On This Day

Historical Events in 1955

Events 1 - 200 of 529

  • Jan 1 Bhutan issues its 1st postage stamps
  • Jan 1 WEAT (now WPEC) TV channel 12 in West Palm Beach, FL (CBS) begins
  • Jan 1 41st Rose Bowl: #1 Ohio State beats #17 Southern California, 20-7
  • Jan 1 21st Sugar Bowl: #5 Navy beats #6 Mississippi, 21-0
  • Jan 1 21st Orange Bowl: #14 Duke beats Nebraska, 34-7
  • Jan 2 1st "Bob Cummings Show" premieres on NBC (later on CBS)
  • Jan 2 Panamanian president Jose Antonio Remon is assassinated.
  • Jan 3 Jose Ramon Guizado becomes president of Panama
  • Jan 5 KMSP TV channel 9 in Minneapolis-St Paul, MN (IND) 1st broadcast

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 7 Marian Anderson becomes the 1st African American to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera

  • Jan 7 WCIQ TV channel 7 in Mt Cheaha, AL (PBS) begins broadcasting

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 7 20 year-old future world heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Patterson scores a 5th-round TKO of Willie Troy in a non-title super middleweight bout at New York’s Madison Square Garden

Boxer and Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Floyd Patterson
Boxer and Undisputed Heavyweight Champion
Floyd Patterson
  • Jan 8 Furman sets NCAA basketball single-game scoring record with 154 pt
  • Jan 8 Georgia Tech ends Kentucky's 130-game home basketball win streak
  • Jan 8 WUNC TV channel 4 in Chapel Hill, NC (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 10 "Ordet", directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer, starring Henrik Malberg, Emil Hass Christensen, is released

  • Jan 14 Heitor Villa-Lobos' 8th Symphony premieres in Philadelphia
  • Jan 15 1st official act of Princess Beatrice, launches tanker Vasum

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 15 Dmitri Shostakovich's "From Jewish Folk Poetry" premieres in Leningrad

  • Jan 15 USSR ends state of war with German Federal Republic
  • Jan 16 5th NFL Pro Bowl, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum: Western Conference beats Eastern Conference, 26-19; MVP: Billy Wilson, SF 49ers, WR
  • Jan 17 US Submarine Nautilus begins 1st nuclear-powered test voyage
  • Jan 18 Battle of Yijiangshan Islands between Chinese National Revolutionary Army and the People's Liberation Army

Sport awardNBA All-Star Game

Jan 18 5th NBA All-Star Game, Madison Square Garden NYC: East beats West, 100-91; MVP: Bill Sharman, Boston Celtics, G

NBA Guard Bill Sharman
NBA Guard
Bill Sharman
  • Jan 19 "The Millionaire" TV program premieres on CBS
  • Jan 19 "Scrabble" debuts on board game market

CommunicationHistoric Communication

Jan 19 1st presidential news conference filmed for TV (Eisenhower)

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Jan 22 Norwegian government of Einar Gerhardsen forms
  • Jan 23 KORK (now KVBC) TV channel 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada (NBC) 1st broadcast
  • Jan 23 Express train travelling from York to Bristol derails, killing 14 and injuring many other passengers
  • Jan 24 Photography exhibition "The Family of Man" curated by Edward Steichen opens at MOMA, New York, "greatest photographic enterprise ever undertaken"
  • Jan 25 Jill Kinmont hits a tree & breaks her back in Snow Cup Ski Race
  • Jan 25 Russia ends state of war with Germany
  • Jan 25 US & Panama sign canal treaty
  • Jan 25 Columbia University scientists develope an atomic clock accurate to within one second in 300 years
  • Jan 27 "Plain & Fancy" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 476 performances

  • Jan 27 1955 NFL Draft: George Shaw from University of Oregon first pick by Baltimore Colts
  • Jan 29 John Williams Cox buys Yankee Stadium, sells grounds to Knights of Columbus, later leaves structure to Rice University (1962)
  • Jan 31 RCA demonstrates 1st music synthesizer
  • Jan 31 Australian Championships Women's Tennis: Beryl Penrose wins her only Australian singles title; beats Thelma Coyne Long 6-4, 6-3

Sport awardAustralian Men's Tennis Open

Jan 31 Australian Championships Men's Tennis: In an all-Australian final Ken Rosewall wins his 2nd Australian title; beats Lew Hoad 9-7, 6-4, 6-4

Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion Ken Rosewall
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion
Ken Rosewall
Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion Lew Hoad
Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion
Lew Hoad
  • Feb 1 HC Hansen appointed premier of Denmark
  • Feb 1 Hap Day becomes the first man to serve as Toronto Maple Leafs' captain, coach and general manager when he is appointed to run the famous Canadian NHL club
  • Feb 2 1st presidential news conference on network TV-Eisenhower on ABC

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 8 Malenkov resigns as USSR premier, Bulganin replaces him

Soviet Leader Georgy Malenkov
Soviet Leader
Georgy Malenkov
  • Feb 8 The Government of Sindh abolished Jagirdari system in the province. One million acres (4000 km²) of land thus acquired is to be distributed among the landless peasants.
  • Feb 9 Dutch 2nd Chamber accepts crematory law
  • Feb 9 US federations of trade unions merge into AFL/CIO
  • Feb 10 The US Navy evacuate 1000s from Tachen Islands in the Pacific
  • Feb 12 McGuire Sisters' "Sincerely" single goes #1 & stays #1 for 10 weeks
  • Feb 12 President Eisenhower sends 1st US advisors to South Vietnam
  • Feb 12 Soviets decides space center built in Baikonur, Kazakhstan
  • Feb 12 WTVY TV channel 4 in Dothan, AL (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 13 Israel acquires 4 of 7 Dead Sea scrolls
  • Feb 13 KRCG TV channel 13 in Jefferson City, MO (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 14 WFLA (now WXFL) TV channel 8 in Tampa-St Petersburg, Florida (NBC) begins
  • Feb 15 1st pilot plant to produce man-made diamonds announced
  • Feb 17 Ice Dance Championship at Vienna Austria won by J Westwood/Demmy GRB
  • Feb 17 Ice Pairs Championship at Vienna won by Frances Dafoe and Norris Bowden of Canada
  • Feb 17 KTVF TV channel 11 in Fairbanks, AK (CBS/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 17 Ladies Figure Skating Championship in Vienna won by Tenley Albright US
  • Feb 17 Mike Souchak sets PGA 72-hole record of 257 (not broken until 2001)
  • Feb 18 Baghdad Pact signed, making Turkey & Iraq a defense alliance
  • Feb 19 South East Asia Collective Defense Treaty goes into effect
  • Feb 22 British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal sets sail
  • Feb 23 Edgar Faure forms French government
  • Feb 24 "Silk Stockings" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 461 performances
  • Feb 24 Pact of Baghdad signed between Iraq & Turkey

Film tv awardsGolden Globes

Feb 24 12th Golden Globes: "On The Waterfront", Marlon Brando, & Judy Garland win

  • Feb 26 "Peter Pan" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 149 performances
  • Feb 26 1st aviator to bail out at supersonic speed-GF Smith
  • Mar 1 Israeli assault on Gaza, kills 48
  • Mar 1 KFAR (now KATN) TV channel 2 in Fairbanks, AK (ABC/NBC) 1st broadcast
  • Mar 1 Pakistan and India play out a draw in the 5th cricket Test at the National Stadium in Karachi; 5 Test series drawn 0-0
  • Mar 2 King Norodom Sihanukh of Cambodia succeeded by his father
  • Mar 2 William Inge's "Bus Stop" premieres in NYC

Appears on tv showTV Show Appearance

Mar 3 Elvis Presley makes his 1st TV appearance on a broadcast of radio show "Louisiana Hayride"

Singer & Cultural Icon Elvis Presley
Singer & Cultural Icon
Elvis Presley
  • Mar 4 1st radio facsimile transmission sent across the continent
  • Mar 5 WBBJ TV channel 7 in Jackson, TN (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Mar 5 2nd ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: NC State beats Duke, 87-77

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 6 Dutch premiere of Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot"

Playwright, novelist, and poet Samuel Beckett
Playwright, novelist, and poet
Samuel Beckett

Film tv awardsEmmy Awards

Mar 7 7th Emmy Awards: Make Room for Daddy, Danny Thomas & Loretta Young win

Actress Loretta Young
Actress
Loretta Young
  • Mar 7 Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick says he favors legalization of spitter

Appears on tv showTelevision Debut

Mar 7 Mary Martin as "Peter Pan" 1st televised

Actress Mary Martin
Actress
Mary Martin
  • Mar 13 Bir BSD Mahendra succeeds Tribhubana as king of Nepal
  • Mar 13 LPGA Titleholders Championship Women's Golf, Augusta CC: Patty Berg wins her 6th Titleholders title by 2 strokes from Mary Lena Faulk
  • Mar 14 Prince Mahemdra becomes king of Nepal
  • Mar 15 Dutch 2nd Chamber requires TV licenses
  • Mar 15 US Air Force unveils self-guided missile
  • Mar 15 WLEX TV channel 18 in Lexington, KY (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Mar 16 Josephine Kroesen appointed as 1st Dutch female judge

  • Mar 16 President Eisenhower upholds the use of atomic weapons in case of war

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 16 Clarence Campbell suspends Montreal Canadiens superstar Maurice "Rocket" Richard for the remainder of the 1955 season

Ice Hockey Player Maurice Richard
Ice Hockey Player
Maurice Richard
3rd President of the NHL Clarence Campbell
3rd President of the NHL
Clarence Campbell
  • Mar 17 After Maurice Richard is suspended for the remainder of the season, riots break out in Montreal. 37 people are injured and over 100 are arrested. The following morning, Richard goes on the radio to ask citizens to stop vandalizing the city.
  • Mar 18 Ichirō Hatojama recognized as premier of Japan

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 19 17th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: San Francisco beats La Salle, 77-63; Dons' future Hall of Fame center Bill Russell is named tournament Most Outstanding Player

Basketball Player Bill Russell
Basketball Player
Bill Russell
  • Mar 20 KXTV TV channel 10 in Sacramento, CA (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Mar 21 Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus desires Cyprus to join Greece
  • Mar 21 Brooklyn Bulletin ask Dodger fans not to call their team "Bums"
  • Mar 24 1st seagoing oil drill rig placed in service
  • Mar 24 British Army patrols withdraw from Belfast after 20 years

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 24 Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" opens for 694 performances

Playwright Tennessee Williams
Playwright
Tennessee Williams
  • Mar 25 East Germany granted full sovereignty by occupying power, USSR

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 25 United States Customs seizes copies of Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl" as obscene.

Beat Poet Allen Ginsberg
Beat Poet
Allen Ginsberg
  • Mar 26 "Ballad of Davy Crockett" becomes the #1 record in US
  • Mar 26 109th Grand National: Pat Taaffe wins aboard Quare Times at 100/9; third consecutive GN victory for trainer Vincent O'Brien
  • Mar 26 France misses out on a maiden Grand Slam after losing, 16-11 to Wales at Stade Colombes; share Five Nations Rugby Championship with Wales with 3-1 record
  • Mar 27 9th Tony Awards: Desperate Hours & Pajama Game win

Appears on tv showTelevision Debut

Mar 27 Steve McQueen makes his network TV debut (Goodyear Playhouse)

  • Mar 27 WPRI TV channel 12 in Providence, RI (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Mar 28 NZ cricket all out for 26 v England at Eden Park

Film tv awardsAcademy Awards

Mar 30 27th Academy Awards: "On the Waterfront", Marlon Brando & Grace Kelly win

  • Mar 31 Merger of Chase National Bank (3rd largest bank) and Bank of the Manhattan Company (15th largest bank) forms Chase Manhattan
  • Mar 31 West Indies cricket all-rounder Collie Smith scores 104 in his Test debut in a 9 wicket 1st Test defeat to Australia in Kingston, Jamaica
  • Apr 1 Armed military action taken against bureaucratic strike in Amsterdam
  • Apr 1 EOKA-bomb attacks against British government buildings in Cyprus
  • Apr 1 WTVT TV channel 13 in Tampa-St Petersburg, FL (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • Apr 2 US female Figure Skating championship won by Tenley Albright
  • Apr 2 US male Figure Skating championship won by Hayes A Jenkins
  • Apr 3 Baltimore Orioles pull their 1st triple play (3-6-2 vs KC Athletics)
  • Apr 3 Fire in cinema in Sclessin, Belgium, kills 39

  • Apr 3 Night express train in Guadalajara derails, killing 300
  • Apr 3 The American Civil Liberties Union announces it will defend Allen Ginsberg's book Howl against obscenity charges
  • Apr 4 British government signs military treaty with Iraq

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 5 Anthony Eden succeeds Winston Churchill as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

British Prime Minister Anthony Eden
British Prime Minister
Anthony Eden
Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill
  • Apr 6 "3 for Tonight" opens at Plymouth Theater NYC for 85 performances
  • Apr 6 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Apr 6 Yemen: failed coup by Abdullah Seif el-Islam
  • Apr 9 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Sport awardUS Masters Golf

Apr 10 19th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Cary Middlecoff wins by a record 7 strokes ahead of Ben Hogan

Golfer Ben Hogan
Golfer
Ben Hogan
  • Apr 10 9th NBA Championship: Syrac Nats beat Ft Wayne Pistons, 4 games to 3
  • Apr 10 Ruth Ellis shoots jilting lover David Blakely (last woman to be executed in the UK)
  • Apr 11 Gary Sobers starts run of 85 Test Cricket appearances for WI uninterrupted

MurderAssassination Attempt

Apr 11 Chartered Air India plane the "Kashmir Princess" is bombed and crashes into the South China Sea in a failed assassination attempt on Zhou Enlai by a Kuomintang secret agent

Premier of the People's Republic of China Zhou Enlai
Premier of the People's Republic of China
Zhou Enlai

Film release premierFilm Premier

Apr 11 "Marty" directed by Delbert Mann and starring Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair premieres in New York (Best Picture 1956)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 12 Polio vaccine tested by Dr Jonas Salk announced to be 'safe and effective'

Medical Researcher and Virologist Jonas Salk
Medical Researcher and Virologist
Jonas Salk
  • Apr 12 1st game in KC, KC A's beat Detroit Tigers, 6-2
  • Apr 13 20.33" (51.64 cm) of rainfall, Axis, Alabama (state record)
  • Apr 14 Elston Howard becomes the 1st black to wear the Yankee uniform
  • Apr 14 Stanley Cup Final, Olympia Stadium, Detroit, MI: Detroit Red Wings win back-to-back titles; beat Montreal Canadiens, 3-1 for a 4-3 series victory
  • Apr 14 WBRZ TV channel 2 in Baton Rouge, LA (ABC/NBC) begins broadcasting

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 15 Ray Kroc opens first McDonald's Inc. fast food restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois

McDonald's Entrepreneur Ray Kroc
McDonald's Entrepreneur
Ray Kroc
  • Apr 15 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Apr 18 "Ankles Aweigh" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 176 performances
  • Apr 18 1st "Walk"/"Don't Walk" lighted street signals installed
  • Apr 18 1st Bandoeng Conference - Afro-Asian conference opens
  • Apr 18 59th Boston Marathon won by Hideo Hamamura of Japan in 2:18:22
  • Apr 19 The German automaker Volkswagen, after six years of selling cars in the United States, founds Volkswagen of America in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey to standardize its dealer and service network
  • Apr 20 "Saint of Bleecker St" closes at Broadway Theater NYC after 92 performances
  • Apr 21 Brooklyn Dodgers win, then record 10th straight game to begin a season
  • Apr 21 J Lawrence & R E Lee's "Inherit the Wind" premieres in NYC

  • Apr 21 Minas Gerais Argentina tunnel caves in; 30 die
  • Apr 22 KC Athletic's 1st game, beat Tigers 6-2
  • Apr 23 "Kismet" closes at Ziegfeld Theater NYC after 583 performances
  • Apr 24 Conference of Bandung against colonialism and for self determination, ends
  • Apr 24 Gaullists lose elections in France
  • Apr 24 KFDM TV channel 6 in Beaumont, TX (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 24 KMAU (now KGMV) TV channel 3 in Wailuku, HI (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 28 WBIQ TV channel 10 in Birmingham, AL (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 29 Giovanni Gronchi elected third President of Italy
  • Apr 30 Element atomic number 101, Mendelevium, announced
  • Apr 30 Imperial Bank of India nationalized
  • Apr 30 Perez Prado's "Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White" goes #1 for 10 weeks
  • Apr 30 West German unions protest for 40-hour work week & higher wages
  • May 1 American golfer Babe Didrikson-Zaharias wins the Peach Blossom LPGA Tournament in Spartanburg, South Carolina, her final victory before her death the following year.
  • May 1 Future Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller tosses his record 12th 1-hitter in Indians' 2-0 win v Boston Red Sox at Cleveland Stadium

Notable FireworksMiss Atomic Pageant

May 1 Showgirl Linda Lawson is crowned "Miss-Cue" in the Atomic Pageant, after the Operation Cue test is repeatedly delayed by high winds
Learn More >>

Linda Lawson is the winner of the 1955 Miss Atomic Pageant, with a mushroom cloud crown for good measure
Linda Lawson is the winner of the 1955 Miss Atomic Pageant, with a mushroom cloud crown for good measure
  • May 2 India proposal to discrimination against Dalits or "Untouchables" punishable
  • May 2 Pulitzer prize awarded Tennessee Williams for (Cat on Hot Tin Roof)
  • May 2 WGBH TV channel 2 in Boston, MA (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • May 5 "Damn Yankees" opens at 46th St Theater NYC for 1022 performances
  • May 5 Indian parliament accepts Hindu divorce
  • May 5 US performs nuclear test at Nevada test Site
  • May 5 West Germany is granted full sovereignty by its three occupying powers
  • May 6 West Germany joins NATO
  • May 7 81st Kentucky Derby: Bill Shoemaker aboard Swaps wins in 2:01.8
  • May 7 USSR signs peace treaty with France & Great Britain
  • May 7 West European Union established
  • May 9 German Federal Republic (West Germany) joins NATO
  • May 10 8th Cannes Film Festival: "Marty" directed by Delbert Mann wins Palme d'Or
  • May 11 Israel attacks Gaza

  • May 12 Chicago Cub Sam Jones is 1st black to pitch no-hitter (Pirates, 4-0)

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

May 13 Mickey Mantle hits 3 consecutive HRs of at least 463'

Baseball Legend Mickey Mantle
Baseball Legend
Mickey Mantle
  • May 14 US performs nuclear test at Pacific Ocean
  • May 14 Warsaw Pact is signed by the Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland & Romania
  • May 15 Building of space travel center at Baikonur Kazakhstan begins
  • May 15 KPUA (now KGMD) TV channel 9 in Hilo, HI (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • May 15 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • May 15 Vienna Treaty: Britain, France, US & USSR restore Austria's independence
  • May 15 The first ascent of Makalu, the world's fifth highest mountain
  • May 16 King Baudouin of Belgium visits Congo
  • May 16 Ray Lindwall scores his 2nd Test Cricket century 118 at Bridgetown

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

May 16 Rocky Marciano beats Don Cockell by TKO in the 9th round at Kezar Stadium, San Francisco to retain his world heavyweight boxing title

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Rocky Marciano
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Rocky Marciano
  • May 17 Dutch government of Drees resigns
  • May 18 28.7 cm rain falls at Lake Maloya New Mexico (state record)
  • May 18 Atkinson & Depeiaza take WI from 6-187 to 6-494 in day v Aust
  • May 18 Queen Juliana opens E55 fair in Amsterdam
  • May 19 Atkinson & Depeiaza make 347 stand for 7th wkt WI v Australia
  • May 20 Argentine parliament accepts separation of church and state
  • May 21 "House of Flowers" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 165 performances