20 6 th. Decade
Jan 3 Asian and Arab nations are
trying for a peaceful settlement in Korea.
Jan 10 A committee of 100 Republicans say that the
United Nations has failed and urges the US to quit the organization.
Jan 17 Working their way southward, Chinese and North Korean
forces recapture Seoul.
Jan-Feb At a dinner party in New York City, Margaret Sanger,
age 72, meets biologist Gregory Pincus. He tells her that it might be
possible to create the birth control pill she has been dreaming about.
To do it, he says, he would need significant funding.
Feb 1 The UN General Assembly declares China the aggressor in
the Korean War since the end of December 1950. .
Feb 26 The US Constitution is amended to limit presidents to
Mar 7 General Matthew Ridgway has been army commander in
Korea since late December when, in Tokyo, Douglas MacArthur, over-all
commander of the UN forces, told him, "The Eighth Army is yours, Matt.
Do what you think best." Ridgway has planned a new offensive, and
MacArthur flies to Korea for some showmanship. He upstages Ridgway at a
news conference, announcing falsely that he, MacArthur, had "just
ordered a resumpton of the offensive."
Mar 14 United Nations forces recapture Seoul.
Mar 14 In the United States, a Gallup Poll shows Truman's
public approval rating at 26 percent. United States deaths in Korea are
around 50,000. Many in the US think the President has been too weak
vis-à-vis the Communists, but also, according to a Gallop Poll the
previous month, 49 percent of those polled thought the war was a
mistake. Truman has defied those calling for more money to be spent on
the military. He has endeavored instead to maintain the nation's
strength through a balanced budget.
Mar 15 Ridgway's forces have turned the war around
and have been advancing against Chinese and North Koreans, and today
Ridgway and his troops retake what is left of the city of Soeul. Morale
in Washington DC is said to be reviving.
Mar 30 India considers Kashmir as its territory but holds
only half of it. Pakistan and China hold other parts. Pakistan claims
the part that India holds, Jammu-Kashmir, because a majority of the
people there are Muslim. The UN Security Council passes Resolution 91
which calls for a free and impartial plebiscite in Jammu-Kashmir and
demilitarization of the State prior to the plebiscite.
Apr 1 In Greece, women are given the right to vote.
Apr 5 Ethel and Julius Rosenberg receive the death
penalty for having conspired to commit espionage.
Apr 9 General MacArthur has defied President
Truman. Truman wants a ceasefire in Korea with Korea divided as before
at the 38th parallel. MacArthur has written a letter to the Republican
House Minority Leader, Joseph Martin, criticizing Truman. Men around
President Truman agree that MacArthur is a problem, and the armed
services Joint Chiefs of Staff decide unanimously that MacArthur should
be relieved of his command.
Apr 11 President Truman fires General MacArthur.
Apr 12 In Europe, MacArthur's dismissal is
considered good news. In the US, Republicans meet and call for Truman's
impeachment. The Chicago Tribune agrees. Senator Nixon demands that
MacArthur be reinstated. In New York, two thousand longshoremen protest
Apr 20 President Truman appears at a big-league
game to open the baseball season and is loudly booed.
May 14 The government of South Africa removes the right of
people of mixed race ("colored") to vote.
Jun 13 The Communists propose negotiations for
Korea. UN troops have driven north of the 38th parallel and are ordered
to hold their positions. Fighting is now to become skirmishes over
outposts and hills been lines, shellings, aircraft bombing by US forces
and small unit actions and a lot of talk by the world's political
Jun 18 The French have defeated a major Viet Minh
campaign, the Viet Minh having lost 10,000 killed and wounded, and they
withdraw from the Red River Delta.
Jun 25 Truman says he does not want a wider war and
says that he is ready to see the war end with a division of the two
sides at the 38th parallel.
Jul 5 William Shockley extends on the transistor
invented in 1947 by inventing the junction transistor, bringing Silicon
to what will become known as Silicon Valley.
Jul 10 In Korea, armistice negotiations begin while violence
at the front continues. Facing each other on a line that runs east and
west across Korea are 459,000 Communist troops, more than half of whom
are Chinese forces. On the UN side are approximately 554,000. South
Korea has 273,000 in the field, the US 253,000, and the rest are from
Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Britain,
Greece, India, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the
Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, and the Union of South Africa.
Jul 16 Riad Bey al-Solh, the Prime Minister of Lebanon, has
been assassinated in Amman, where rumors were circulating that Lebanon
and Jordan were discussing a joint separate peace with Israel.
Jul 19 Pakistan has not agreed on conditions for a plebiscite
in Jammu-Kashmir. Prime Minister Nehru tells Pakistan to stop
its war talk, that India is not concentrating troops on Pakistan's
border and wants peace.
Jul 20 Abdullah, the Hashimite King of Jordan, a moderate
toward Israel, is in Jerusalem to give a eulogy at the funeral of Riad
Bey al-Solh. He is shot while attending Friday prayers at the Dome of
the Rock in the company of his grandson, Prince Hussein.
Jul 24 India makes Sheik Mohammad Abullah, leader
of the area's largest political party, the prime minister of
Jammu-Kashmir and agrees to Jammu-Kashmir autonomy within India.
Aug 1 China is burdened economically by its
participation in the Korean War and by China's recent civil war, but a
majority of Chinese are proud to see their country "standing up" to the
"imperialist" powers. Meanwhile, since October 1950, the Communist
government has executed around 28,000 "counter-revolutionaries."
Sep 9 India has been hoping to ward off Chinese control over
Tibet. So too has the United States, which has been sending arms there
through Calcutta. On this day, Chinese troops march into and take
control of Tibet's capital city, Lhasa.
Sep 5 In Korea, the UN command have decided to chastise the
Communist side for its failures at the negotiating table and it
launches a limited offensive, with the objective of taking higher
ground in mountainous territory. In fighting for what is called "Bloody
Ridge," an estimated 15,000 North Koreans and 2,700 UN soldiers have
been killed, wounded or captured.
Sep 13 The North Koreans have moved from Bloody Ridge to what
will become known as Heartbreak Ridge. US commanders decide to take
Heartbreak Ridge also. Soon to be labeled by the Americans as a fiasco.
Sep 19 Yours truly begins a three-year enlistment in the
Sep 20 At the close of their conference in Ottawa,
all twelve members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization accept
Greece and Turkey as fellow members - a move that does not please the
Soviet Union, while in the US some ask where the Soviet Union is going
to strike next, in Asia or Europe.
Sep 26-28 Ash from a forest fire in Canada turns
the sun blue for Europeans.
Oct 25 In Korea, truce talks reconvene. The fighting for
Heartbreak Ridge is at an end. United Nations forces have suffered over
40,000 casualties. The Communist forces have suffered more, some of it
from air power, which has blasted and burned their high ground bare. A
lot of high ground in Korea is without vegetation.
Oct 26 In Britain, conservatives do well
in elections and Winston Churchill is re-elected Britain's prime
Nov 10 In the United States people can now dial
directly for coast-to-coast telephone calls.
Nov 11 Hard times in Argentina have created a tense
presidential campaign in Argentina. One candidate has been arrested and
another shot. Eva Perón has claimed that anyone not voting for Peron is
a traitor. Her husband, Juan Perón, is re-elected.
Dec 24 Another colony ends. Libya becomes a
constitutional monarchy, the constitution proclaiming "by the will of
God" a democratic and sovereign state that guarantees national unity,
domestic tranquility, secures the establishment of justice, guarantees
the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity, and that promotes
economic and social progress and the general welfare, "trusting in God,
Master of the Universe."
Dec 31 Japan's Gross National Product is half that
of West Germany's and a third that of Britain, but production in Japan
has surpassed its prewar level.
Feb 6 Princess Elizabeth of York, 25, becomes Elizabeth II,
Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South
Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon.
Feb 26 Elizabeth's Prime Minister, Winston Churchill,
announces possession of an atomic bomb.
Mar 10 In Cuba a bright former army sergeant of mixed race
who has risen from poverty, Fulgencia Batista, takes power in a coup
d'état. It is his second time in power, his first from 1940 to '44.
Strategists in the US. are pleased. They see Batista as an
anti-Communist and a reliable friend.
Mar 10 Stalin offers a united Germany in exchange for
superpower disengagement and German neutrality. The United States and
its allies are not interested.
Mar 21 Kwame Nkrumah, 42, is elected the prime minister of
the Gold Coast.
Apr 7 Television is becoming a large part of the lives of
Americans. On CBS, the "I Love Lucy" show (which began in October)
wipes out its competition on NBC. "I Love Lucy" is viewed in 10.6
million households, the greatest number to date for a television show.
Apr 28 The Allied occupation of Japan formally ends with a
peace treaty signed in San Francisco.
May 4 While running for President of the United States,
Senator Robert Taft suggests that the United States consider breaking
diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.
May 6 King Farouk of Egypt declares that he is a descendant
of the Prophet Muhammad.
May 7 Concerning a settlement of the Korean War, President
Truman declares his opposition to an agreement that includes prisoners
of war being forced to return to North Korea or China against their
May 21 The celebrated Hollywood actor John Garfield, 39, is
dead. He had been called before the House Committee on Un-American
Activities, had refused to name names and had been blacklisted by the
Studios. He was suffering from heart problems and stress.
Jun 1 The Catholic Church condemns the writings of a Nobel
Prize winner for literature, the late André Gide.
Jun 11 The United States Congress has passed the
McCarran-Walter Immigration and Naturalization Act. It ends the ban on
Asian immigration but increases the power of the government to deport
non-citizens suspected of Communist sympathies.
Jun 30 Marshall Plan aid comes to an end.
Jul 9 The Republicans are convening in Chicago. Senator Joe
McCarthy tells a cheering audience that he will not soften his blows on
Communist issues because "a rough fight is the only fight Communists
Jul 11 In Chicago, Eisenhower (who detests Senator McCarthy)
wins the Republican nomination for president.
Jul 23 General Mark Clark has been in command of the UN
forces in Korea since April. He launches massive air strikes against
North Korea's hydroelectric power grid.
Jul 23 France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and
the Netherlands form the European Coal and Steel community, an
organization that will develop into the European Union.
Jul 23 In Egypt, military men claim to dislike King Farouk's
corruption and Egypt's failures against Israel. They drive King Farouk
into exile in Europe, where he has much money in banks with which to
continue living in style.
Jul 25 Puerto Rico becomes a self-governing commonwealth of
the United States.
Jul 26 Eva Peron of Argentina dies of cancer. She was 33.
Aug 11 Jordan's king, Talal bin Abdullah, is mentally ill.
The army forces him to resign in favor of his 16-year-old son, Hussein.
Aug 12-25 In Korea the Chinese attack the 1st Marine division
in a battle for a ridge called Bunker Hill.
Aug 29 The US bombs Pyongyang in a 1,403-sortie assault from
aircraft carriers - the largest single-day air assault of the war. The
bombings disturb Europeans, including Winston Churchill.
Aug 30 Finland pays the last of its reparations to the Soviet
Sep 2 At the University of Minnesota the first open-heart
surgery is performed.
Sep 18 The Soviet Union vetoes Japan's application for UN
Oct 14 In Korea, the truce talks have halted again. The UN
commander, General Mark Clark, has initiated "Operation Showdown."
Oct 16 In Iran the British face nationalization of oil they
have controlled. Aware that the British are plotting to have him
overthrown, Premier Mossadegh severs diplomatic relations.
The British have requested that the US join the plot against Mossadegh,
viewed as a dangerous radical, but President Truman does not want the
US to become involved.
Oct 20 In Kenya, the Kikuyu are unhappy about having been
driven off much of their land, about their unemployment and lives of
poverty in the city of Nairobi and other towns. They have rebelled -
the Mau Mau Rebellion - and the British declare martial law.
Oct 25 In Korea, General Mark Clark's "Operation Showdown"
ends. The area fought over is still held by Communist forces. The US
7th Infantry has lost 365 killed, 1,174 wounded and 1
captured. Basically the front line in Korea remains unchanged.
Oct 25 In the United Nations, China's admission is refused
for the third successive year.
Nov 1 The United States tests a hydrogen bomb at Eniwetok
Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
Nov 4 Dwight Eisenhower defeats the Democrat Party's
candidate, Adlai Stevenson. The threat from the Far Left, including the
Communist Party, appears not as formidable as some have been suggesting
as the Progressive Party candidate, Vincent Hallinan, wins only 140,746
votes - 0.2 percent of the vote. He has denounced the continuation of
the Korean War as a long-range imperialist plot by Big Business.
Nov 17 China wants negotiations for Korea moved forward. In
the United Nations, India submits a cease-fire proposal which includes
a return of willing prisoners and the establishment of a four-member
Neutral Nations Reparations Commission.
Nov 18 The British arrest Jomo Kenyatta, alleging that he is
connected to the Mau Mau uprising.
Nov 21 In Czechoslovakia the Communist regime sentences
eleven former Communist officials to death: the Slansky show trial. All
eleven are Jews.
Dec 1 A front page story in the New York Daily News announces
the transsexual operation in Denmark on a former US soldier who now
goes by the name of Christine Jorgensen. Many in the US are shocked and
Dec 1 In Venezuela the left-of-center Nationalist Democratic
Union for a Republic leads in returns from elections for a national
congress - to return the country to constitutional government.
Dec 2 The military junta in power in Venezuela cancels the
elections and declares their leader, Colonel Perez Jimenez, Provisional
President. Jimenez will rule as dictator until 1958.
Dec 23 In London, two weeks after five days "killer fog" at
least 4,000 deaths have occurred. Thousands more who appear to have
recovered will die from reoccurring complications.
Date unknown While US Marines are returning with a
wounded fellow Marine on a stretcher, a middle-aged porter in the
Korean Service Corps slips in the mud, letting the stretcher fall to
the ground. An angry Marine is enraged because the kid on the stretcher
is his buddy, and he dislikes Asians in general. He shoots the Korean.
No date A common but not universal opinion among US ground
troops in Korea facing Chinese forces is that the Chinese have little
respect or passion for life - much less at any rate than do Americans.
This would diminish decades later with the rise of television coverage
of events in China.
Jan 10 "The Crucible," Arthur Miller's play about the "red
scare," opens on Broadway. It draws from Ibsen's play "An Enemy of the
People" and its subject is the Salem witch hunts. The FBI has a file on
Miller that describes him as "under Communist Party discipline."
Jan 12 Estonians establish a government in exile in
Jan 13 In the Communist Party newspaper, Pravda, prominent
doctors are accused of having taken part in a conspiracy to poison
Soviet leaders. The doctors are accused of being paid by US and British
intelligence and of serving the interests of an international Jewish
Jan 20 Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes President of the United
Jan 23 Israelis are alarmed by a series of border incidents
and by Egypt's premier, Mohammed Naguib, saying he intends to "liberate
Jan 26 Walter Ulbricht announces that agriculture in East
Germany will be collectivized.
Feb 1 High tide and a severe windstorm create a North Sea
tidal surge 3.6 meters high (11.8 feet). In Britain 307 are killed. The
Dutch lose 1,835 people and an estimated 10,000 animals. There was no
Feb 9 Most of the accused doctors in the Soviet Union are
Jews. Stalin has turned against Jewish nationalism. Scores of Soviet
Jews have been dismissed from their jobs. A bomb explodes at the Soviet
mission in Israel.
Feb 11 The Soviet Union breaks diplomatic relations with
Mar 1 Amid mysterious departures from normal routine, Stalin
suffers a stroke that paralyzes the right side of his body. According
to the memoirs of Foreign Minister Molotov, to be published in 1993,
the chief of the Soviet Union's police, Lavrenty Beria, bragged to him
that he poisoned Stalin.
Mar 5 Stalin dies. It is the day that Jews were scheduled to
be deported from Moscow, a move opposed by Beria.
Mar 6 Soviet radio interrupts broadcasting with the message
that Stalin has died. People are stunned by the loss of a father
figure. Malenkov succeeds Stalin as the Soviet Union's Premier and as
First Secretary of its Communist Party. Malenkov appeals for
"monolithic unity" and "vigilance." Stalin's body lies in
state in the Hall of Columns, a few streets from Red Square. It will be
said that a crowd of mourners gets out of control and people are
crushed to death.
Mar 9 In Paris, flags have been flying at half-staff. In
Italy, Communist workers take a 20-minute work stoppage to honor
Stalin, and, in the streets of Rome, Communists and neo-Fascists fight.
Mar 11 In the United States, a B-47 bomber accidentally drops
an atom bomb on Mars Bluff, South Carolina. The bomb was not prepared
Mar 26 Mau Mau rebels have killed as many as 150 of their
fellow Kikuyu Kenyans - to be known as the Lari Massare.
Mar 28 The Soviet government's Council of Ministers approves
a resolution sent to them by Beria for a broad amnesty and release of
about 1 million of the 2.1 million in Stalin's prisons.
Mar 31 Beria, still head of Soviet police, frees all of the
doctors arrested in connection with the so-called doctor's plot and
arrests officials involved in creating what he describes as having been
Mar 31 Gregori Malenkov has called for peaceful coexistence
between the superpowers and for peace in Korea. Zhou Enlai joins him,
proposing that the prisoner of war issue be turned over to a neutral
Apr 2 President Eisenhower says he takes Communist
peace bids seriously.
Apr 12 Alexander Wiley, Republican of Wisconsin, and Hubert
H. Humphrey, Democrat of Minnesota, members of Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, warn against recent "peace gestures" by the Soviet Union.
Apr 13 The Netherlands Ministry of Traffic and Waterways
announces that 330,000 out of an original 360,000 flooded acres are dry
again. The Dutch are planning projects involving years of work to
prevent another flood.
Apr 22 The Viet Minh and Laotian rebels (led by Prince
Souphanouvong) have moved into Laos with a Viet Minh force from
Vietnam. The French are striking against the rebels with bombing runs
by aircraft but without success.
May 12 In the US Senate, Barry Goldwater makes his maiden
speech. He dislikes price controls used by the Eisenhower
administration, saying that price controls have always failed, that
ancient, medieval and modern price-control systems create "scarcity
instead of production and ill will instead of cooperation." A
Republican colleague, Capehart of Indiana, argues that specific price
controls can for a while be useful, and he cites the results of
controls since 1950.
May 13-16 In Korea, the US Air Force destroys dams north of
Pyongyang. Rice crops are washed away.
May 19-20 In Korea, B-29s attack a large supply complex at
May 21-22 B-29s score seven direct hits on the Kuwonga dam
but fail to burst it because the North Koreans have lowered the water
level by twelve feet.
May 25 At the Nevada Test Site, the United States conducts
its first and only nuclear artillery test.
May 28- 29 B-29s returned to the Kuwonga Dam, scoring five
direct hits with 2,000-pound bombs. The North Koreans have drained the
dam of its water, exhausting the supply of water for irrigation.
May 28 In Korea, Communists forces launch raids against UN
Jun 5 Greenland is no longer a colony. Denmark's new
constitution declares that Greenland is an integral part of the Kingdom
Jun 8 An agreement to the Korean War's POW problem is
reached. Those prisoners who refuse to return to their Communist
countries are allowed to live under a neutral supervising commission
for three months. If they still refuse repatriation they will be
Jun 13 In Hungary, Prime Minister Matyas Rákosi, a hardline
Stalinist, is replaced by Imre Nagy, a more liberal Communist.
June 13-18 B-29s and Marine F4U Corsair fighter-bombers
strike irrigation dams at Toksan and Kusong in North Korea.
Jun 16 The Soviet Union and Yugoslavia renew diplomatic
Jun 17 Beria's plans to liberalize East Germany backfire. In
East Germany strikes and demonstrations erupt.
June 19 In the US Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are executed.
They have been accused of conspiring to commit espionage and passing
nuclear weapons secrets to Russian agents.
June 26 In the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev and other top
ranking party members move against Beria's power. Khrushchev accuses
Beria of being in the pay of British intelligence. Malenkov has little
power and abandons Beria. The army asserts its authority over Beria's
police and Beria is killed.
July 4 Strikes and riots erupt in coal mining regions in
July 10 In the speech by a Secretary of the Central Committee
of the Communist Party, Nikolay Shatalin, charges of sexual assault and
deviance are made against the late Lavrenty Beria. Pravda announces
that Beria has been deposed as a head of the Soviet police, the NKVD.
July 21 The Soviet Union and Israel resume normal diplomatic
Jul 26 Fidel Castro, 26, and his brother, Raul, 22, with more
than 100 others attack the second largest military garrison in Cuba.
Sixty-one of the rebels die and the others are captured.
Jul 27 The United Nations, China and North Korea sign an
armistice agreement. South Korea refuses to sign it. South Korea's
President Syngman Rhee opposes a settlement that leaves Korea divided.
North Korea and South Korea remain technically at war into the
Aug 8 Premier Malenkov's announces that the Soviet Union has
mastered production of a hydrogen bomb. The news is received in the
United States and Britain with some skepticism.
Aug 12 The Soviet Union successfully tests a hydrogen bomb
fusion device, using what is called the Sloika design, created largely
by a patriotic nuclear scientist, Andrei Sakharov, who in decades to
come is to be the Soviet Union's leading dissident.
Aug 19 A force that has the support of CIA and British
intelligence operatives pushes through Teheran with tanks and soldiers,
against newspapers aligned with the popular prime minister, Mossadegh,
and other targets, including Mossadegh's residence. At a radio station,
General Fazlollah Zahedi announces that he, with the blessing of
Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, is prime minister and that his force controls
the city. About 200 people are killed.
Aug 20 French government exiles the sultan of Morocco to
Sep 2 A letter from Eisenhower promises aid to the government
Sep 7 In the Soviet Union, a Communist Party Central
Committee Plenum elects Nikita Khrushchev First Secretary.
Sep 9 Mossadegh is in prison charged with rebellion against
the throne, a crime punishable by death. He begins a hunger
strike and demands the right to consult a lawyer on the preparation of
Sept 19 Yours truly discovers that after days of complete
quiet in a cabin in the woods away from the hum of the city, a
remarkable calm enters the body that is not at all chemically,
spiritually or philosophically induced.
Sep 22 In Iran, the newspaper Kayhan reports that 100 have
been arrested on charges of being Communist Party members and partisans
Sep 25 The first German prisoners of war return from Soviet
Union to West Germany.
Oct 22 France grants independence to Laos in all but foreign
affairs, recognizing the rule of King Sisavang Vong, a lifelong
supporter of French rule. The "Red Prince" Souphanouvong, in alliance
with Vietnam's Communist government, rules in northern Laos.
Nov 9 With the French fighting in Vietnam, Cambodia is able
to move from independence within the French Union, granted in 1949, to
Nov 11 In the US, scientists indentify and photograph the
polio virus for the first time.
Nov 29 French paratroopers take Dien Bien Phu, a point in
Vietnam that blocks a main invasion route to Laos.
Dec 23 The Soviet Union announces that Lavrenty Beria has
Dec 30 In the United States the first color television sets
go on sale, for around $1,175.
Jan 5 China is one year into its five-year industrialization
plan and its economy is growing about 15 percent per year. And China
has begun a planned 14-year move from family-owned farms to
Jan 7 In his state of the Union message, Eisenhower speaks of
the Free World gathering strength. He also recommends legislation that
takes away the citizenship of anyone "conspiring to advocate
the overthrow of this government by force or violence."
Jan 14 The Democratic National Committee proclaims that
President Eisenhower has not been "soft" on the investigation of
Communists in government, despite the "insinuations" of Senator Joseph
McCarthy and others.
Jan 17 President Tito complains to a meeting of his Central
Committee that articles written by comrade Milovan Djilas amount to a
call for elimination of party discipline. He describes Djilas as
creating "enormous harm not only to Yugoslavia's Communist Party but
also to the unity of the country."
Jan 20 The CIA builds a tunnel from west Berlin into East
Berlin to tap Soviet and East German communications.
Jan 21 The first atomic submarine, the USS Nautilus, is
Feb 23 In the US the inoculation of children against polio
with the Salk vaccine begins.
Feb 23 In Egypt, Gamal Abdul Nasser becomes prime minister.
Mar 1 Another nuclear bomb is tested across Bikini atoll (in
the Marshall Islands). This one is a hydrogen bomb, believed to be
1,000 times as powerful as the one dropped on Hiroshima. Japanese tuna
fishermen are accidentally exposed to the bomb's radiation.
Mar 1 Puerto Rican nationalists open fire from the gallery of
the US House of Representatives, wounding five congressmen.
Mar 6 Edward R. Morrow of CBS television broadcasts his
"Report on Senator McCarthy."
Mar 10 President Eisenhower describes Senator McCarthy as a
peril to the Republican Party.
Mar 17 The American Cancer Society voices its "suspicion"
that cigarette smoking might contribute to lung cancer.
Mar 22 In the US the first shopping mall opens, in
Mar 30 Canada's first subway line opens, in Toronto.
Apr 15 Margaret Sanger, birth control advocate, testifies
before the Japanese Diet.
Apr 29 India recognizes Chinese rule in Tibet and signs an
agreement with China regarding trade with Tibet.
Apr 23 An Afro-American, Hank Aaron, hits a home run, the
first of his record 755 home runs.
May 7 After 55 days of fighting at Dien Bien Phu, Vietnamese
overrun French forces.
May 15 China and India agree to respect each other's
territorial integrity and sovereignty, to not aggress upon one another
and not to interfere in each other's internal affairs.
May 17 In a case concerning elementary education, the US
Supreme Court unanimously rules that segregation in public education
denies equal protection under the law. Eisenhower does not like the
decision but feels that it is his duty to accept it. He believes that
southern whites are good people who just don't want their daughters
sitting next to black children, and he believes that one can't change
May 19 US Postmaster General Summerfield approves a CIA
May 29 Pope Pius XII issues a holy declaration that canonizes
Pope Pius X.
Jun 2 Senator McCarthy claims that Communists are working in
the CIA and in atomic weapons plants.
Jun 14 President Eisenhower signs a law that adds the words
"under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance.
Jun 17 The American College of Chest Physicians refuses to
declare cigarette smoking as a possible cause of lung cancer.
Jun 18 In France, Pierre Mendes-France forms a
government and promises to end the war in Vietnam. Some Roman Catholics
prefer continued colonialism to abandoning Vietnamese Catholics to
Communism. Emotions by those opposed to pulling out of Vietnam run
high. Slurs are made against the Jewish origins of Mendes-France.
Jun 27 The Eisenhower administration sees President Arbenz of
Guatemala as too leftist. A force financed by the US and trained in
Nicaragua overthrows Arbenz. Howard Hunt, a CIA agent involved in the
overthrow, prevents Arbenz from being murdered. Arbenz and his wife go
into exile in Mexico.
Jul 3 In Britain, food rationing, in place since World War
Jul 7 Elvis Presley debuts on radio in Memphis
Tennessee, singing "That's All Right (Mama)."
Jul 12 President Eisenhower proposes an interstate highway
program to counteract inefficiency in the transportation of goods and
"appalling inadequacies to meet the demands of catastrophe or defense,
should an atomic war come."
Jul 15 Boeing's first passenger jet makes its maiden flight.
Jul 13-21 In Geneva a settlement is signed that divides
Vietnam temporarily. For two years the French are to be allowed to
maintain administration in the southern half of Vietnam. Then elections
are to be held to reunite Vietnam. The Vietnamese are talked into
signing by China's delegate, Chou Enlai. France, the Soviet Union,
China, Vietnam and Britain sign the agreement. The US does not, but it
pledges to "respect" the agreements.
Jul 31 In California, the Stanford Research Institute has
declared Southern California's abundant sunshine is largely responsible
for the smog in Los Angeles.
Aug 9 Turkey, Greece and Yugoslavia sign a 20-year treaty of
military and political cooperation.
Aug 21 Prime Minister Nasser describes both the Muslim
Brotherhood and Communists as a "corrupting force."
Aug 24 In the United States the Communist Control Act goes
into effect, providing severe penalties for Communists who fail to
register or become involved in Party activities.
Aug 27 The government of Pierre Mendes-France wins support in
the National Assembly for making peace with those in Morocco and
Tunisia advocating independence.
Sep 3 The United States has allowed Chiang Kai-shek to move
58,000 soldiers to Quemoy and 15,000 to Matsu. These are islands off
the coast of mainland China, within artillery range of the mainland and
jumping off points for infiltration by Chiang's agents. China begins
shelling Chiang's forces.
Sep 6 A US plane is shot down over Siberia.
Sep 8 The Eisenhower administration creates the South East
Asia Treaty Organization, a political-military alliance to "contain
communism." Members: the Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan, Australia,
New Zealand, Britain, the US and France.
Sep 23 East German police arrest 400 citizens as US spies.
Oct 4 Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio separate after 9 months
Oct 6-15 For nine straight days the Los Angeles metropolitan
area has been blanketed with chocking, eye-stinging smog, angering
residents. Yours truly, Frank Smitha, less than one month out of the
Marine Corps, tells himself he should move out of the area.
Oct 19 Britain signs a pact with Egypt, Britain agreeing to
withdraw its force from the Suez Canal Zone within 20 months and Egypt
agreeing to maintain freedom of canal navigation.
Oct 22 West Germany joins the North Atlantic Treaty
Oct 26 A member of Muslim Brotherhood shoots at but misses
Prime Minister Nasser.
Oct 29 Nasser bans the Muslim Brotherhood.
Nov 1 In Algeria, between midnight and two in the morning, a
rebel organization reveals itself by making simultaneous attacks
against military and police targets at various points across the
country. The war for Algerian independence has begun.
Nov 8 President Eisenhower has recently given the Legion of
Merit to the Venezuelan dictator, Perez Jimenez, for "special
meritorious conduct in the fulfillment of his high functions and
Nov 13 Pierre Mendes-France tells France's National Assembly
that Algeria has been French for so long (124 years) that "secession is
Nov 14 Egypt's president, General Naguib is accused of being
a tool of the Communists and of the Muslim Brotherhood. He is driven
from the presidency by his fellow army officers. Nasser becomes
Nov 20 The US begins sending aid directly to the regime of
Ngo Dinh Diem in the southern half of Vietnam, by-passing the
Nov 22 The Humane Society forms, to prevent cruelty to
Nov 26 More smog causes Los Angeles County officials to ask
that people stop trash burning for at least twenty-four hours.
Dec 2 The US Senate votes 67-22 to censure their colleague,
Joe McCarthy, for "conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor
Marian Anderson sings at the Metropolitan Opera in New York
City, the first black to do so.
The US announces its plan to develop Intercontinental Ballistic
Missiles armed with nuclear weapons.
Scientists at Columbia University develop an atomic clock accurate to
within one second in 300 years.
Congress authorizes President Eisenhower to use force to protect Taiwan
In the Soviet Union, Premier Malenkov is still associated with Beria.
He is forced to resign and is replaced by Marshal Bulganin, the former
defense minister. Malenkov remains in the politburo, now called the
The last Vietminh troops are scheduled to leave South Vietnam, in
accordance with the Geneva Accords of 1954. They are leaving areas they
have controlled for the last eight years.
President Eisenhower sends the first US military advisors to South
Vietnam, to train an army under Ngo Dinh Diem.
Israelis discover more Dead Sea scroll fragments.
An Israeli cyclist is ambushed by "Arab infiltrators."
An Israeli army unit is attacked and pursues the attackers into
Sometime during this month or the following month, a few sailors create
a disturbance at a small Polynesian nightclub in Honolulu. The bouncer
throws the leader out and the others follow. The bouncer is a full
Polynesian and former Marine whom I knew since 1951. On the sidewalk
outside the club the sailors hurl insults at Hawaii, not yet a state
and not deserving to be a state according to the sailors. With my
friend and me on the sidewalk are a couple of local Asian males. The
leader asks me (a white guy) what I am doing among them, a common
racial attitude for 1955 - the point of this entry. The leader attacks
my friend violently. Within one minute the sailors are fleeing down the
street racism on the run. (I met a lot of great individual US sailors
aboard ships, and every Marine I knew had the greatest respect for US
Navy Corpsmen (medical guys serving with the Marines).
The Israeli retaliation in Gaza is reported as having killed 37
Egyptians and wounded 29 others. Palestinians stone the
United Nations Gaza office.
Egypt warns Israel that it will meet force with force. In the UN,
Israel complains of "continuous violations" by Egypt.
The UN Security Council urges Egypt and Israel to desist from violence
Secretary of State Dulles indicates that Israel's invasion of the Gaza
strip would delay new United States guarantees of Israel's integrity.
The Israeli Army reports that in an Israeli village, ten miles from the
Egyptian/Gaza armistice line, armed Egyptians threw bombs at wedding
revelers, killing a young woman and wounding eighteen others.
Winston Churchill, 80, steps down and Anthony Eden becomes Britain's
The Salk Polio vaccine is declared safe and effective, and vaccine
shots for polio begin to be given to children.
In Hungary the Communist premier Imre Nagy, an former Stalinist
executioner, has been advocating a "new course" and is ousted from
power by comrades who dislike his moderation.
Albert Einstein dies, at the age of seventy-six, in Princeton, New
The Bandung Conference takes place in Indonesia. It promotes
neutralism, hostility toward colonialism and imperialism. It is
attended by representatives from 29 African and Asian nations. Nasser
of Egypt, Tito of Yugoslavia, Nehru of India and Chou Enlai of China
are among those attending.
West Germany becomes the Federal Republic of Germany, a sovereign state.
West Germany joins NATO.
In Warsaw, the "Warsaw Pact" is formed, a response to what is claimed
to be a threat from NATO and the re-militarization of Germany. Member
states are the Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia,
Hungary, Poland and Romania.
In Vienna, the Soviet Union and other major victors of World War II
sign the Austrian State Treaty. Austria becomes sovereign and
democratic and is to be unaligned.
In accord with Juan Perón's attitude toward the Catholic Church,
Argentina's parliament accepts the separation of church and state.
The US Supreme Court orders that states must end racial segregation
"with all deliberate speed."
Universal studios is filming "The Conqueror" in Snow Canyon State Park
in Utah, an area unknowlingly contaminated by the testing of eleven
nuclear bombs in nearby Yucca Flats, Nevada in 1953. Of the 220 persons
working on the film on location, 46 will be have died from cancer and
91 others will have contracted cancer by the 1980s. "Experts" calculate
that only 30 persons should have gotten cancer from a group that size.
Among the 46 who will die by the early 80s: the stars, John Wayne,
Susan Hayward and Agnes Moorehead, and the director, Dick Powell.
Secretary of State Dulles, at Iowa State College, says "neutrality has
increasingly become an obsolete and, except under very exceptional
circumstances, it is an immoral and shortsighted conception."
The Perón regime has legalized divorce, prostitution and accorded full
civil rights to those born out of wedlock. Police have suppressed
anti-government religious processions. The government has deported two
high-ranking bishops. The Vatican retaliates against the latter by
excommunicating Perón, and, on this day, members of the navy and
airforce revolt against the Perón regime, but the coup fails.
Automobile seat belt legislation is enacted in Illinois.
A United Nations report describes the United States as facing increased
competition in Latin American markets from the Soviet Union and nations
of the Soviet bloc.
Disneyland opens in what was recently a small town and an old German
settlement, Anaheim, California.
At Geneva Switzerland, a "summit" meeting between the leaders of the
Soviet Union, Britain, France and the United States begins - the first
such meeting since Potsdam. Prime Minister Eden of Britain had a lot to
do with creating the meeting.
The summit meeting has been carefully planned and staged, with leaders
flanked by their advisors, reading prepared statements - not the kind
of spontaneous personal exchanges favored by Winston Churchill. The
summit has produced little more than propaganda opportunities for both
sides and ends without accomplishment.
Fidel Castro, after serving two years in prison, has received amnesty
from Batista. Castro is in Mexico and there with other Cuban exiles he
forms his "July 26th Movement."
Algerian revolutionaries (the FLN) have moved from attacking government
and military targets to attacking civilians - 123 including old women
and children. France's governor in Algeria, Jacques Soustelle, a
reformer, is shocked and supports sterner measures against the rebels.
The government claims it has killed 1,273 guerrillas in retaliation.
According to the FLN, French forces, police and colonist (colon) gangs
have killed 12,000 Muslims.
In accordance with its international commitments, the last of Soviet
forces leaves Austria.
Emmett Till, a black teenager from Chicago visiting in Mississippi, is
Greeks riot in Istanbul. Retaliation includes attacks upon Greek
churches, shops, cemeteries and some killing. The Greek community in
Istanbul is destroyed.
Peru gives its women the right to vote.
Argentina's military leaders are unhappy about Perón's sixteen year-old
live-in companion and unhappy about Perón creating a workers' militia.
They want no competing military force. They overthrow Perón and
confiscate the body of Eva Perón to prevent it from being used to rally
the masses. Perón flees to the Embassy of Paraguay and then into exile
and eventually to Spain.
Rocky Marciano knocks out Archie Moore in the 9th round in New York
Egypt buys arms from Czechoslovakia, agreeing to receive financing from
the Soviet Union for building the Aswan dam across the Nile.
China's Communist Party decides to speed moving from private ownership
of farmlands to "agricultural producers' cooperatives."
The Vatican commends the Archbishop of New Orleans for his measures
against racial discrimination practiced by some Roman Catholics in
Mao Zedong is reported to have said that he would be willing to visit
the United States but that he does not expect to be invited.
Ignoring the Geneva agreement of 1954, Ngo Dinh Diem proclaims Vietnam
a republic with himself as president.
The Fifth international Conference on Planned Parenthood has been
meeting in Tokyo. The Communist government in China has send a
representative. The conference asks the United Nations to address the
problems of overpopulation.
Racial segregation in public parks, playgrounds and golf courses is
outlawed by the US Supreme Court.
William F. Buckley Jr. publishes his first issue of the National
Review, a conservative political journal. Buckley is unhappy with
middle-of-the road Republicanism, represented by the Eisenhower
administration. Buckley's first issue proclaims the "middle-of-the-road
politically, intellectually, and morally repugnant."
The United States Interstate Commerce Commission decrees that racial
segregation on trains and buses that cross state lines will end by Jan.
10. This includes public waiting rooms in railway and bus terminals.
In Montgomery, Alabama, a tired seamstress, Rosa Parks, refuses to give
up her bus seat to a white man. She is arrested by police.
Black ministers in Montgomery form the Montgomery Improvement
Association. They choose as their leading spokesperson the young Martin
Luther King Jr., and they start a boycott of Montgomery buses.
Communist (Hukbalahap) guerrillas north of Manila have been diminishing
through the year. They now number around 1,000. The government's
success against the Communists is attributed to its moderation and
reforms in the area where the guerillas have operated, rather than to
For Sudan, a transition period toward independence ends. With the
consent of Britain and Egypt, Sudan becomes sovereign.
Former Communist, Louis Budenz, a leading source for the FBI on
Communism, describes co-existence as a Russian trick. He urges the US
to break relations with the Soviet Union.
In China all individually owned enterprises are transferred to joint
Premier Nikolai Bulganin of the Soviet Union offers technical
assistance, trading arrangements and expanded diplomatic and cultural
relations with Latin American nations.
President Nasser of Egypt vows to reconquer Palestine.
At a Party Congress in China, Zhou En-lai delivers a report on the
"Question of Intellectuals." Open criticism and freedom of thought is
supported for the sake of advancing the Revolution.
The First Secretary of the Soviet Union's Communist Party, Nikita
Khrushchev, says he believes that Eisenhower is sincere in his efforts
to abolish war.
Mao Zedung has announced that socialism on a national scale could be
completed in about three years. A comprehensive twelve-year development
plan for collectivizing agriculture is announced.
Porkkala Peninsula, about 30 kilometers southwest of Helsinki, leased
to the Soviet Union as part of its armistice with Finland, is returned
to Finland ahead of schedule. The Finns find the Russians were sloppy
and abusive in their care of the area.
The US announces suspension of all arms shipments to Israel and Arab
In a six-hour speech to a closed session of the Communist Party's 20th
Congress, Nikita Khrushchev denounces the "crimes" of Stalin against
the Party and denounces the "cult of personality" that developed with
France recognizes the independence of Morocco.
Marx's gravesite monument, established by British Communists, is
unveiled in London.
After four years of guerrilla warfare, Tunisia acquires independence
from France. By agreement, some French troops will remain.
In Alabama, a court of law rules Marin Luther King Jr. guilty. His
crime was organizing a bus boycott. King vows to use "passive resitance
and the weapon of love" in the fight for human rights.
British Communist Party members question their leadership's past
subservience to Stalin.
In the United States, the Communist Party's newspaper, the Daily
Worker, has been seized for non-payment of taxes. From the paper's
office, US Treasury agents remove wastebaskets full of invoices,
receipts, financial ledgers and subscribers' lists.
In China, Communist Party leaders worry over what to say about Stalin,
whom Mao described as the "teacher and friend of mankind" and "the
greatest genius of the present age."
The French decide to send 100,000 more troops to Algeria.
Spain officially relinquishes the "protectorate" in what had been
"their part" of Morocco.
Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier III of Monaco.
Morocco becomes a member of the United Nations.
In the United States the Methodist Church opens full ordained clergy
status to women and calls for an end to segregation within the
Egypt's Nasser withdraws recognition from the government of Chiang
Kai-shek on Taiwan and extends it to the Communist government on the
The US drops a hydrogen bomb on Bikini Atoll - a test.
In the US, the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) issues
a press release stating that the Air Force and U-2 aircraft are helping
it conduct weather research.
Egypt's Nasser says that Egypt "is free to buy arms from any place we
like and in any quantity we like." He is referring to an arms deal he
has signed with communist Czechoslovakia.
The NACA issues a press release with a false explanation about a U-2
aircraft operating overseas.
Peronist revolts in various parts of Argentina are crushed. Twenty-six
revolt leaders are quickly executed.
The Suez Canal
Britain's 74-year occupation of the Suez Canal ends.
President Eisenhower authorizes the phrase "under God" to be added to
the Pledge of Allegiance.
British forces leave the Suez Canal area.
Jun 17 Golda
Meir becomes Israel's foreign minister.
Marilyn Monroe marries playwright Arthur Miller.
Factory Workers protest in Poznan. A crowd of 100,000 gather and are
fired upon. The government crushes the protest with 400 tanks
and about 10,000 soldiers. Official figures list 74 killed.
France raises its tobacco tax 20 percent to support its war in Algeria.
In the wake of Khrushchev's anti-Stalin speech, the Soviet Union forces
the Stalinist Matyas Rákosi to resign from his remaining position of
power - as head of Hungary's Communist Party. He is replaced
by an old friend, Enro Gero.
Annoyance with Nasser leads to a US withdrawal of loan offers to Egypt
for the construction of the Aswan High Dam. Britain is obliged to
Responding to the withdrawal of loans, and to raise money for building
the Aswan High Dam, Nasser announces that Egypt is taking control of
the Suez Canal. The British and French are upset, the French are also
upset because of Nasser's support for Algeria's independence
President Eisenhower signs legislation that authorizes "In God We
Trust" as the national motto.
Francis Gary Powers, flying a U-2 aircraft, has penetrated Soviet air
space. Photography fourteen miles above a parking lot can now capture
the lines marking the parking areas of individual cars.
US Secretary of State Dulles speaks in favor of an international
operation of the Suez Canal and of world opinion isolating Egypt's
Israel has retaliated again against an assault within its borders.
Egypt files a complaint with the United Nations truce supervision
office in Jerusalem, accusing Israelis of killing 13 of its soldiers in
raids into Gaza.
France's foreign minister, Christian Pineau, calls Nasser a dangerous
dictator and says that France will use force against Egypt if necessary
in the Suez dispute. The US president, Eisenhower, warns the British
against the use of force regarding Suez. He states his fear of adverse
reaction by people in the Middle East and North Africa, "and
to some extent all of Africa."
Israel complains to the United Nations about Egypt denying passage of
France's premier, Guy Mollet, repeats a threat to use force if
necessary to impose international control over the Suez Canal. Veteran
canal pilots are quitting and being replaced by Soviet pilots.
President Sukarno is in Moscow and announces a $100 million loan from
the Soviet Union for Indonesia.
In the United Nations, Israel accuses Egypt of having barred use of the
Suez Canal by 103 vessels from at least fourteen countries, including
A Soviet Union veto on the UN Security Council prevents compromise
resolution of the Suez conflict.
In Budapest, university students form an independent organization. They
favor a return to power by Imry Nagy, a Communist, because he
represents independence from Moscow. They want Soviet troops out of
Hungary, free multi-party elections, and disbanding of the secret
police: the AVO.
In Budapest, students rally to celebrate the Communist regime in Poland
releasing the Communist politician Wladyslaw Gomulka from prison.
Hungarian soldiers on duty join the students, and the crowd moves to
the parliament building, picking up people along the way and numbering
about 100,000. Security police (the AVO) fire on the crowd. The
Hungarian Revolution begins.
Soviet tanks and troops invade Hungary.
Israel warns the UN Security Council today that it will not "sit back
and suffer the consequences of a unilateral Arab belligerency."
Israel invades the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula.
In Hungary, Soviet troops have been inactive. Revolt has spread through
the country. Imry Nagy is the new Prime Minister and has formed a
government. He announces the end of one-party politics. Cardinal
Mindszenty has been released from prison. Soviet troops leave Budapest
for outlying areas.
Britain and France begin bombing Egypt. An Egyptian warship surrenders
to the Israeli navy after having shelled the port of Haifa.
The Nagy regime withdraws from the Warsaw Pact.
Israel's ambassador to Britain states that Israel will not withdraw
from Egypt until it is guaranteed freedom from further attacks by Egypt.
In the United States a presidential election campaign is winding down.
Vice President Nixon hails the Eisenhower administration's break with
Anglo-French policies as a "declaration of independence that has had an
electrifying effect throughout the world."
More Soviet troops invade Hungary. Thousands are wounded. People start
fleeing from Hungary into Austria and Yugoslavia. Radio broadcasts from
Hungary call for help. The Russians take Nagy and his cabinet prisoner
and arrest numerous others.
Israeli troops reach the Suez Canal.
British and French paratroops land in the Suez Canal Zone. Israeli
troops capture Sharm-el-Sheikh and reopen the Gulf of Aqaba.
The Soviet Union announces that it is prepared to use force to "crush
the aggressors and restore peace" to the Middle East.
The UN General Assembly calls on Britain, France and Israel to withdraw
immediately from Arab lands.
Eisenhower is elected for a second four-year term.
Israel agrees to leave Egypt when UN forces arrive to positions in the
Raids against Israel are made from Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.
Egypt agrees with the UN Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjold,
concerning the stationing of an international police force on Egyptian
Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 80 other armed men, depart from Tuxpan
Mexico abroad the "Granma" heading for Cuba. Fifty others are left
behind because there was no space for them on the boat.
British Colonial Secretary Lennox-Boyd announces in the House of
Commons that the military operations against the Mau Mau terrorists in
Kenya are over.
Nov 23 A
proclamation is read aloud in mosques throughout Egypt declaring that
"all Jews are enemies of the state." Jews are being expelled from Egypt
and their property confiscated.
The "Granma" runs aground in a swamp at the foot of the Sierra Maestras
in eastern Cuba. An airplane has spotted the rebels and Batista's army
is waiting. Only a few of the rebels make it into the Sierra Maestras -
among them are Fidel Castro, his brother Raul and Che Guevara.
Britain and France begin to withdraw their troops from Egypt.
In South Africa, Nelson Mandela and 150 others arrested and charged
Rose Heilbron becomes Britain's first female judge.
Japan becomes a member of the United Nations.
Explaining the US government's position regarding the Hungarian
uprising, Secretary of State Dulles says that "...we have no desire to
surround the Soviet Union with a band of hostile states." He speaks in
favor of "an evolution - a peaceful evolution - of the satellite states
toward genuine independence."
Britain and France complete their withdrawal from Egypt.
Bolivia has been suffering from inflation. The US is concerned about
radicalism in Latin America. US financial aid to Bolivia is
greater than any other country relative to the size of that country's
population. The US
is subsidizing 30 percent of the Bolivian government's
In the wake of the Suez crisis, President Eisenhower asks Congress to
create economic aid and military assistance to prevent Soviet expansion
into the Middle East - the Eisenhower Doctrine.
Stress during the Suez crisis breaks Anthony Eden's health. He resigns
as Prime Minister and is replaced by Harold Macmillan.
Responding to what is considered the decline of France and Britain in
world affairs, Eisenhower proclaims his administration's commitment to
the defense of the entire free world.
In Montgomery Alabama, six African-American churches and the home of
two ministers are bombed.
Humphrey Bogart, actor and heavy smoker, dies at the age of 57 from
cancer of the esophagus.
French colons in Algeria want a more energetic commander in the fight
against the Algerian independence movement. They attempt to assassinate
General Salan, using a bazooka, killing instead a colonel.
Jan 19 The
United Nations is urging Israel to withdraw its troops from Egypt's
Premier David Ben-Gurion of Israel withdraws his nation's troops from
Egypt's Sinai territory.
In the US, King Saud and Eisenhower agree to a five-year renewal of the
US lease of the airbase at Dhahran in Saudi Arabia. King Saud supports
the Eisenhower Doctrine.
US Communists are chided by a leader of the French Communist Party,
Jacques Duclos, for "dangerous" tendencies. Duclos has urged solidarity
with Soviet foreign policy. The US Communist Party asserts its
independence from the Soviet Communist Party.
In New Orleans, the Southern Leadership Conference is created, with
Martin Luther King Jr. elected as president.
Ghana becomes the first African country to gain independence from
Britain. The Duchess of Kent opens an Independence Monument where, in
1948, members of the Ghanaian ex-servicemen's union were shot while
marching to present a petition to the British Governor.
Mar 20 The
French newspaper L'Express reveals that the French army has tortured
Vice President Nixon returns from a 22-day tour of Africa. He reports
that Africa is an area of conflict "between the forces of freedom and
Economic cooperation, in the form of the European Commission for Steel
and Coal, develops into the European Economic Community and the
European Atomic Energy Community - steps away from the narrow
nationalism that had divided Europe and toward the creation of the
Israel has given the Gaza Strip back to Egypt.
Egypt opens the Suez Canal for all shipping.
A copy of Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl, printed in England, is seized by
US customs on the grounds that it is obscene.
Senator Joe McCarthy dies of acute hepatitis.
Chuck Berry is playing music that white teenagers enjoy and he has
risen to the top of the Rhythm & Blues chart.
Algerian rebels kill 336 they deem as collaborators.
The French believe that Algerian rebels are entering Algeria across the
border with Tunisia. Premier Bourguiba of Tunisia states that French
troops should not cross into his country without permission from his
Interviewed on "Face the Nation," Nikita Khrushchev says: "I can
prophecy that your grandchildren in America will live under socialism.
And please do not be afraid of that. Your grandchildren will ... not
understand how their grandparents did not understand the progressive
nature of a Socialist society."
The US Supreme Court rules the Smith Act unconstitutional. US
Communists are being freed from accusations of crime.
In the Soviet Union's Presidium (formerly the Politburo) Malenkov,
Molotov & Kaganovich organize a vote to dismiss Nikita
Hurricane Audrey demolishes Cameron, Louisiana, and kills 400 people.
Investments by the French in oil in Algeria's Sahara region are based
on a calculation that Algeria will not win independence.
Khrushchev wins against Molotov, Malenkov, Kaganovich and Voroshilov.
They are denounced as "Anti-Party." Molotov is banished as
ambassador to Mongolia. Malenkov becomes the manager of a hydroelectric
plant in Kazakhstan. Kaganovich is made director of a small potassium
plant in the Urals. Voroshilov switches to supporting Khrushchev. It's
a change from what happened to such losers in the Stalin era.
Eisenhower declares that he cannot imagine any set of circumstances
that would induce him to send federal troops to the South.
French Polynesia becomes an overseas territory of France. The islanders
become French citizens.
Habib Bourguiba is elected President of Tunisia. He abolishes
the constitutional monarchy, a 250-year dynasty, turning Tunisia into a
In his first interview as president, Bourguiba announces that his
government will be Western in sympathy and policy. Bourguiba is going
to oppose Islamic fundamentalism, and he will promote secularism and
women's rights. He intentds to prohibit polygamy, legalize divorce and
to raise the age at which girls can marry to seventeen.
William F. Buckley's magazine, National Review , editorializes: "The
central question that emerges … is whether the White community in the
South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail,
politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not prevail
numerically? The sobering answer is Yes - the White community is so
entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race." The
editorial adds that "The South confronts one grave moral challenge. It
must not exploit the fact of Negro backwardness to preserve the Negro
as a servile class."
Governor Orville Faubus of Arkansas calls out the National Guard to
prevent black students from enrolling at Little Rock's Central High
Secretary of State Dulles predicts that in a few years the Western
powers may be able to defend themselves with tactical nuclear weapons
in the event of a non-nuclear attack by the Soviet Union.
A federal court orders Governor Faubus to remove the National Guard.
Nine black students enter Little Rock High School under police
protection but are removed in fear of mob violence.
President Eisenhower federalizes the Arkansas Nation Guard and sends
1,000 from 101 Airborne Division to Little Rock "to prevent
anarchy." Senator Barry Goldwater, establishing himself as a
conservatives, opposes Eisenhower's move - although he is not a
The Soviet Union launches the world's first orbiting satellite, Sputnik.
Ayn Rand's heaviest book of fiction, Atlas Shrugged, her philosophical
magnus opus, is published.
Since the month of March, the French in the city of Algiers have been
conducting a counter-insurgency campaign, led by General Jacques Massu.
They have weakened the independence organization in Algiers, the FLN,
and re-established French authority. They have used torture, but
intelligence gathered from the torture has contributed little to their
success. Their success has been the result of accurate intelligence
obtained through informants and the application of overwhelming
military force. Torture has been turning more people against the French
and in favor of the temporarily weakened FLN.
Malaya becomes independent within the Commonwealth. A war being won
there against Communist guerrillas continues.
In the southern half of Vietnam, where Ngo Dien Diem is defending his
rule, peasants are being put into communities surrounded by barbed
wire. Communists and other supporters of Ho Chi Minh in the South are
under attack. Ho Chi Minh's supporters have been annoyed at the
slowness of the North to act. The North starts organizing new fighting
units in the South - the Vietcong.
Nov 3 The
Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2, which has a dog named Laika aboard.
The Gaither Report, authored by Paul Nitze and others, is given to
President Eisenhower. The report calls for having Strategic Air Command
(SAC) bombers in the air at all times, putting long range missiles in
underground silos and developing a massive shelter program to protect
civilians in case of a nuclear war.
Eisenhower has a stroke. From now on his speech will by slightly
In Indonesia a group of Muslims hurl grenades at President Sukarno
while he is leaving a school. Ten are killed and 48 children injured.
The United States tries to launch its first satellite. It blows up on
the launch pad.
In Stockholm, Albert Camus
<http://www.fsmitha.com/h2/phil2-camus.htm> wins the
Noble Prize for literature.
In Caracas, Venezuela, a revolt against the Jimenez dictatorship is
Military officers and others suspected of having been "enemies of
peace" during the recent revolt in Venezuela have been imprisoned.
Five Roman Catholic priests are among those held by the police.
Relations between the Church and the Jimenez regime are strained.
A petition to take action immediately against nuclear testing, signed
by 9,235 scientists in 43 countries, is accepted by the UN Secretary
General, Dag Hammarskjold.
For three days students have been demonstrating against the Jimenez
regime and the national security police have fired into a demonstration
wounding two teen-age boys.
A scheduled general strike paralyzes Venezuela.
Military men take power in cooperation with civilians and a promise of
return to democracy. Perez Jimenez and friends flee in an airplane to
Scientists have put two atoms together to form one heavier atom - the
first man made nuclear fusion.
Syria and Egypt combine into the United Arab Republic. The Saud family
fears Nasser, who had taken part in deposing a king and was friendly
with the Soviet Union.
In the United States, Ruth Carol Taylor is the first black hired as a
King Hussein in Jordan is afraid of Nasser and the United Arab
Republic. Jordan joins in federation with King Hussein's cousin in
Iraq, King Faisal II.
A rocket explodes on a launching pad at Cape Canaveral.
Ramfis Trujillo, adopted son of the Dominican dictator, is a student
attending the US Army war college at Ft. Levenworth Texas. He is in
California with yacht, crew and on-board soldiers, partying and
spending thousands of dollars on Hollywood's Kim Novak and Zsa Zsa
Gabor. Congressmen are upset and complain about US aid money to the
Dominican Republic being squandered. There is talk of a Congressional
This month at the
observatory atop Hawaii's Mauna Loa, the scientist Charles David
Keeling starts regular measurements of levels of carbon dioxide CO2 in
the atmosphere. The measurements will extend to different points around
the globe and will be continual in the 21st century.
King Saud has been spending too much money. Inflation is rampant. His
brother Faisal acquires executive powers in foreign and internal
The US Army launches Explorer III.
Nikita Khrushchev becomes leader of the Soviet government (premier) in
addition to First Secretary of the Soviet Union's Communist Party.
The Soviet Union declares a halt on all atomic tests and asks other
nations to do the same.
In France the use of torture in Algeria and military conscription have
made the war in Algeria unpopular. For three weeks France's parliament
has been unable to form a government. President René Coty appeals to a
centrist, Pierre Pfimlin, to form a government, and Pfimlin announces
his intention of negotiate an end to the war in Algeria.
Vice President Nixon, with his wife Pat, are on an eight-nation tour in
Latin America. In Lima, Peru, he is shoved, booed and spat upon by
anti-American protesters. In the New York Times the hostility is
described as "Communist inspired."
In Caracas, Nixon's limousine is battered by rocks. Nixon is learning
the extent to which dictators and US friendship with them are unpopular
in Latin America.
In Algiers, European settlers riot against the possibility of a
negotiated settlement. They seize government buildings and form an ad
hoc government they call the Committee of Public Safety. They are
supported by the French general in command in Algiers, Jacques Massu.
President Dwight Eisenhower has ordered forces to US Caribbean bases.
15 The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 3, the
first space laboratory.
In eastern Indonesia, Sukarno is fighting rebellious military officers
backed by Secretary of State Dulles and his brother Allen, head of the
CIA. An aircraft crewed by Americans and piloted by Alan Pope, from a
US airbase in the Philippines, is shot down near Ambon.
France's parliament has passed a bill granting emergency powers to the
Interior Ministry. General Massu is threatening to assault Paris with
his parachutist troops. He has proclaimed support for the nationalist
hero in retirement, Charles de Gaulle. De Gaulle announces that he is
ready to "take on the powers of the Republic" but that he is not about
to start a new career as a dictator.
Mao Zedong announces his second five-year plan, called the "Great Leap
Forward," a plan for developing agriculture and industry.
In Cuba, the dictator Batista sends a force of 10,000 against Fidel
Castro's rebellion - without helicopter gunships. Helicopter gunships
are not yet being produced.
General Massu extends his rebellion. His paratroopers seize Corsica. De
Gaulle refuses to condemn the invasion.
In southeastern Tunisia, French airplanes bomb and strafe Tunisians
fighting incursions by French troops. Meanwhile, France's government
imposes press censorship in response to Massu's rebellion in Corsica.
President Bourguiba of Tunisia says he has requested direct US and
British intervention regarding Tunisia. Morocco insists that French
troops withdraw from the eastern part of the country bordering Algeria.
In France there is widespread support for de Gaulle rescuing France
from political chaos. President Coty calls on de Gaulle to accept the
position of premier (prime minister).
De Gaulle becomes premier and, in keeping with his demands, parliament
gives him emergency powers for six months, during which a new
constitution is to be created.
De Gaulle goes to Algiers. He says that Algeria will always be French.
An earthquake in Alaska triggers the largest tsunami on record. The
wave washes 500 meters up a mountain.
Greek Cypriots, led by Archbishop Makarios, have been urging
independence from Britain. Turkish Cypriots are demanding Cyprus be
partitioned between the Greek and Turkish populations. Makarios meets
with Nasser, who supports him.
In Hungary, Imre Nagy is hanged.
In Japan, tradition is broken by Prince Akito choosing his own bride.
In Lebanon, gerrymandering, alleged electoral fraud and the dismissal
of pro-Arab ministers have angered Muslims. They rebel against the
government of President Camille Chamoun - a Marionite Christian.
Muslims have been urging union with Nasser's United Arab Republic.
In Iraq, a military coup by General Abdel Karim al-Kassem (Qassim) is
followed by Iraq's royal family being ordered into their courtyard and
to face the wall. Soldiers then slaughter them with rifle fire.
US and British officials contend that the United Arab Republic is
intervening in Lebanon. President Eisenhower orders 5,000 US Marines to
Lebanon at the request of Lebanon's president, Chamoun.
The United Arab Republic describes the US landing as "another Suez" and
claims that it will cause the US to lose friends in "all of the Middle
King Hussein of Jordan breaks diplomatic relations with the United Arab
Republic. The Federation of Iraq and Jordan is in effect ended.
Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments develops an idea for an integrated
circuit on a piece of silicon.
27 Eisenhower signs the Alaska Statehood Act.
Lebanon's parliament elects General Fuad Chehab (Shihab) to succeed
President Chamoun. Although a Christian, Chehab is popular with many
Muslims, and there is hope for reconciliation between Christians and
In wake of the now failed rebellion that the Dulles brothers were
backing in Indonesia, the US gives $20 million in assistance to
Indonesia's military establishment, seeing it as the only
anti-Communist force in that country.
An atomic powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, crosses the North Pole
Nasser meets King Saud to end their six-month feud.
Quemoi and Ma-tsu (Mazu) islands, next to China's mainland, are being
used by Chiang Kai-shek as a jumping off point for harassing mainland
China. The area is claimed by Beijing. Chiang's presence there is
protected by the United States. Chiang's airplanes have been clashing
with Beijing's Mig aircraft. Mainland artillery bombards Chiang's
forces on Quemoi and Matsu.
The shelling of Quemoi and Ma-tsu continues. China's newspapers accuse
US airplanes and warships of "provocations" along their country's
coastline. Chinese leaders resent the failure of the Soviet Union to
support China during this crisis.
At carnival in West London, police try to arrest a black pickpocket.
Black youths attack the police and white youths attack blacks - the
Notting Hill Race Riot.
Sherman Adams, assistant to President Eisenhower, resigns amid charges
of improperly using his influence to help an industrialist.
De Gaulle has been in office four months. A referendum for the new
constitution obtains 79.2 percent approval.
The former French colony of Guinea in West Africa proclaims its
independence from France.
The first trans-Atlantic passenger jetliner service begins, from London
to New York.
France's new constitution establishes an end to its Fourth Republic and
the beginning of the Fifth Republic.
Pope Pius XII dies.
A moon probe rocket, Pioneer 1, is launched. It falls back short of the
moon and burns up in the atmosphere.
Lebanon's president has created a "Salvation Cabinet" composed of
leaders of the principal warring groups. US troops withdraw.
John XXIII is elected Pope.
Boris Pasternak, author of Dr. Zhivago, refuses the Nobel prize for
John F. Kennedy and Barry Goldwater are re-elected to the Senate.
During his campaign, Goldwater distanced himself from Eisenhower by
calling Eisenhower's plans for health care for the aged ''socialized
medicine,'' and he described the Eisenhower administration as a
''dime-store New Deal." The Democrats increase their majorities in the
House and Senate.
In Indianapolis, Indiana, the John Birch Society is founded by twelve
"patriotic and public spirited" men led by a retired candy
manufacturer, Robert Welch, Jr. Welch sees collectivism as
the main threat to Western Civilization, and liberals he sees as
"secret communist traitors."
Charles de Gaulle is elected to a seven-year term as the first
president of the Fifth Republic of France.
Batista flees as rebels under Fidel Castro advance toward Havana.
China now has 26,000 communes, in which 98 percent of its rural
With news that Batista had fled, celebrations in Cuba start in the
morning and gather momentum. People surge toward downtown Havana. They
carry flags and sing their national anthem. Car caravans bedecked with
flags, with the horns blowing, inch through the marchers. In the
afternoon, crowds begin destroying things in casinos - considered play
things of the rich.
3 Alaska becomes the 49th US state.
Fidel Castro flows into Havana greeted by jubilant crowds. The
Eisenhower administration recognizes Castro's new government.
The Castro regime executes former members of Batista's regime charged
with war crimes.
Havana's gambling industry receives word that it will be allowed to
continue, but with tight strings attached.
Responding to criticism from outside Cuba, in Havana's Central Park,
Castro asks for a show of support for the executions of Batista's
"henchmen." The crowd responds with enthusiastic applause that lasts
In the United States, the first transcontinental jet service opens -
from Los Angeles to New York, with Boeing 707s.
Castro starts the distribution of land in the Sierra Maestra that he
promised during his time there.
Voters in Switzerland turn down female suffrage.
Castro becomes Prime Minister.
In Paraguay police battle students inspired by Castro's victory against
dictatorship. And worshippers find on their church benches leaflets
with a "Prayer for the Tortured."
Women in Nepal vote for the first time.
- This month,
Ho Chi Minh declares a "people's war" to unite all of Vietnam,
including a rising in the southern half of Vietnam, to complete what
was sought in the war against the French and denied by those who
ignored the peace agreement made with the French in 1954.
The Cuban government nationalizes the telephone industry - an affiliate
of the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation.
China considers Tibet a part of China. In Lhasa, its military orders
the Dalai Lama, age 24, to report to their military camp.
Tibetan Buddhists are offended. They believe the Dalai Lama to be one
of numerous incarnations of Avolokitesvara, the Lord Who Looks Down. An
estimated 5,000 Tibetan women march through the streets with banners
reading "Tibet for Tibetans." At the Indian Consulate-General they
present an appeal.
Mar 17 The
Chinese fire two mortar shells at the Dalai Lama's palace. Six hours
later, in the darkness of night, the Dalai Lama leaves his palace
wearing a soldier's uniform, with a gun over his shoulder, and begins
his trek out of Tibet.
Crowds take to the streets and violence erupts in Lhasa.
Castro's regime has been allowing some of Batista's functionaries to go
into exile, but the number of those executed for war crimes reaches
483. The revolution's newspaper, Revolutcion, in a front page
editorial, calls for an end to the executions.
The Dalai Lama enters India.
Prime Minister Nehru of India announces that his government has granted
asylum to the Dalai Lama.
In Cuba a military court sentences Heriberto Bertematy Rodriquez to
death by firing squad for trafficking in narcotics - the sale of
US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles has cancer. He resigns while
on this day Fidel Castro arrives for a goodwill tour, invited by
American Society of Newspaper Editors.
Eisenhower does not want to meet Castro and goes golfing. Castro meets
with the new Secretary of State, Christian A. Herter.
During their meeting, Nixon asks Castro about communism. Later Nixon
complains that Castro is "either incredibly naive about communism or
under communist discipline." His guess, he says, is the former.
Iceland gunboats shoot at British fishing boats.
Back in Cuba, Castro signs the Agrarian Reform Act, which expropriates
farm lands larger than 1,000 acres and bans land ownership by
foreigners. Two hundred thousand peasants receive titles to land.
British Empire Day becomes Commonwealth Day.
John Foster Dulles dies.
In the US, the Attorney General's List of Subversive Organizations,
begun in 1947, is expanded. The list now includes the Abraham Lincoln
Brigade, Alabama People's Educational Association, American Committee
for European Worker's Relief, American Committee for protection of
Foreign Born, American Committee for the Settlement of Jews in
Birobidzhan, Committee to Defend the Rights and Freedom of Pittsburgh's
Political Prisoners, Committee for the Negro in the Arts, Committee for
World Youth Friendship and Cultural Exchange, Committee to Defend Marie
Richardson, Committee to Uphold the Bill of Rights, Michigan Council
for Peace, and others. (See Wikipedia)
Singapore, heretofore ruled by Britain, becomes a self-governing state
within the Commonwealth of Nations.
Jun 16 The
evangelist Billy Graham is in Moscow, but not to preach. He finds
"moral purity" among the people of Moscow as well as a "great spiritual
hunger" for God.
China abolishes serfdom in Tibet, removing 90 percent of the population
from the authority of the 5 percent who owned Tibet's farmland,
pastures, forests, mountains and rivers as well as most livestock.
Khrushchev has recently abrogated the treaty with China by which the
Soviet Union was to provide China with military technology. Today he
publicly denounces China's communes, attributing their creation to
people "who do not properly understand what communism is or how it is
to be built."
In a conference with colleagues, Mao Zedong describes his backyard
steel-making campaign as a "catastrophe." Meanwhile peasants are
abandoning commune mess halls and devoting more time to private family
In Moscow, Vice President Nixon boasts of advanced comforts available
to US citizens - the famous kitchen debate. Khrushchev is annoyed. He
proposes a toast "to the elimination of all military bases on foreign
lands." Nixon says, "I am for peace. We will drink to talking - as long
as we are talking we are not fighting."
Singer Billie Holliday dies of liver failure at age 44.
Vice President Nixon speaks on Soviet television. He criticizes
communism and warns against any attempt to spread Communist ideology
beyond the borders of the Soviet Union.
China is having border disputes with India. The Chinese claim Askai
Chin, a convenient location for a road. Also, approximately 200 Chinese
troops intrude into disputed territory east of Bhutan.
Hawaii becomes the 50th US state.
East of Bhutan, Chinese troops capture an Indian outpost and ten Indian
Cardinal Spellman sees danger in Khrushchev's visit to the United
States. He calls on the Roman Catholics in his New York Archdiocese to
participate in an hour of prayer "for our beloved country."
Congress passes a bill authorizing food stamps - free food for the poor.
Congress passes the Landrum-Griffin Act, which bars convicted felons
and members of the Communist Party from holding an office in a labor
Khrushchev begins a 13-day visit in the United States. He and his wife
are met coming off the Soviet airplane by President Eisenhower.
Khrushchev says that he has arrived "with open heart and good
intentions. The Soviet people want to live in friendship with the
American people." Elsewhere, out-of- sight, are demonstrators
with signs that describe Khrushchev as the "butcher of Budapest."
Peng Duhuai, who has called the Great Leap Forward a disaster, has been
described as "anti-party" and is replaced as Defense Minister by Lin
Khrushchev is delighted by applause from people in San Francisco. He
breaks away from security to shake hands.
Students at Iowa State College cheer Khrushchev. Senator Hubert H.
Humphrey says that the United States must not be lulled by Khrushchev's
visit into accepting a "live and let live" agreement with the
Khrushchev begins his visit to Camp David for relaxed talks with
Eisenhower. Khrushchev enjoys chatting with Eisenhower's grandchildren.
The "Spirit of Camp David" is born. A Paris summit meeting is planned.
Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter, Indira Gandhi,
president of the ruling Congress party, criticize India's Communists
for resorting to violence.
Relations are strained between Nasser's Egypt and China, the Egypt
Foreign Ministry officials accusing the Chinese of deliberately
delaying cables they have sent to their embassy in Beijing.
In Baghdad, a group of Baath party gunmen try to assassinate but only
wound Iraq's ruler, General Abd al-Karim Qasim (Kassem). One of the
gunmen, 22-year-old Saddam Hussein, is forced into hiding.
Pan American Airways begins offering regular jet-powered commercial
flights around the world.
Chiang Kai-shek predicts an uprising that will produce victory for him
in China in 1960.
People hostile to Castro drop leaflets on Havana from a small airplane.
They are accused also of dropping bombs. Two Cubans are said to have
been killed and 45 wounded.
India announces that Chinese troops have attacked an Indian force in
Twelve countries, including the United States and the Soviet Union,
sign a treaty that makes Antarctica a scientific preserve and bans
military activity - the first arms control agreement since the
beginning of the Cold War.
Eisenhower visits India and addresses India's parliaments, saying "We
who are free, and who prize our freedom above all other gifts of God
and nature, must know each other better; trust each other more; support
Archbishop Makarios is overwhelmingly elected president of what will
soon be an independent Cyprus. There are fireworks and horn-honking.
The vice-president elect is Dr. Kutchuk, a Turkish Cypriot, who is
delighted and speaks of Makarios deserving his success.
French Cameroon becomes the independent Cameroon Republic.
In the United States, African- Americans have been hearing a lot of
talk about political change for black Africans, and they have been
hearing Cold War talk about freedom in the United States, and they are
wondering about their freedom.
The government of France seizes copies of four newspapers because of
reports on conditions in prison camps in Algeria.
President de Gaulle is supporting autonomy for Algeria. He
has dismissed the military commander in Algeria, Jacques Massu. More
than 2,500 defiant European settlers build barricades in the heart of
In the wake of scandal in the United States, the National Association
of Broadcasters threatens to fine anyone who accepts money for playing
on the radio any particular music recording.
In Paris most people have contempt for those who have been
demonstrating for continued colonialism in Algeria.
Four well dressed young black men sit-in at a segregated lunch counter
at the Woolworth Department Store in Greensboro, North Carolina. They
are refused service.
Regarding resistance to President de Gaulle's policy regarding Algeria,
France's National Assembly gives de Gaulle power to rule by decree. The
vote is 441 to 75.
The sit-in at Woolworth's has been growing and has spread to the nearby
Kress department store. With more than a thousand blacks seeking
service, news people and observers, downtown Greensboro comes to a
The Soviet Union agrees to buy 5 million tons of Cuba's sugar
in the coming five-years and to supply Cuba with crude oil, petroleum
products, wheat, iron, fertilizers and machinery, and it gives Cuba
$100 million in credit at 2.5 percent interest.
Twelve Indian soldiers die in border clashes with Chinese.
General Alfredo Stroessner, the ruler in Paraguay, seeks cash
assistance from the United States. The US has been supplying
the Stroessner regime with military equipment and training in
counterintelligence and counterinsurgency.
The Soviet Union agrees to give Indonesia an additional $250,000,000
Having been denied aid by the United States and in a border dispute
with Pakistan, Prime Minister Daud has been seeking help from the
Soviet Union. Premier Khrushchev of the Soviet Union is welcomed to
Kabul in Afghanistan to inspect Soviet aid projects and confer with
A French ship carrying 76 tons of munitions from Belgium explodes in
Havana harbor, killing dozens of workers and soldiers. Castro accuses
the CIA of sabotage. The US denies the charge.
The Eisenhower administration announces that 3,500 US soldiers will be
sent to Vietnam to support the Diem regime.
In the Canton of Geneva in Switzerland, women acquire the right to vote.
President Eisenhower approves a CIA plan to overthrow Castro, a plan
his administration has initiated. The plan involves a budget of $13
million to train and equip "a paramilitary force" to invade Cuba.
In Sharpsville, South Africa, police open fire on unarmed blacks
demonstrating against pass laws - which regulate movement within the
country. Many are shot in the back. Sixty-nine die and 180 will be
reported as wounded.
The United States launches a weather satellite, Tiros-1.
After much wrangling over scripture, the Church of Sweden (Lutheran)
ordains three women theologians as priests.
The Dalai Lama appeals to Asian and African countries to help "rescue"
his "poor and unfortunate people."
The US military launches a navigation satellite, Transat l-b.
South Korea's Christian President Syngman Rhee, in a predominately
Buddhist nation, is disliked for his authoritarianism. After twelve
years of rule, a student-led movement forces him to resign.
A DC-4 belonging to the CIA, operated Civil Air Transport, saves Rhee
from death by lynching.
In the southern half of Vietnam, eighteen well-known Vietnamese ask Ngo
Dinh Diem to permit them to function as an opposition political group.
In Paraguay, the Stroessner regime announces that an invasion by armed
rebels had been "completely smashed."
Eisenhower has wanted proof that the US was ahead of the Soviet Union
militarily, for restraint on spending for weaponry. A U-2 aircraft, on
a mission to photograph missile sites in and around Sverdlovsk and
Plesetsk in the Soviet Union, is shot down by a Soviet rocket, and the
pilot, Gary Powers, is captured.
News of the downed aircraft in the Soviet Union is published in the
United States. The Eisenhower administration claims that the plane was
a weather craft.
May 7 The
Eisenhower administration claims that one of its planes equipped for
intelligence had "probably" flown over Soviet territory.
Embarrassment, concern and dismay are common reactions in Western
Europe to the shooting down of a United States information-gathering
plane in the Soviet Union.
May 8 Cuba
and the Soviet Union establish formal diplomatic relations.
May 11 The
funding that Margaret Sanger, now 80, needed to create her birth
control pill had been provided back in 1953 by a friend, the wealthy
widow Katherine McCormick. Today, the US government agency, the FDA,
approves a pregnancy prevention pill. The Catholic Church and a few in
the US Congress disapprove.
Because of US flights over Russia, Khrushchev's leadership is being
questioned inside the Soviet Union. He arrives in Paris for the "Big
Four" summit meeting and is being chaperoned by his defense minister,
Marshal Malinovksy. Khrushchev is later to say that from the time that
the U-2 was shot down he "was never in full control. "
President Eisenhower arrives in Paris and is greeted warmly. He urges
an end to "bickering."
Khrushchev demands an apology from Eisenhower for the U-2 intrusion
into the Soviet Union. The apology is not forthcoming and the summit
talks collapse. Khrushchev cancels the Soviet Union's invitation to
Eisenhower to visit the Soviet Union.
In Paraguay, police beatings and arrests of students disrupt the
celebration of the 150th anniversary of independence.
Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion of Israel announces that Germany's
wartime official responsible for transporting Jews, Adolf Eichmann, has
been taken from Argentina and is in an Israeli prison.
In Turkey the military overthrows the government of Prime Minister
Adnan Menderes, who had been growing oppressive and was seen as
threatening the tradition established by Ataturk.
US oil companies in Cuba refuse to refine Soviet oil.
Eisenhower's press secretary, James Haggerty, is rescued from irate
students at Tokyo's Haneda airport. A scheduled visit to Japan by
Eisenhower is cancelled.
At Japan's most prestigious university, Tokyo University, 580,000
students demonstrate against the Security Treaty between Japan and the
United States. The treaty does not allow Japan control over how the US
military bases are to be used. Japan's police arrest 182
students. 589 are injured. One student is killed.
In South Vietnam, guerrillas kill one of Diem's provincial governors.
The Mali Federation, which includes Senegal, gains independence within
the French Community.
In Algeria, the National Liberation Front agrees to peace talks in
Paris - while the fighting goes on.
British Somaliland acquires independence.
Khrushchev and China's Peng Zhen clash at a Party Congress in Romania.
Khrushchev calls Mao Zedong a nationalist, an adventurist and a
deviationist. The Chinese call Khrushchev a revisionist.
An independent Republic of the Congo, centered at Leopoldville, emerges
from Belgian colonialism. Joseph Kasa-Vubu is President. Patrice
Lumumba is Prime Minister. Lumumba annoys the Belgians with a
scathing description of their history in the Congo.
Newly independent Somaliland unites with the Italian Somaliland,
creating the Somali Republic.
A Soviet MIG aircraft shoots down a six-man US RB-47 reconnaissance
aircraft over Soviet Union waters in the Barents Sea north of Murmansk.
Two US Air Force officers survive and are imprisoned in Moscow's
Cuba nationalizes oil refineries owned by US companies after they
refuse to process Soviet oil.
Eisenhower cancels the allowance of 700,000 tons of sugar imports from
Cubu that remain for 1960.
The Soviet Union announces that it will purchase the 700,000 tons of
Khrushchev threatens to use rockets to protect Cuba from US aggression.
The Belgian mining company, Union Miniere, and its investment partner,
Societe Generale, have been concerned about the Congo's prime minister,
Lumumba. With their help and 6,000 Belgian troops, Moise Tshombe,
businessman and politician, declares his province independent - Katanga
province, rich in cobalt, copper, tin, radium, uranium and diamonds.
Belgium's government announces that it suspects that the turmoil in its
former colony, the Congo, is the result of a Communist plot.
Jane Goodall, with her mother, is on her way to Gombe Stream National
Park. Later this year she will discover champanzees using tools,
challenging the belief that only humans used tools.
July 15 The
United Nations begins a mission in the Congo, following a request for
help from Lumumba's government. Its purpose: to prevent foreign
intervention and preserve the Congo's territory. The mission begins
with 10,000 troops and is to last four years.
The Congo government appeals to the Soviet Union or any other country
of the African-Asian bloc to send troops to the Congo if the United
Nations Security Council fails to take effective action in expelling
Iran recognizes Israel.
Ceylon has the world's first female head of government, Prime Minister
Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the widow of the previous prime minister,
Solomon Bandaranaike, who was assassinated by a Buddhist monk.
The Arab League is unhappy with Iran. Nasser shuts down his embassy in
Lumumba asks the US for men and money with which to keep alive his
The United States promises aid for the Congo but declares that it will
not help Lumumba keep Katanga Province from seceding.
Britain's twelve-year war against Communist guerrillas in Malaya is
declared over, defeated by a Commonwealth force of 35,000. The revolt's
leader, Chin Peng, a Malayan Chinese, is in exile in Thailand with
remnants of his army.
The four blacks refused service at the Woolworth Department Store
return and are served.
Jungle combat in eastern Paraguay has resulted in dead bodies floating
down the Parana River.
The Republic of Upper Volta leaves the French-African Community,
declaring itself fully independent, with the new name of Burkina Faso.
Singapore leaves the Commonwealth of Nations, becoming fully
Chad acquires independence from France.
The Central African Republic acquires independence from France.
Parliamentary government begins in South Korea.
The Congo whose capital is Brazzaville (not to be confused with the
Congo that acquired independence from Belgium) acquires independence
from France. Its formal title will be Republic of the Congo and will
also be known as Little Congo.
Cyprus acquires independence from Britain, except for the British
retaining authority over two military bases.
Gabon acquires independence from France.
Senator John F. Kennedy, the Democratic Party's candidate for
President, describes Vice President Nixon's foreign policy leadership
as "weakness, retreat and defeat."
President Kasa-Vubu dismisses Prime Minister Lumumba, who questions the
legality of the move and moves to dismiss Kasa-Vubu.
President Eisenhower states that the Soviet Union would create a
serious state of affairs if it insisted on supplying the Congo, in
other words Prime Minister Lumumba, with planes and equipment for
Colonel Joseph Mobutu, supported by President Kasa-Vubu, takes power in
a military coup. Lumumba is put under house arrest.
All US-owned banks in Cuba are nationalized.
Seventeen states join the United Nations: Cyprus, Madagascar and eleven
African states. These are: Benin, Burkino Faso, Cameroon, Central
African Republic, Chad, the two Congo states, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon,
Niger, Somalia, and Togo.
Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Nixon participate in the
first televised presidential debate. They attract an audience of an
unprecedented size: over sixty percent of the adult population.
Speaking at the UN, Castro complains that the US is demanding immediate
payment in dollars as compensation for lands that the Cuban government
has confiscated. He states: "We were not 100 percent Communist yet. We
were just becoming slightly pink. We did not confiscate land; we simply
proposed to pay for it in twenty years, and in the only way in which we
could pay for it: in bonds, which would mature in twenty years at 4 1/2
per cent, or amortized yearly."
As war continues in Algeria, France's government prohibits 140 French
intellectuals, including writers, actors and teachers, from appearing
on state-run radio or television or in state-run theaters.
Mali and Senegal join the United Nations.
CIA officials have
decided to recruit Mafia figures to kill Castro, knowing that the Mafia
is unhappy with Castro for having closed down their profitable
operations in Cuba. The CIA officials believe that if necessary they
can successfully deny any association with the Mafia.
The State Department advises all US travelers to stay away from Cuba
"unless there are compelling reasons" for going there.
Nigeria acquires independence from Britain. Nigeria's government is a
coalition of conservative parties, Muslims and Christians.
Candidate Kennedy derides Eisenhower and Nixon for "neglect and
indifference" in allowing Cuba to slip "behind the Iron Curtain."
Cuba by now has neighborhood watch groups watching for anti-Castro
activities, including sabotage and violence. In eastern Cuba a dozen or
so men land and head for the mountains. They are caught and shot.
Nigeria joins the United Nations.
At the United Nations, Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a table,
protesting discussion of the Soviet Union's relations with East
European states. For some in the Soviet Union it is an
The Urban Reform Act in Cuba goes into effect, commanding that rents be
cut in half.
The Eisenhower administration places a partial trade embargo on Cuba.
Candidate Kennedy calls for US aid to those in exile and inside Cuba
who are seeking to overthrow Castro's regime. He calls them "fighters
Candidate Nixon accuses Kennedy of having made "a shockingly reckless
proposal" regarding Cuba that might lead to World War III.
The Cuban government seizes remaining property owned by US citizens.
The military ruler of El Salvador, José Maria Lemus Lopez, a member of
the Party of Democratic Unification, is overthrown in a bloodless coup.
Three army officers and three civilian professional men takeover the
Government of El Salvador.
Candidate Kennedy barely wins an election victory over Vice President
In Saigon, Lieutenant Colonel Vuong Van Dong, who fought with the
French colonial forces against the Viet Minh, leads a coup against
President Diem. The coup fails. A crackdown will follow with over
50,000 arrests. Thousands who fear arrest will flee to North Vietnam.
The North will send many of them back to South Vietnam as part of his
People's Liberation Armed Forces.
Suspicions exist that voter fraud in Illinois and Texas has robbed
Nixon of the election. Nixon does not want to appear to be a sore loser
and concedes shortly after midnight.
Eisenhower has been disgusted by Kennedy's talk of a "missile gap." He
knows that there is no such "missile gap," but Nixon obeyed security
regulations and did not argue that fact. According to
historian David McCullough, Kennedy's victory is Eisenhower's biggest
political disappointment and he has told his son: ''All I've been
trying to do for eight years has gone down the drain.''
The Republican Party begins bids for election result recounts in eleven
Sammy Davis Jr. marries Swedish actress May Britt. Interracial marriage
remains illegal in 31 of the 50 states.
An armed rebellion against the government of Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes
erupts in Guatemala.
The Fuentes regime has been friendly with the United States, including
allowing his country to be used as a training camp for an anti-Castro
force. The CIA has sent bombers against the insurgency, and
it is crushed. Fuentes remains in power.
Mauritania becomes independent of France.
According to semi-official figures published in France, in five years
of fighting in Algeria, France to date has lost 2,998 lives and 7,287
injured from attacks by Algerian rebels.
Mubuto of the Congo severs relations with Nasser's United Arab
Republic. Nasser seizes Belgian assets in Egypt. Patrice
Lumumba has escaped from house arrest in Leopoldville and, while
running to Stanleyville, which is controlled by his supporters, he is
captured by troops loyal to Mobuto.
Lumumba is repeatedly beaten by soldiers.
Cubans have been arriving in Florida at a rate of 1,000 per week.
President Eisenhower authorizes $1,000,000 for their relief and
Citing events in the Congo, Ghana servers ties with Belgium.
Eighty-one Communist parties side with Khrushchev's position of
peaceful coexistence with the capitalist West - a rebuff of the Chinese
Communist Party's view that war is inevitable. The 81 parties proclaim
that Communism can succeed by peaceful means.
Charles de Gualle is visiting Algeria in an effort to persuade European
colonists there to accept his plan for Algerian self-determination.
In Algeria, de Gualle walks alone into a crowd of cheering Muslims.
European colonists are rioting in Algeria's larger cities. More than a
hundred people are killed.
In a snowstorm, two passenger airliners collide over New York City. One
of the airliners crashes into a Brooklyn apartment building and into
the Piller of Fire Church.
Queen Elizabeth II starts recording her Christmas Messages. She appeals
for increased mutual understanding among the peoples of the
Educational videos offered
Welcome to Our World of
a modern open area for learning
and understanding the mysteries
of the plant world!
Our Herbaceous Plants
Video package is a
2 disc. 3 hour set, packed full of information.
Plants Video package is sold
separately or as part of a
package is a
3 disc. 3 hour explaining the medical
compounds derived from plants
Pharmaceutical Plants Video package is
sold separately or as part of a
The Poisonous Plants
Video package is a
2 disc. 2-hour collection exzaming the
Poisonous compounds in and from plants
Poisonous Plants Video package is
sold separately or as part of a