What Happened in December 1956

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 "Candide" opens at Martin Beck Theater NYC for 73 performances
  • Dec 1 Alain Mimoun wins 13th Olympics marathon (2:25:00.0)
  • Dec 1 Frank Robinson (NL) & Luis Aparicio (AL) voted Rookie of the Year
  • Dec 1 Indonesian VP Mohammed Hatta resigns
  • Dec 1 21st Iron Bowl: Auburn beats Alabama 34-7 in Birmingham

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 2 Fidel Castro lands with "Granma" on coast of Cuba

Cuban Revolutionary and President Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolutionary and President
Fidel Castro
  • Dec 3 Britain and France pull troops out of Egypt
  • Dec 3 KFSA (now KFSM) TV channel 5 in Ft Smith, AR (CBS) 1st broadcast

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 3 Wilt Chamberlain's 1st collegiate basketball game (scores 52)

NBA Legend Wilt Chamberlain
NBA Legend
Wilt Chamberlain
  • Dec 4 22nd Heisman Trophy Award: Paul Hornung, Notre Dame (QB)
  • Dec 5 Thornton Wilder's "Matchmaker" premieres in NYC
  • Dec 6 "Happy Hunting" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 413 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 6 Nelson Mandela & 156 others arrested for political activities in South Africa

Anti-apartheid activist and South African President Nelson Mandela
Anti-apartheid activist and South African President
Nelson Mandela
  • Dec 7 Helen O'Connell joins Today Show panel
  • Dec 8 16th Olympic games close at Melbourne, Australia
  • Dec 8 1st test firing of Vanguard satellite program, TV-0
  • Dec 8 Guy Mitchell's "Singing the Blues" single goes #1 for 10 weeks
  • Dec 10 Establishment of MPLA in Angola
  • Dec 11 Anti-Russian demonstrations in Stettin & Wroclaw Poland
  • Dec 12 Commencement of the Irish Republican Army's Border Campaign.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 13 Dodgers trade Jackie Robinson to Giants for pitcher Dick Littlefield & $35,000. Robinson will retire rather than be traded.

Baseball Player Jackie Robinson
Baseball Player
Jackie Robinson

Film release premierFilm Release

Dec 13 "Anastasia" comeback film for Ingrid Bergman is released in the US, role wins Bergman Academy Award for Best Actress.

  • Dec 14 Paul-Henri Spaak appointed secretary-general of NATO
  • Dec 15 Emergency crisis in North Ireland proclaimed after IRA strikes
  • Dec 15 KGW TV channel 8 in Portland, OR (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 15 WRAL TV channel 5 in Raleigh-Durham, NC (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 16 "Fanny" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 888 performances
  • Dec 18 "To Tell the Truth" debuts on CBS-TV
  • Dec 18 Israeli flag hoisted on Mount Sinai
  • Dec 18 Japan admitted to UN
  • Dec 18 Phil Rizzuto signs as NY Yankee radio-TV announcer
  • Dec 20 Military coup under colonel Simbolon in Sumatra
  • Dec 20 Montgomery, Alabama removes race-based seat assignments on its buses

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 21 Martin Luther King Jr. and others sit in the new integrated bus

Civil Rights Activist Martin Luther King Jr.
Civil Rights Activist
Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Dec 22 "New Faces of 1956" closes at Barrymore Theater NYC after 221 performances
  • Dec 22 Last British & French troops leave Egypt
  • Dec 22 Colo is born, the first gorilla to be bred in captivity at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Columbus, Ohio
  • Dec 24 "I Love Lucy" Christmas show airs, never put in syndication
  • Dec 24 Ferdinand de Lesseps statue blown up in Port Said Egypt
  • Dec 27 45th Davis Cup: Australia beats USA in Adelaide (5-0)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 27 Bill Sharman (Boston) ends NBA free throw streak of 55 games

NBA Guard Bill Sharman
NBA Guard
Bill Sharman
  • Dec 28 Miss Frances [Horwich], last Ding Dong School on NBC-TV
  • Dec 30 NY Giants beat Chicago Bears 47-7 in NFL championship game

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Stuart Kimball, rock guitarist (Face To Face)
  • Dec 1 Julee Cruise, American singer and actress
  • Dec 2 Steven Bauer, Cuban-American actor (Scarface, Thief of Hearts), born in Havana, Cuba
  • Dec 3 Hart Bochner, actor and director (Rich & Famous), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 4 Bernard King, basketball player (NY Knicks, NJ Nets)
  • Dec 4 Blagoi Blagoyev, Bulgaria, 82.5 kg weightlifer (Olympic silver 1976)
  • Dec 4 Herbert Groenemeyer, German rocker (OE, Luxus, Chaos, Spruenge)
  • Dec 5 Klaus Allofs, German footballer
  • Dec 5 Brian Backer, American actor
  • Dec 5 Krystian Zimerman, Polish pianist
  • Dec 6 Peter Buck, US pop guitarist (REM-Murmur)
  • Dec 6 Randy Rhoads, Heavy metal guitarist (Quiet Riot), born in Santa Monica, California (d. 1982)

Person of interestLarry Bird

Dec 7 Larry Bird, American NBA star (Boston Celtics, 12-time NBA All Star), born in West Baden, Indiana

NBA Legend Larry Bird
NBA Legend
Larry Bird
  • Dec 8 Warren Cuccurullo, rock guitarist (Missing Persons)
  • Dec 9 Sylvia, Kokomo Indiana, country singer (Nobody)
  • Dec 10 Michael VerMeulen, journalist
  • Dec 11 Lani Brockman, playwright
  • Dec 12 Ana Alicia Ortiz, Mexico City, actress (Melissa-Falcon Crest)
  • Dec 12 Sondra Theodore, San Bernadino Cal, playmate (July, 1977)
  • Dec 12 Johan van der Velde, Dutch cyclist
  • Dec 13 Dale Berra, baseball infeilder (Pittsburgh Pirates, NY Yankees)
  • Dec 13 Phillip Gregory Hubbard, basketball (Olympic gold 1976), born in Canton, Ohio
  • Dec 13 Majida El Roumi, Lebanese singer
  • Dec 14 Hanni Wenzel, Liechtenstein, Slalom (Olympic-2 gold-1980)
  • Dec 17 Peter Farrelly, American film director
  • Dec 18 T. K. Carter, US actor (Mike-Punky Brewster, Just our Luck), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 18 Reinhold Ewald, German cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-25)
  • Dec 18 Ron White, American comedian
  • Dec 19 Alice Barrett, American actress (Frankie Frame-Another World), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 19 Tom Lawless, American baseball player
  • Dec 20 Guy Babylon, American keyboard player (Elton John) and arranger, born in New Windsor, Maryland (d. 2009|)
  • Dec 20 Blanche Baker, American actress/Carroll Baker's Daughter (French Postcard), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 20 Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Mauritanian 8th President of Mauritania (2009-present), born in Akjoujt, French West Africa
  • Dec 21 Kevin Burnham, Hollis NY, 470 sailor (Olympic 8th 1992, 96)
  • Dec 21 Lee Roy Parnell, country singer (Oughta be a Law), born in Abilene, Texas
  • Dec 22 Marcy Hanson, US playmate (Oct, 1978), born in Galveston, Texas
  • Dec 23 Michele Alboretto, formula-1 racer (Ferrari)
  • Dec 23 Dave Murray, English heavy metal guitarist and songwriter (Iron Maiden), born in London, England
  • Dec 24 Stephanie Hodge, comedian/actress (I Madman, Happily Ever After)
  • Dec 25 Mansoor Akhtar, cricketer (Pakistani batsman early 80's)
  • Dec 26 Gail Tatterson, WBL center (NY Stars)
  • Dec 26 Karen Smith, WBL forward (NY Stars)
  • Dec 26 David Sedaris, American essayist
  • Dec 27 Doina Melinte, Romanian running star (world record 1500 m/mile indoor)
  • Dec 28 Kenneth Grant, bass/vocalist (Midnight Star-No Parking, Operator)
  • Dec 28 Nigel Kennedy, English violinist
  • Dec 29 Dolf de Vries, Dutch musical/director/arranger (Josephine)
  • Dec 29 Fred MacAulay, Scottish comedian
  • Dec 30 "Cherie" Samba (Mbimba N'zinga), Zaire painter (Pitie la prostituee)
  • Dec 30 Patricia Kalember, actress (Sisters)
  • Dec 30 Sheryl Lee Ralph, actress (Moesia, Designing Women)
  • Dec 30 Suzy Bogguss, singer (I Want to be a Cowboy's Sweetheart), born in Aledo, Illinois
  • Dec 31 Martin Joseph Fettman, American PhD/astronaut (STS 58), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Dec 31 Steve Rude, American comics artist

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 9 NBA player Bill Russell (22) weds college sweetheart Rose Swisher

Basketball Player Bill Russell
Basketball Player
Bill Russell

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 9 Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Fraser (26) weds Tamie Beggs (20)

Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Fraser
Prime Minister of Australia
Malcolm Fraser

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 28 Actress Elizabeth Montgomery (23) weds actor Gig Young (43)

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 28 Singer Patti Page (29) weds choreographer Charles O'Curran in Las Vegas, Nevada

Singer Patti Page
Patti Page

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 4 Alexander Rodchenko, Russian painter and photographer, dies at 64

Person of interestB.R. Ambedkar

Dec 6 B.R. Ambedkar [Baba Saheb], Indian politician, jurist (architect of the Constitution of India) and social reformer who inspired the Dalit Buddhist Movement, dies after suffering from diabetes at 65

Jurist and Social Reformer B.R. Ambedkar
Jurist and Social Reformer
B.R. Ambedkar
  • Dec 7 Huntley Gordon, Canadian actor, dies at 77
  • Dec 8 Edgar Bainton, British-Australian composer, dies at 76
  • Dec 9 Hans Barth, German-born American composer, dies at 59
  • Dec 12 Lorenzo Perosi, composer, dies at 83
  • Dec 14 Juho Kusti Paasikivi, president of Finland (b. 1870)
  • Dec 16 Nina Hamnett, Welsh artist and writer, dies at 66
  • Dec 17 Eddie Acuff, actor (Guns of Pecos), dies at 48
  • Dec 20 Ramon Carrillo, Argentine neuroscientist and Public Health minister (b. 1906)
  • Dec 21 Lewis M Terman, psychologist (Genetic studies of genius), dies at 79
  • Dec 25 Robert Walser, Swiss writer, dies at 78
  • Dec 26 Holmes Herbert, British actor (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Kiss), dies at 74
  • Dec 27 Lambert McKenna, Irish editor and lexicographer. (b. 1870)
  • Dec 28 Roelof Kranenburg, Dutch social democratic party-chairman, dies at 76
  • Dec 29 Martin Albertz, German theologist (Jesus Christ's Church), dies at 73