Jan 1  Bolivia has been suffering from inflation. The US is concerned about radicalism in Latin America.  US financial aid to Bolivia is greater than any other country relative to the size of that country's population. The US is subsidizing 30 percent of the Bolivian government's central budget.

Jan 5  In the wake of the Suez crisis, President Eisenhower asks Congress to create economic aid and military assistance to prevent Soviet expansion into the Middle East – the Eisenhower Doctrine. 

Jan 9  Stress during the Suez crisis breaks Anthony Eden's health. He resigns as Prime Minister and is replaced by Harold Macmillan.

Jan 10  Responding to what is considered the decline of France and Britain in world affairs, Eisenhower proclaims his administration's commitment to the defense of the entire free world.

Jan 10  In Montgomery Alabama, six African-American churches and the home of two ministers are bombed.

Jan 14  Humphrey Bogart, actor and heavy smoker, dies at the age of 57 from cancer of the esophagus.

Jan 16  French colons in Algeria want a more energetic commander in the fight against the Algerian independence movement. They attempt to assassinate General Salan, using a bazooka, killing instead a colonel.

Jan 19 The United Nations is urging Israel to withdraw its troops from Egypt's Sinai territory.

Jan 22  Premier David Ben-Gurion of Israel withdraws his nation's troops from Egypt's Sinai territory.

Feb 7  In the US, King Saud and Eisenhower agree to a five-year renewal of the US lease of the airbase at Dhahran in Saudi Arabia. King Saud supports the Eisenhower Doctrine.

Feb 11  US Communists are chided by a leader of the French Communist Party, Jacques Duclos, for "dangerous" tendencies. Duclos has urged solidarity with Soviet foreign policy. The US Communist Party asserts its independence from the Soviet Communist Party.  

Feb 14  In New Orleans, the Southern Leadership Conference is created, with Martin Luther King Jr. elected as president.

Mar 6  Ghana becomes the first African country to gain independence from Britain. The Duchess of Kent opens an Independence Monument where, in 1948, members of the Ghanaian ex-servicemen's union were shot while marching to present a petition to the British Governor.

Mar 20 The French newspaper L'Express reveals that the French army has tortured Algerian prisoners.

Mar 21  Vice President Nixon returns from a 22-day tour of Africa. He reports that Africa is an area of conflict "between the forces of freedom and international Communism."

Mar 25  Economic cooperation, in the form of the European Commission for Steel and Coal, develops into the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community – steps away from the narrow nationalism that had divided Europe and toward the creation of the European Union. 

Mar 31 Israel has given the Gaza Strip back to Egypt.

Apr 9  Egypt opens the Suez Canal for all shipping.

Apr 12  A copy of Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl, printed in England, is seized by US customs on the grounds that it is obscene.

May 2  Senator Joe McCarthy dies of acute hepatitis.

May 13  Chuck Berry is playing music that white teenagers enjoy and he has risen to the top of the Rhythm & Blues chart.

May 29  Algerian rebels kill 336 they deem as collaborators.

Jun 1  The French believe that Algerian rebels are entering Algeria across the border with Tunisia. Premier Bourguiba of Tunisia states that French troops should not cross into his country without permission from his government.

Jun 2  Interviewed on "Face the Nation," Nikita Khrushchev says: "I can prophecy that your grandchildren in America will live under socialism. And please do not be afraid of that. Your grandchildren will ... not understand how their grandparents did not understand the progressive nature of a Socialist society."

Jun 17  The US Supreme Court rules the Smith Act unconstitutional. US Communists are being freed from accusations of crime. 

Jun 18  In the Soviet Union's Presidium (formerly the Politburo) Malenkov, Molotov & Kaganovich organize a vote to dismiss Nikita Khrushchev.

Jun 27 Hurricane Audrey demolishes Cameron, Louisiana, and kills 400 people.

Jul 2  Investments by the French in oil in Algeria's Sahara region are based on a calculation that Algeria will not win independence.

Jul 3 Khrushchev wins against Molotov, Malenkov, Kaganovich and Voroshilov. They are denounced as "Anti-Party."  Molotov is banished as ambassador to Mongolia. Malenkov becomes the manager of a hydroelectric plant in Kazakhstan. Kaganovich is made director of a small potassium plant in the Urals. Voroshilov switches to supporting Khrushchev. It's a change from what happened to such losers in the Stalin era. 

Jul 17  Eisenhower declares that he cannot imagine any set of circumstances that would induce him to send federal troops to the South.

Jul 22  French Polynesia becomes an overseas territory of France. The islanders become French citizens.

Jul 25  Habib Bourguiba is elected President of Tunisia. He  abolishes the constitutional monarchy, a 250-year dynasty, turning Tunisia into a republic.

Aug 1  In his first interview as president, Bourguiba announces that his government will be Western in sympathy and policy. Bourguiba is going to oppose Islamic fundamentalism, and he will promote secularism and women's rights. He intentds to prohibit polygamy, legalize divorce and to raise the age at which girls can marry to seventeen.

Aug 24  William F. Buckley's magazine, National Review , editorializes: "The central question that emerges … is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not prevail numerically? The sobering answer is Yes — the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race." The editorial adds that "The South confronts one grave moral challenge. It must not exploit the fact of Negro backwardness to preserve the Negro as a servile class."

Sep 4  Governor Orville Faubus of Arkansas calls out the National Guard to prevent black students from enrolling at Little Rock's Central High School.

Sep 18  Secretary of State Dulles predicts that in a few years the Western powers may be able to defend themselves with tactical nuclear weapons in the event of a non-nuclear attack by the Soviet Union.

Sep 20  A federal court orders Governor Faubus to remove the National Guard.

Sep 23  Nine black students enter Little Rock High School under police protection but are removed in fear of mob violence.

Sep 24  President Eisenhower federalizes the Arkansas Nation Guard and sends 1,000 from 101 Airborne Division to Little Rock "to prevent anarchy."  Senator Barry Goldwater, establishing himself as a leader among conservatives, opposes Eisenhower's move – although he is not a segregationist.

Oct 4  The Soviet Union launches the world's first orbiting satellite, Sputnik.

Oct 10  Ayn Rand's heaviest book of fiction, Atlas Shrugged, her philosophical magnus opus, is published.

Oct 15  Since the month of March, the French in the city of Algiers have been conducting a counter-insurgency campaign, led by General Jacques Massu. They have weakened the independence organization in Algiers, the FLN, and re-established French authority. They have used torture, but intelligence gathered from the torture has contributed little to their success. Their success has been the result of accurate intelligence obtained through informants and the application of overwhelming military force. Torture has been turning more people against the French and in favor of the temporarily weakened FLN. 

Oct 31  Malaya becomes independent within the Commonwealth. A war being won there against Communist guerrillas continues.

Oct 31  In the southern half of Vietnam, where Ngo Dien Diem is defending his rule, peasants are being put into communities surrounded by barbed wire. Communists and other supporters of Ho Chi Minh in the South are under attack. Ho Chi Minh's supporters have been annoyed at the slowness of the North to act. The North starts organizing new fighting units in the South – the Vietcong.

Nov 3 The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2, which has a dog named Laika aboard.

Nov 7  The Gaither Report, authored by Paul Nitze and others, is given to President Eisenhower. The report calls for having Strategic Air Command (SAC) bombers in the air at all times, putting long range missiles in underground silos and developing a massive shelter program to protect civilians in case of a nuclear war.  

Nov 25  Eisenhower has a stroke. From now on his speech will by slightly impaired.

Nov 30  In Indonesia a group of Muslims hurl grenades at President Sukarno while he is leaving a school. Ten are killed and 48 children injured. 

Dec 6  The United States tries to launch its first satellite. It blows up on the launch pad. 

Dec 10  In Stockholm, Albert Camus wins the Noble Prize for literature.

to 1956 | to 1958

Copyright © 1998-2018 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.