Top News Stories from 1955
- Nikolai A. Bulganin becomes Soviet premier, replacing Malenkov (Feb. 8). Background: Rulers of Russia since 1533
- Churchill resigns (April 5); Anthony Eden succeeds him (April 6).
- Federal Republic of West Germany becomes a sovereign state (May 5).
- The Soviet Union and seven East European countries sign the Warsaw Pact, a mutual defense treaty (May 14).
- Argentina ousts dictator Juan Perón (Sept. 19).
- US starts sending $216 million in aid to Vietnam.
- The US, UK, USSR, and France meet at a summit in Geneva.
President: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Vice President: Richard M. Nixon
Life expectancy: 69.6 years
Homicide Rate (per 100,000): 4.5More U.S. Statistics...
- President Eisenhower suffers coronary thrombosis in Denver (Sept. 24).
- Rosa Parks refuses to sit at the back of the bus, breaking Montgomery, Ala., segregated seating law (Dec. 1). Martin Luther King, Jr., leads 381-day black boycott of Montgomery bus system; desegregated service begins Dec. 21, 1956. Background: Civil Rights
- AFL and CIO merge to become the AFL-CIO (Dec. 5).
US GDP (1998 dollars): $415.1 billion
Federal spending: $68.44 billion
Federal debt $274.4 billion
Consumer Price Index: $26.8
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.03
World SeriesBrooklyn Dodgers d. NY Yankees
NBA ChampionshipSyracuse d. Ft. Wayne Pistons
Stanley CupDetroit d. Montreal
WimbledonWomen: Louise Brough d. B. Fleitz (7-5 8-6)
Men: Tony Trabert d. K. Nielsen (6-3 7-5 6-1)
Kentucky Derby ChampionSwaps
NCAA Basketball ChampionshipSan Francisco d. La Salle
NCAA Football ChampionsOklahoma (11-0-0)
Entertainment AwardsPulitzer Prizes
A Fable, William Faulkner
Music: The Saint of Bleecker Street, Gian Carlo Menotti
Drama: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tennessee Williams
Academy Award, Best Picture: On the Waterfront, Sam Spiegel, producer (Columbia)
Nobel Prize for Literature: Halldór Kiljan Laxness (Iceland)
Miss America: Lee Meriwether (CA)More Entertainment Awards...
- On the Waterfront nearly sweeps the 1954 Academy Awards, winning Best Picture, Best Actor (Marlon Brando), Best Supporting Actress (Eva Maria Saint), and Best Director (Elia Kazan).
- Gunsmoke debuts on CBS, and will go on to be television's longest-running western.
- 70mm film is introduced with Oklahoma!
- James Dean dies in a car accident at age 26.
- Rebel without a Cause, Marty, East of Eden, Bad Day at Black Rock, Picnic
- James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son
- Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Pictures of a Gone World
William Gaddis, The Recognitions
- Mary McCarthy, A Charmed Life
- Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
- Flannery O'Connor, A Good Man Is Hard to Find
- Isaac Bashevis Singer, Satan in Goray
Nobel Prizes in Science
Chemistry: Vincent du Vigneaud (US), for work on pituitary hormones
Physics: Polykarp Kusch and Willis E. Lamb, Jr. (US), for atomic measurements
Physiology or Medicine: Hugo Theorell (Sweden), for work on oxidation enzymesMore Nobel Prizes in 1998...
- Narinder Kapany (England) develops fiber optics.
- Owen Chamberlain and Emilio Segrè discover the antiproton, a form of antimatter.
- The corticosteroid prednisone is developed.
- Severo Ochoa at NYU synthesizes DNA- and RNA-like molecules. Background: genetic engineering