On This Day

What Happened in 1956

Historical Events

  • Apr 26 First modern container ship, the Ideal X, leaves Port Newark, New Jersey for Houston, Texas
  • Jun 13 The last British troops leave the Suez Canal Zone in Egypt
  • Sep 14 IBM introduces the RAMAC 305, 1st commercial computer with a hard drive that uses magnetic disk storage, weighs over a ton
  • Oct 6 Scientist Albert Sabin announces that his oral Polio vaccine is ready for testing; it would soon supplant Jonas Salk's vaccine in many parts of the world
  • Nov 5 Britain and France land airborne forces at Port Said in Egypt, escalating the Suez Crisis
  • Nov 13 US Supreme court rules race separation on buses in Alabama unconstitutional
  • More Historical Events

1956 in Film & TV

1956 in Music

  • Jan 8 Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog" single goes #1 and stays #1 for a record 11 weeks (for a single)
  • Jan 27 RCA records releases Elvis Presly single "Heartbreak Hotel", his first million-seller (written by Mae Boren Axton and Tommy Durden)
  • Apr 21 Elvis Presley's 1st hit record, "Heartbreak Hotel", becomes #1
  • May 24 1st Eurovision Song Contest: Lys Assia for Switzerland wins singing "Refrain" in Lugano
  • Aug 4 Elvis Presley releases "Hound Dog", a cover of Big Mama Thorton's original, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller

1956 in Sport

  • Mar 3 Dutch swimmer Cockie Gastelaars breaks 20-year old world record for 100m freestyle (1:04.2)
  • Apr 27 Undefeated world heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano, retires from the ring

Did You Know?

Colo is born, the first gorilla to be bred in captivity at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Columbus, Ohio

On December 22, 1956

Famous Weddings

  • Jan 1 American actor Gene Hackman (25) weds Fay Maltese; divorce in 1986
  • Jan 28 Science student later astronaut Neil Armstrong marries fellow student Janet Elizabeth Shearon in Wilmette, Illinois
  • Feb 14 MLB center fielder Willie Mays (24) weds Margherite Wendell Chapman in NYC, New York

More Weddings & Divorces