 7  In the US, the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) issues a press release stating that the Air Force and U-2 aircraft are helping it conduct weather research.

May 20  Egypt's Nasser says that Egypt "is free to buy arms from any place we like and in any quantity we like." He is referring to an arms deal he has signed with communist Czechoslovakia.

May 22  The NACA issues a press release with a false explanation about a U-2 aircraft operating overseas.

Jun 10  Peronist revolts in various parts of Argentina are crushed. Twenty-six revolt leaders are quickly executed.

Suez Canal

The Suez Canal

Jun 13  Britain's 74-year occupation of the Suez Canal ends.

Jun 14  President Eisenhower authorizes the phrase "under God" to be added to the Pledge of Allegiance.

Jun 14  British forces leave the Suez Canal area.

Jun 17 Golda Meir becomes Israel's foreign minister.

Jun 29  Marilyn Monroe marries playwright Arthur Miller.

Jun 28-30  Factory Workers protest in Poznan. A crowd of 100,000 gather and are fired upon.  The government crushes the protest with 400 tanks and about 10,000 soldiers. Official figures list 74 killed.

Jul 5  France raises its tobacco tax 20 percent to support its war in Algeria.

Jul 18  In the wake of Khrushchev's anti-Stalin speech, the Soviet Union forces the Stalinist Matyas Rákosi to resign from his remaining position of power – as head of Hungary's Communist Party.  He is replaced by an old friend, Enro Gero. 

Jul 19  Annoyance with Nasser leads to a US withdrawal of loan offers to Egypt for the construction of the Aswan High Dam. Britain is obliged to follow suit.

Jul 26  Responding to the withdrawal of loans, and to raise money for building the Aswan High Dam, Nasser announces that Egypt is taking control of the Suez Canal. The British and French are upset, the French are also upset because of Nasser's support for Algeria's independence movement.     

Jul 30  President Eisenhower signs legislation that authorizes "In God We Trust" as the national motto.

Jul 31  Francis Gary Powers, flying a U-2 aircraft, has penetrated Soviet air space. Photography fourteen miles above a parking lot can now capture the lines marking the parking areas of individual cars.

Aug 1  US Secretary of State Dulles speaks in favor of an international operation of the Suez Canal and of world opinion isolating Egypt's Nasser.

Aug 31  Israel has retaliated again against an assault within its borders. Egypt files a complaint with the United Nations truce supervision office in Jerusalem, accusing Israelis of killing 13 of its soldiers in raids into Gaza.

Sep 2  France's foreign minister, Christian Pineau, calls Nasser a dangerous dictator and says that France will use force against Egypt if necessary in the Suez dispute. The US president, Eisenhower, warns the British against the use of force regarding Suez. He states his fear of adverse reaction by  people in the Middle East and North Africa, "and to some extent all of Africa."

Sep 5  Israel complains to the United Nations about Egypt denying passage of its ships.  

Sep 9  France's premier, Guy Mollet, repeats a threat to use force if necessary to impose international control over the Suez Canal. Veteran canal pilots are quitting and being replaced by Soviet pilots. 

Sep 12-17  President Sukarno is in Moscow and announces a $100 million loan from the Soviet Union for Indonesia.

Oct 8  In the United Nations, Israel accuses Egypt of having barred use of the Suez Canal by 103 vessels from at least fourteen countries, including Israel.

Oct 13  A Soviet Union veto on the UN Security Council prevents compromise resolution of the Suez conflict.

Oct 16  In Budapest, university students form an independent organization. They favor a return to power by Imry Nagy, a Communist, because he represents independence from Moscow. They want Soviet troops out of Hungary, free multi-party elections, and disbanding of the secret police: the AVO.

Oct 23  In Budapest, students rally to celebrate the Communist regime in Poland releasing the Communist politician Wladyslaw Gomulka from prison. Hungarian soldiers on duty join the students, and the crowd moves to the parliament building, picking up people along the way and numbering about 100,000. Security police (the AVO) fire on the crowd. The Hungarian Revolution begins.  

Oct 24  Soviet tanks and troops invade Hungary. 

Oct. 25  Israel warns the UN Security Council today that it will not "sit back and suffer the consequences of a unilateral Arab belligerency."

Oct 29  Israel invades the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula.

Oct 30  In Hungary, Soviet troops have been inactive. Revolt has spread through the country. Imry Nagy is the new Prime Minister and has formed a government. He announces the end of one-party politics. Cardinal Mindszenty has been released from prison. Soviet troops leave Budapest for outlying areas. 

Oct 31 Britain and France begin bombing Egypt. An Egyptian warship surrenders to the Israeli navy after having shelled the port of Haifa.

Nov 1  The Nagy regime withdraws from the Warsaw Pact.

Nov 2  Israel's ambassador to Britain states that Israel will not withdraw from Egypt until it is guaranteed freedom from further attacks by Egypt.

Nov 2  In the United States a presidential election campaign is winding down. Vice President Nixon hails the Eisenhower administration's break with Anglo-French policies as a "declaration of independence that has had an electrifying effect throughout the world."

Nov 4  More Soviet troops invade Hungary. Thousands are wounded. People start fleeing from Hungary into Austria and Yugoslavia. Radio broadcasts from Hungary call for help. The Russians take Nagy and his cabinet prisoner and arrest numerous others.

Nov 4  Israeli troops reach the Suez Canal.

Nov 5  British and French paratroops land in the Suez Canal Zone. Israeli troops capture Sharm-el-Sheikh and reopen the Gulf of Aqaba.

Nov 5  The Soviet Union announces that it is prepared to use force to "crush the aggressors and restore peace" to the Middle East.

Nov 7  The UN General Assembly calls on Britain, France and Israel to withdraw immediately from Arab lands.

Nov 7  Eisenhower is elected for a second four-year term.

Nov 9  Israel agrees to leave Egypt when UN forces arrive to positions in the Sinai.

Nov 11  Raids against Israel are made from Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

Nov 12  Egypt agrees with the UN Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjold, concerning the stationing of an international police force on Egyptian territory.

Nov 25  Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 80 other armed men, depart from Tuxpan Mexico abroad the "Granma" heading for Cuba. Fifty others are left behind because there was no space for them on the boat.

Nov 18  British Colonial Secretary Lennox-Boyd announces in the House of Commons that the military operations against the Mau Mau terrorists in Kenya are over.

Nov 23 A proclamation is read aloud in mosques throughout Egypt declaring that "all Jews are enemies of the state." Jews are being expelled from Egypt and their property confiscated.

Dec 2  The "Granma" runs aground in a swamp at the foot of the Sierra Maestras in eastern Cuba. An airplane has spotted the rebels and Batista's army is waiting. Only a few of the rebels make it into the Sierra Maestras – among them are Fidel Castro, his brother Raul and Che Guevara. 

Dec 3  Britain and France begin to withdraw their troops from Egypt.

Dec 5  In South Africa, Nelson Mandela and 150 others arrested and charged with treason.

Dec 5  Rose Heilbron becomes Britain's first female judge.

Dec 12  Japan becomes a member of the United Nations.

Dec 18  Explaining the US government's position regarding the Hungarian uprising, Secretary of State Dulles says that "...we have no desire to surround the Soviet Union with a band of hostile states." He speaks in favor of "an evolution – a peaceful evolution – of the satellite states toward genuine independence."

Dec 22  Britain and France complete their withdrawal from Egypt.

to 1955 | to 1957

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