Top News Stories from 1956

World Events

World Statistics

Population: 4.378 billion
population by decadeMore World Statistics...
  • Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of USSR Communist Party, denounces Stalin's excesses (Feb. 24).
  • Morocco gains independence from France (March 1) and Spain (April 7).
  • Workers' uprising against Communist rule in Poland is crushed (June 28-30).
  • Egypt takes control of Suez Canal (July 26). Israel launches attack on Egypt's Sinai peninsula and drives toward Suez Canal (Oct. 29). British and French invade Egypt at Port Said (Nov. 5). Cease-fire forced by US pressure stops British, French, and Israeli advance (Nov. 6). Background: Arab-Israeli Wars
  • Soviet troops and tanks crush anti-Communist uprisings in Hungary (November).

U.S. Events

U.S. Statistics

Vice President: Richard M. Nixon
Population: 168,903,031
Life expectancy: 69.7 years
Homicide Rate (per 100,000): 4.6
More U.S. Statistics...


US GDP (1998 dollars): $438 billion
Federal spending: $70.64 billion
Federal debt $272.7 billion
Consumer Price Index: $27.2
Unemployment: 4.4%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.03


World Series
NY Yankees d. Brooklyn Dodgers (4-3)
NBA Championship
Philadelphia Warriors d. Ft. Wayne Pistons
Stanley Cup
Montreal d. Detroit
Women: Shirley Fry d. A. Buxton (6-3 6-1)
Men: Lew Hoad d. K. Rosewall (6-2 4-6 7-5 6-4)
Kentucky Derby Champion
NCAA Basketball Championship
San Francisco d. Iowa
NCAA Football Champions
Oklahoma (10-0-0) 1956 Summer Olympics


Entertainment Awards

Pulitzer Prizes

Andersonville, MacKinlay Kantor

Music: Symphony No. 3, Ernst Toch
Drama: The Diary of Anne Frank, Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett
Academy Award, Best Picture: Marty, Harold Hecht, producer (United Artists)
Nobel Prize for Literature: Juan Ramón Jiménez (Spain)
Miss America: Sharon Ritchie (CO)
More Entertainment Awards...


  • With many hit singles (including "Heartbreak Hotel"), Elvis Presley emerges as one of the world's first rock stars. The gyrating rocker enjoys fame on the stages of the Milton Berle, Steve Allen and Ed Sullivan shows, as well as in the first of his many movies, Love Me Tender.
  • Kay Thompson's Eloise, the Plaza Hotel's most famous guest, is a bestseller.
  • Grace Metalious's steamy Peyton Place is a bestseller.
  • The Wizard of Oz has its first airing on TV.


  • The Seventh Seal, Giant, The Searchers, Around the World in 80 Days, The King and I, Friendly Persuasion


  • Woody Guthrie, "This Land is Your Land"



Nobel Prizes in Science

Chemistry: Sir Cyril Hinshelwood (UK) and Nikolai N. Semenov (USSR), for parallel research on chemical reaction kinetics
Physics: William Shockley, Walter H. Brattain, and John Bardeen (all US), for developing electronic transistor
Physiology or Medicine: Dickinson W. Richards, Jr., André F. Cournand (both US), and Werner Forssmann (Germany), for new techniques in treating heart disease
More Nobel Prizes in 1998...


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