On This Day

What Happened in January 1956

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 KHAS TV channel 5 in Hastings, NB (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 1 KOSA TV channel 7 in Odessa, TX (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 1 Sudan (Anglo-Egyptian Sudan) declares independence from Egypt & UK
  • Jan 1 WREC (now WREG) TV channel 3 in Memphis, Tennessee (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 1 A new year event causes panic and stampedes at Yahiko Shrine, Yahiko, central Niigata, Japan, killing at least 124 people
  • Jan 2 Poujadists/communists win French parliamentary elections
  • Jan 2 42nd Rose Bowl: #2 Michigan State beats #4 UCLA, 17-14
  • Jan 2 22nd Sugar Bowl: #7 Georgia Tech beats #11 Pittsburgh, 7-0
  • Jan 2 22nd Orange Bowl: #1 Oklahoma beats #3 Maryland, 20-6
  • Jan 3 A fire damages the top part of the Eiffel Tower.
  • Jan 6 KGNS TV channel 8 in Laredo, TX (NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 6 Federal court bars former Little League Commissioner Carl Stotz from forming a rival group
  • Jan 7 Vinoo Mankad scores 231 v NZ, 413 opening stand with Roy
  • Jan 8 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Conrad Aiken

Music release#1 in the Charts

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)

Singer & Cultural Icon Elvis Presley
Singer & Cultural Icon
Elvis Presley
  • Jan 8 Operation Auca: Five U.S. missionaries are killed by the Huaorani of Ecuador shortly after making contact with them.

  • Jan 9 Abigail Van Buren's [Pauline Phillips] "Dear Abby" advice column 1st appears in newspapers
  • Jan 9 Samir el-Rifai forms government in Jordan
  • Jan 9 Musical "Peter Pan", starring Mary Martin broadcast live, for a 2nd time, on NBC as part of "Producers' Showcase" series
  • Jan 10 Elvis Presley records single "Heartbreak Hotel"
  • Jan 12 FBi arrests 6 members of the Great Brink's robbery gang, 6 days before statute of limitations runs out
  • Jan 14 Jordan government refuses to join Pact of Baghdad

Music releaseMusic Single

Jan 14 Little Richard releases single "Tutti Frutti"

Singer-Songwriter and Rock 'n' Roll Pioneer Little Richard
Singer-Songwriter and Rock 'n' Roll Pioneer
Little Richard

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 15 Dmitri Shostakovich appointed honorary member of Academia Santa Cecilia

  • Jan 15 KWAB TV channel 4 in Big Spring, TX (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 15 6th NFL Pro Bowl, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum: Eastern Conference beats Western Conference, 31-30; MVP: Ollie Matson, Baltimore Colts, RB

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 16 Egyptian President Nasser pledges to reconquer Palestine

President of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser
President of Egypt
Gamal Abdel Nasser
  • Jan 18 German Democratic Republic (East Germany) forms own army (National People's Army)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 19 Hoboken dedicates a plaque honoring achievements of Alexander Cartwright in organizing early baseball at Elysian Field

Inventor of Modern Baseball Alexander Cartwright
Inventor of Modern Baseball
Alexander Cartwright

Music releaseMusic Recording

Jan 20 Buddy Holly records "Blue Days Black Night" in Nashville

Singer-songwriter Buddy Holly
Singer-songwriter
Buddy Holly

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 21 "Comedy in Music (Victor Borge)" closes at Golden NYC after 849 performances

Comedian and Pianist Victor Borge
Comedian and Pianist
Victor Borge
  • Jan 22 30 people die in a train crash in Los Angeles
  • Jan 22 Canadian Football Council forms
  • Jan 24 96.5 cm precipitation at Kilauea Plantation, Hawaii (state record)
  • Jan 24 An inquiry considers building homes in a war devastated area in London

Sport awardNBA All-Star Game

Jan 24 6th NBA All Star Game, Rochester War Memorial Coliseum, NY: West beats East, 108-94; MVP: Bob Pettit, St. Louis Hawks, C

NBA Forward Bob Pettit
NBA Forward
Bob Pettit

  • Jan 25 96.5 cm (38.0") of rainfall, Kilauea Plantation, Hawaii (state record)
  • Jan 26 VII Winter Olympic Games open in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy

Hall of fameHall of Fame

Jan 26 Hank Greenberg & Joe Cronin are elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Baseball Player Hank Greenberg
Baseball Player
Hank Greenberg
Baseball Player and Manager Joe Cronin
Baseball Player and Manager
Joe Cronin
  • Jan 26 Porkkala military base returned to Finland by USSR
  • Jan 27 NFL's NY Giants switches games from Polo Grounds to Yankee Stadium
  • Jan 27 "Heartbreak Hotel" single released by Elvis Presley, his first million-selling single
  • Jan 27 Veikko Hakulinen of Finland wins Olympic 30k cross country gold medal at Cortina d'Ampezzo; second career Olympic title after taking out the 15k event in Oslo (1952)
  • Jan 28 Elvis Presley's 1st appearance on national TV on the Dorsey Brothers's "Stage Show"
  • Jan 28 Austrian skier Toni Sailer wins the giant slalom at the Cortina d'Ampezzo Winter Olympics on his way to a sweep of the 3 alpine skiing events at the Games
  • Jan 28 Italy goes 1-2 in the 2-man bobsleigh at the Cortina d'Ampezzo Winter Olympics; along with silver in 4-man event, the only medals for the home nation at the Games
  • Jan 29 Friedrich Durrenmatt's "Der Besuch der Alten Dame" premieres in Zurich
  • Jan 30 Elvis Presley records his version of "Blue Suede Shoes"
  • Jan 30 KRMA TV channel 6 in Denver, CO (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 30 KTXS TV channel 12 in Sweetwater-Abilene, TX (ABC) begins broadcasting

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 30 Martin Luther King Jr.s home bombed

Civil Rights Activist Martin Luther King Jr.
Civil Rights Activist
Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Jan 30 Australian Championships Women's Tennis: Mary Carter Reitano beats fellow Australian Thelma Coyne Long 3-6, 6-2, 9-7 for her 1st Australian singles title

Sport awardAustralian Men's Tennis Open

Jan 30 Australian Championships Men's Tennis: Lew Hoad beats fellow Australian Ken Rosewall 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 for his first Grand Slam title

Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion Lew Hoad
Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion
Lew Hoad
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion Ken Rosewall
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion
Ken Rosewall
  • Jan 30 Hallgeir Brenden of Norway wins Olympic 15k cross country gold medal at the Cortina d'Ampezzo Winter Games; his 2nd career Olympic title after taking out the 18k event in Oslo (1952)
  • Jan 30 Soviet 500m speed skating champion Yevgeni Grishin wins 2nd gold medal of the Cortina d'Ampezzo Winter Olympics when he dead heats teammate Yuri Mikhatlov in the 1,500m in world record 2:08.6
  • Jan 31 French government of Guy Mollet forms
  • Jan 31 Juscelino Kubitschek becomes president of Brazil
  • Jan 31 Austrian skier Toni Sailer wins the slalom at the Cortina d'Ampezzo Winter Olympics for his 2nd gold medal of the Games; sweeps all 3 alpine skiing events

Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 1 Anatoli Borisovich Polonsky, Russian lt-colonel/cosmonaut
  • Jan 1 Sergei Vasiliyevich Avdeyev, Russian cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-15, SK:TM-28)
  • Jan 1 Mark R. Hughes, American entrepreneur (d. 2000)
  • Jan 1 Kôji Yakusho, Japanese actor

Person of interestChristine Lagarde

Jan 1 Christine Lagarde, French lawyer and politician, 1st female head of the IMF, born in Paris

Lawyer, Politician and International Bureaucrat Christine Lagarde
Lawyer, Politician and International Bureaucrat
Christine Lagarde
  • Jan 1 Mike Mitchell, American basketball small forward (NBA All Star 1981; Italian League top scorer 1998), born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 2011)
  • Jan 2 Lynda Barry, American cartoonist

Person of interestMel Gibson

Jan 3 Mel Gibson, American actor (Mad Max, Mrs Soffel, Lethal Weapon) and filmmaker, born in Peekskill, New York

Actor and Film Director Mel Gibson
Actor and Film Director
Mel Gibson
  • Jan 3 Willy T. Ribbs, American auto racer (first African-American to drive in Indianapolis 500), born in San Jose, California
  • Jan 4 Ann Magnuson, actress (Anything But Love, Hunger), born in Charleston, West Virginia
  • Jan 4 Bernard Sumner [Albrecht], English rock guitarist, vocalist (Joy Division and New Order), born in Salford, England
  • Jan 4 Nels Cline, American guitarist and composer
  • Jan 5 Chen Kenichi [Ken'ichi Azuma], Japanese celebrity chef, "The Szechuan Sage" (Iron Chef Chinese), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • Jan 7 Rosalyn Bryant, American 4x400m runner (Olympic silver 1976), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Jan 7 David Caruso, American actor (NYPD Blue, Michael Hayes), born in Forest Hills, New York
  • Jan 9 David Smith, English cricketer (England lefty batsman in 2 Tests v WI 1986), born in Balham, London
  • Jan 9 Kimberly Beck Hilton, American actress (Kim-Peyton Place), born in Glendale, California
  • Jan 9 Imelda Staunton, British actress (Finding Your Feet, Maleficent), born in Archway, London
  • Jan 9 Mike Walczewski, American public address announcer
  • Jan 10 Don Letts, British film director & musician (Big Audio Dynamite), born in London, United Kingdom
  • Jan 10 Shawn Colvin, American country folk singer-songwriter ("Sunny Came Home"), born in Vermillion, South Dakota
  • Jan 10 Antonio Muñoz Molina, Spanish writer (Royal Spanish Academy), born in Úbeda, Jaén, Spain
  • Jan 11 Kuniaki Kobayashi, wrestler (WAR/NJPW)
  • Jan 11 Robert Earl Keen, American singer-songwriter (What I Really Mean), born in Houston, Texas
  • Jan 13 Janet Hubert-Whitten, actress (Vivian Banks-Fresh Prince of Bel Air)
  • Jan 13 Malcolm Foster, British rock bassist (Pretenders, 1984-89; Simple Minds, 1989-95), born in Hereford, England
  • Jan 14 Étienne Daho, French singer-songwriter, born in Oran, Algeria
  • Jan 14 Ben Heppner, Canadian tenor, and broadcaster, born in Murrayville, British Columbia
  • Jan 15 Paul Parker, English cricketer (one Test England v Australia 1981), born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
  • Jan 15 Vera Sosulya, Soviet tobogganist (Olympic gold 1980)
  • Jan 15 Mayawati, Indian politician, born in New Delhi, India
  • Jan 16 Wayne Daniel, West Indies cricketer (WI fast bowler 1976-84), born in Saint Philip, Barbados
  • Jan 16 Jennifer Dale, Canadian actress, born in Toronto, Canada
  • Jan 16 Martin Jol, Dutch football manager, born in The Hague, Netherlands
  • Jan 16 Ivan Safronov, Russian journalist, born in Moscow, Russia (d. 2007)
  • Jan 16 Saadeddine Othmani, Moroccan politician and Prime Minister of Morocco (2017-present), born in Inezgane, Morocco
  • Jan 17 Mitch Vogel, American actor (Jamie-Bonanza), born in Alhambra, California
  • Jan 17 Paul Young, British rock and blue-eyed soul vocalist ("Every Time You Go Away"; Band-Aid - "Do They Know It's Christmas?"), born in Luton, England
  • Jan 17 Cristina [Monet Zilkha], American dance-pop singer songwriter (Sleep It Off), born in New York City (d. 2020)
  • Jan 18 George Mark Collie, American country singer (Another Old Soldier), born in Waynesboro Tennessee
  • Jan 18 Tom Bailey, English rock vocalist & keyboardist (Thompson Twins - "Hold Me Now", "Doctor! Doctor!"), born in Halifax, West Yorkshire
  • Jan 19 Carman Licciardello, American Christian music singer, born in Trenton, New Jersey

Person of interestBill Maher

Jan 20 Bill Maher, American comedian & political commentator (Real Time with Bill Maher, Politically Incorrect), born in NYC, New York

Political Commentator and Comedian Bill Maher
Political Commentator and Comedian
Bill Maher
  • Jan 20 John Phillips Naber, American swimmer (Olympic-4 gold/silver-76), born in Evanston, Illinois
  • Jan 20 Maria Larsson, Swedish politician, born in Långasjö, Sweden
  • Jan 20 Adrian Vernon Fish, British classical composer, born in Bristol, England
  • Jan 21 Robby Benson, American actor (One on One, Running Brave, Chosen), born in Dallas, Texas
  • Jan 21 Bob Brill, American drummer (Berlin - "You Take My Breath Away"), born in NYC, New York
  • Jan 21 Geena Davis, American actress (Beetlejuice, Fly), born in Wareham, Massachusetts
  • Jan 22 Steve Riley, American rock drummer (L.A. Guns; W.A.S.P.), born in Revere, Massachusetts
  • Jan 23 Lazar Ristovski, Serbian keyboardist (Smak and Bijelo Dugme), born in Novi Pazar, Yugoslavia (d. 2007)
  • Jan 23 Larysa Kuzmenko, Canadian concert pianist, and composer, of Ukrainian heritage (Memoriam for the Victims of Chornobyl; Golden Harvest), born in Toronto, Ontario
  • Jan 24 Hanne Krogh, Norwegian singer (Bobbysocks), born in Oslo, Norway
  • Jan 24 Lounès Matoub, Kabylian singer-songwriter, guitar and mandole player, and Berber rights activist, born in of Taourirt Moussa, Algeria (d. 1998)
  • Jan 25 Andy Cox, British guitarist (Fine Young Cannibals - "She Drives Me Crazy"), born in Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Jan 26 Lisa Boray [Schulte Nordholt], Dutch jazz singer ("Lovers Until the End"), born in Breda, Netherlands
  • Jan 27 Mimi Rogers, actress (Paper Dolls, The Rousters), born in Coral Gables, Florida
  • Jan 28 [Pierre] "Peter" Schilling, German synthpop musician ("Major Tom (Coming Home)"), born in Stuttgart, Germany
  • Jan 30 Jeremy Gittins, English actor, born in Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Jan 30 Keiichi Tsuchiya, Japanese racing driver, born in Tomi, Japan

Person of interestJohn Lydon

Jan 31 Johnny Rotten [John Lydon], English singer-songwriter & musician (Sex Pistols - God Save the Queen), born in Holloway, United Kingdom

Musician John Lydon
Musician
John Lydon
  • Jan 31 Trevor Manuel, South African politician, born in Cape Town, South Africa

Famous Weddings


LoveWedding of Interest

Jan 1 Actor Gene Hackman (25) weds Fay Maltese

LoveWedding of Interest

Jan 28 Science student later astronaut Neil Armstrong marries fellow student Janet Elizabeth Shearon in Wilmette, Illinois

Astronaut & 1st Man on the Moon Neil Armstrong
Astronaut & 1st Man on the Moon
Neil Armstrong

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 3 Alexander Tikhonovich Gretshaninov, Russian/American composer, dies at 91
  • Jan 3 Joseph Wirth, 5th Chancellor of the Weimar Republic, Germany (Stalin Peace Prize), dies at 76
  • Jan 4 Alexandr Tikhonovich Grechaninov, composer, dies at 91
  • Jan 5 Mistinguett [Jeanne Florentine Bourgeois], French actress and singer (Moulin Rouge star), dies of cerebral hemorrhage at 80
  • Jan 8 Jim Elliot, American Christian missionary, dies at 28
  • Jan 9 Paul Malengreau, Belgian organist, composer, and educator (Brussels Conservatory, 1813-53), dies at 71
  • Jan 10 Henk Bremmer, Dutch art historian (Beeldende Kunst), dies at 84
  • Jan 10 Karl L Schmidt, German/Swiss theologist (Urchristentum), dies at 64
  • Jan 12 John Raedecker, Dutch sculptor (WW II Monument Amsterdam), dies at 70
  • Jan 12 Norman Kerry, American actor (Air Eagles, Phantom of the Opera), dies at 61
  • Jan 13 Lyonel Feininger, German-American cartoonist and painter, dies at 84
  • Jan 14 Siegfried Frederick Nadel, Austrian-British anthropologist (Nuba), dies at 52
  • Jan 19 Charles Dingle, American actor (The Little Foxes), dies at 68
  • Jan 21 Sam Langford, Canadian boxer (b. 1883)
  • Jan 22 P A M Speet, Dutch broadcast CEO (KRO), dies
  • Jan 23 Alexander Korda, English movie producer (Henry VIII), dies at 62
  • Jan 27 Erich Kleiber, Austrian conductor, dies

Person of interestH. L. Mencken

Jan 29 H[enry] L[ouis] Mencken, US essayist/critic (Smart Set), dies at 75

Journalist and Critic H. L. Mencken
Journalist and Critic
H. L. Mencken
  • Jan 30 Gerrit Mannoury, Dutch mathematician and philosopher, dies at 88
  • Jan 30 Jane Seymour [Marjorie S Fitz-patrick], Canadian-American actress (Tom, Dick and Harry, Young Mr Bobbin), dies at 62

Person of interestA. A. Milne

Jan 31 A. A. Milne, English author of the Winnie-the-Pooh books, dies at 74

Author A. A. Milne
Author
A. A. Milne