Historical Events in 1956

Events 1 - 200 of 621

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

#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)

  • 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

Music History

Jan 9 Musical "Peter Pan", starring Mary Martin broadcast live, for a 2nd time, on NBC as part of "Producers' Showcase" series

  • Jan 9 Samir el-Rifai forms government in Jordan
  • 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
  • Jan 15 6th NFL Pro Bowl, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum: Eastern Conference beats Western Conference, 31-30; MVP: Ollie Matson, Baltimore Colts, RB

Appointment 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

Historic Event

Jan 16 Egyptian President Nasser pledges to reconquer Palestine

  • Jan 18 German Democratic Republic (East Germany) forms own army (National People's Army)

Sports History

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

Music Recording

Jan 20 Buddy Holly records "Blue Days Black Night" in Nashville, Tennessee for producer Owen Bradley

Theatrical Finale

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

  • Jan 22 30 people die in a train crash in Los Angeles
  • Jan 22 Canadian Football Council forms

NBA 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

  • 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
  • Jan 25 96.5 cm (38.0") of rainfall, Kilauea Plantation, Hawaii (state record)
  • Jan 26 Porkkala military base returned to Finland by USSR
  • Jan 26 VII Winter Olympic Games open in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
  • Jan 27 NFL's New York Giants move their home from the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan to Yankee Stadium in The Bronx
  • Jan 27 RCA records releases Elvis Presley's single "Heartbreak Hotel", his first million-seller (written by Mae Boren Axton and Tommy Durden)
  • Jan 27 Veikko Hakulinen of Finland wins Olympic 30k cross country gold medal at Cortina d'Ampezzo; second career Olympic title after winning the 15k event in Oslo, 1952
  • 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 Elvis Presley's 1st appearance on national TV on the Dorsey Brothers's "Stage Show"
  • 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

Australian 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

  • 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
  • Jan 30 Elvis Presley records his cover version of Carl Perkins' song "Blue Suede Shoes"
  • 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)

Historic Event

Jan 30 Home of Martin Luther King Jr. is bombed

  • 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
  • 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 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

Historic Event

Jan 31 French government of Guy Mollet forms

  • Jan 31 Juscelino Kubitschek becomes president of Brazil
  • Feb 1 Hague Daily Newspaper reveals war crimes of Hague mayor Schokking
  • Feb 1 Hayes Alan Jenkins leads only US sweep of Olympic men's figure skating medals at the Cortina d’Ampezzo Winter Games; Ronald Robertson wins silver with bronze to Jenkins' younger brother, David
  • Feb 1 WSAV TV channel 3 in Savannah, GA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 2 Despite a severe ankle injury Tenley Albright leads an American 1-2 in the women's figure skating at the Cortina d'Ampezzo Winter Olympics; Carol Heiss takes the silver medal
  • Feb 2 The Coasters sign with Atlantic Records
  • Feb 3 Autherine Lucy admitted to University of Alabama, suspended 2/7 after a riot
  • Feb 3 Toni Sailer of Austria wins the downhill at the Cortina d'Ampezzo Winter Olympics; becomes first athlete to sweep all 3 alpine skiing events in a single Olympics
  • Feb 4 AL plans to test automatic intentional walk during spring training
  • Feb 4 Soviet Union beats Canada, 2-0 at Cortina d'Ampezzo to clinch their first ever Olympic ice hockey gold medal; US takes silver, Canada bronze
  • Feb 5 Finland goes 1-2 in the ski jumping at the Cortina d'Ampezzo Winter Olympics; Antti Hyvärinen takes gold ahead of teammate Aulis Kallakorpi
  • Feb 5 NY Mayor Robert Wagner & Bkln Boro President Frank Cashmore sponsor a bill to create a $30M Brooklyn Sports Center Authority to build
  • Feb 5 VII Winter Olympic Games close in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
  • Feb 6 Chicago's Daily Defender, begins publishing
  • Feb 6 French Prime Minister Guy Mollet pelted with tomatoes in Algiers
  • Feb 6 University of Alabama suspends African-American student Autherine Lucy claiming that it can no longer provide for her safety
  • Feb 8 Mine disaster in Quaregnon Belgium, 8 die
  • Feb 9 -5°F (-20.6°C) in Sicily
  • Feb 9 KHPL (now KWNB) TV channel 6 in Hayes Center, NB (ABC) 1st broadcast
  • Feb 9 R Lacoste follows Catroux as premier of Algeria
  • Feb 10 "My Friend Flicka" premieres on CBS (later NBC) TV
  • Feb 11 British diplomats Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean deny working as spies for Soviet Russia after reappearing in the Soviet Union after going missing 5 years earlier
  • Feb 13 KYW-AM in Philadelphia Penn gives calls to WTAM (now WWWE) Cleveland
  • Feb 14 20th Congress of CPSU opens in Moscow
  • Feb 14 Indonesia withdraws from Netherlands Indonesian Union
  • Feb 14 Verhoeven, Nauta and De King/Wijnhout win Dutch 11 city skate
  • Feb 15 Pirates & KC As cancel an exhibition game in Birmingham Alabama, because of local ordinance barring black from playing against white
  • Feb 15 Urho Kekkonen appointed president of Finland
  • Feb 17 Ice Dance Championship at Garmisch won by Pamela Weight/P Thomas GRB
  • Feb 17 Ice Pairs Championship at Garmisch won by Schwarz & Oppelt of AUT
  • Feb 17 Ladies' Figure Skating Championship in Garmisch won by Carol Heiss USA
  • Feb 17 Men's Figure Skating Championship in Garmisch won by H A Jenkins USA
  • Feb 20 WOSU TV channel 34 in Columbus, OH (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Feb 22 1st English soccer match at Kunstlicht: Portsmouth vs Newcastle United
  • Feb 23 20th Congress of CPSU closes in Moscow

Music Concert

Feb 24 Walter Piston's 5th Symphony, commissioned by the Juilliard School of Music for their 50th anniversary, premiere performance by the Juilliard Orchestra, conducted by Jean Morel

Conference of Interest

Feb 25 Nikita Khrushchev denounces Joseph Stalin at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

Historic Event

Feb 26 Writers and poets Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes meet at a party in Cambridge

  • Feb 27 Female suffrage granted in Egypt
  • Feb 28 13 die in a train crash in Swampscott, Massachusetts
  • Feb 28 American engineer Wright Forrester issued a patent for computer core memory
  • Feb 29 Islamic Republic forms in Pakistan
  • Feb 29 MLB's Cleveland Indians franchise is sold for nearly $4m; former player and the team’s general manager Hank Greenberg is part of the new ownership group

Historic Event

Feb 29 US President Eisenhower announces he will seek a 2nd term

  • Mar 1 "Crazy Arms" single released by Ray Price - his 1st no.1 (Billboard Song of the Year 1956)
  • Mar 1 The International Air Transport Association finalizes a draft of the Radiotelephony spelling alphabet for the International Civil Aviation Organization.
  • Mar 2 "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" single cover released by Elvis Presley
  • Mar 2 Morocco tears up the Treaty of Fez, declaring independence from France
  • Mar 3 3rd ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: NC State beats Wake Forest, 76-64
  • Mar 3 Dutch swimmer Cockie Gastelaars breaks 20-year old world record for 100m freestyle (1:04.2)
  • Mar 3 Elvis Presley's 1st hit in Billboard's top 10: "Heartbreak Hotel"
  • Mar 3 Indonesian government of Harahap resigns
  • Mar 3 Manhattan Borough President Hulan Jack makes plans for a new 110,000-seat stadium to entice Giants to stay in NY
  • Mar 3 Morocco gains independence from France (Anniversary of throne)
  • Mar 5 "King Kong" 1st televised
  • Mar 9 Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus arrested & exiled to Seychelles
  • Mar 9 Weather forecasting phone line set up in London England
  • Mar 10 General strike in Cyprus protesting exile of archbishop Makarios
  • Mar 10 Peter Twiss sets new world air record 1,132 mph (1,823 kph)
  • Mar 11 LPGA Titleholders Championship Women's Golf, Augusta CC: Louise Suggs wins her 3rd Titleholders title by 1 stroke from Patty Berg
  • Mar 12 Dow Jones closes above 500 for 1st time (500.24)

Film Release

Mar 13 "The Searchers" American western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Natalie Wood is released

  • Mar 13 NZ bowl out WI for 77 at Eden Park to score their 1st Test Cricket win

Contract of Interest

Mar 14 50-year-old baseball pitching star Satchel Paige signs a contract to play for and manage the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro National League

  • Mar 15 "My Fair Lady" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 2,715 performances

Pro Wrestling

Mar 15 Whipper Billy Watson beats Lou Thesz in Toronto, to become NWA wrestling champion

  • Mar 16 US Ladies Figure Skating championship won by Tenley Albright
  • Mar 16 US Mens Figure Skating championship won by Hayes A Jenkins
  • Mar 19 Biggest NBA margin of victory - Minn Lakers-133, St Louis Hawks-75
  • Mar 20 Edward Ochab succeeds Bolesław Bierut as 1st secretary of the Polish Communist Party
  • Mar 20 Mount Bezymianny on Kamchatka Peninsula (USSR) erupts
  • Mar 20 Tunisia gains independence from France when the Protocol agreement signed between the two countries
  • Mar 20 Union workers ended a 156-day strike at Westinghouse Electric Corp
  • Mar 20 USSR performs nuclear test
  • Mar 21 "The Rose Tattoo" wins 3 Academy awards, including Anna Manini for Best Actress and Cinematography (Black & White)

Music Premiere

Mar 22 Musical "Mr Wonderful" with Sammy Davis, Jr. and father Sammy Davis, Sr. opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 383 performances

  • Mar 23 Pakistan proclaimed an Islamic republic in Commonwealth (National Day)
  • Mar 23 Sudan becomes independent
  • Mar 24 110th Grand National: race best remembered for Devon Loch's inexplicable fall on final straight, just 40 yards from a certain victory; Dave Dick wins aboard E.S.B.
  • Mar 24 18th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: San Francisco beats Iowa, 83-71; Dons' back-to-back National titles
  • Mar 24 Wales beats France, 5-3 at the National Stadium, Cardiff to clinch their 13th Five Nations Rugby Championship
  • Mar 26 Medic Alert Foundation forms
  • Mar 26 Red Buttons stars as an angel on TV anthology series "Studio One" episode "Tale of St. Emergency"
  • Mar 27 French commandos land in Algeria
  • Mar 30 USSR performs nuclear test
  • Apr 1 10th Tony Awards: Diary of Anne Frank & Damn Yankees win
  • Apr 1 KPIC TV channel 4 in Roseburg, OR (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 1 Violent clashes in Algeria, kills at least 380
  • Apr 2 Peter Ustinovs' "Romanoff & Juliet" premieres in Manchester
  • Apr 2 Soap operas "As the World Turns" & "Edge of Night" premiere on TV
  • Apr 3 Bulgarian vice premier Traitsjo Kostov rehabilitated (executed 1949)
  • Apr 3 German war criminals Hinrichsen, Ruhl, Siebens and Viebahn freed
  • Apr 3 Hudsonville-Standale Tornado: The western half of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan is struck by a deadly F5 tornado
  • Apr 4 Enid Bagnold's "Chalk Garden" premieres in London
  • Apr 5 Ceylon's Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP), led by S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike wins the general elections in a landslide
  • Apr 6 Polish communist Gomulka freed from prison
  • Apr 7 10th NBA Championship: Despite 30 points from Pistons forward George Yardley, Philadelphia Warriors beat Fort Wayne, 99-88; Warriors wrap up series, 4-1
  • Apr 7 Spain relinquishes her protectorate in Morocco
  • Apr 8 20th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Jack Burke Jr. wins his first major title, 1 stroke ahead of amateur Ken Venturi; final Masters played without a 36-hole cut
  • Apr 8 6 US Marine Corps recruits drown during a night "marsh march" in Ribbon Creek at Parris Island, South Carolina; drill instructor Staff Sergeant Matthew McKeon is court-martialed
  • Apr 10 Philips broadcasts 1st Dutch color TV programs

Sports History

Apr 10 Stanley Cup Final, Montreal Forum, Montreal, Quebec: Jean Béliveau has a goal and 2 assists as Montreal Canadiens beat Detroit Red Wings, 3-2 for a 4-1 series win

  • Apr 11 French government decides to send 200,000 reservists to Algeria
  • Apr 11 Singer Nat Cole attacked on stage of Birmingham theater in racial incident
  • Apr 12 S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike's government takes office in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)
  • Apr 13 KETA TV channel 13 in Oklahoma City, OK (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 14 "Plain & Fancy" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 476 performances
  • Apr 14 Ampex Corp demonstrates 1st commercial videotape recorder

Theatrical Finale

Apr 14 Cole Porter's final Broadway musical "Silk Stockings", loosely based on the Melchior Lengyel's "Ninotchka", closes at the Imperial Theatre, NYC, after 478 performances

  • Apr 16 1st solar powered radios go on sale
  • Apr 16 60th Boston Marathon won by Antti Viskari of Finland in race record 2:14:14
  • Apr 17 Bulgaria premier Valko Chervenkov resigns
  • Apr 17 Premium Savings Bonds introduced in Great Britain
  • Apr 17 USSR's Cominform (Parliament) dissolves
  • Apr 17 Willie Mosconi sinks 150 consecutive balls in a billiard tournament
  • Apr 18 Egypt & Israel agree to a cease fire
  • Apr 19 1st MLB baseball game in New Jersey - Brooklyn Dodgers beat Philadelphia Phillies, 5-4, at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City
  • Apr 21 Elvis Presley's 1st hit record, "Heartbreak Hotel", becomes #1
  • Apr 24 AL umpire Frank Umont is 1st to wear glasses in a regular season game

Music Premiere

Apr 25 Noël Coward's musical "South Sea Bubble" premieres in London

  • Apr 26 First modern container ship, the Ideal X, leaves Port Newark, New Jersey for Houston, Texas
  • Apr 27 Burma Premier U Nu's Volksliga voor Vrijheid loses election

Sports History

Apr 27 Undefeated world heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano, retires from the ring

Baseball Record

Apr 28 Cincinnati Reds outfielder Frank Robinson hits his 1st of 586 HRs

  • Apr 28 Last French troops leave Vietnam
  • Apr 29 WLUC TV channel 6 in Marquette, MI (CBS/NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 29 WSPA TV channel 7 in G'ville-Spartanburg, SC (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • Apr 29 WWBT TV channel 12 in Richmond, VA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • May 1 A doctor in Japan reports an "epidemic of an unknown disease of the central nervous system", marking the official discovery of Minamata disease
  • May 2 US Lab detects high-temperature microwave radiation from Venus
  • May 2 US Methodist church disallows racial separation
  • May 3 A new range of mountains discovered in Antarctica (2 over 13,000')
  • May 3 Frank Loesser's musical "Most Happy Fella" opens at Imperial Theater, NYC; runs for 678 performances
  • May 4 Queen Juliana unveils National Monument to Dams in Amsterdam
  • May 4 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Enwetak
  • May 5 82nd Kentucky Derby: David Erb aboard Needles wins in 2:03.4
  • May 5 Broekster Boys soccer team forms in Damwoude
  • May 5 Jim Bailey (US) runs mile a record 3:58.6 in LA Calif
  • May 5 World championships of judo are 1st held in Tokyo
  • May 6 Gus Bell (Reds) homers off Bob Miller in both ends of a double header