W h a t h a p p e n e d i n 1 9 5 6
* January 1 – The Anglo-Egyptian Condominium ends in Sudan.
* January 8 – Operation Auca: Five U.S. missionaries are killed by the Huaorani of Ecuador shortly after making
contact with them.
* January 16 – Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser vows to reconquer Palestine.
* January 25–26 – Finnish troops reoccupy Porkkala after Soviet troops vacate its military base. Civilians can return
* January 26 – The 1956 Winter Olympic Games open in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.
* February 11 – British spies Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean resurface in the Soviet Union after being missing for
* February 14–26 – 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
* February 16 – The film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley
Jones, is released.
* February 22 – Elvis Presley enters the United States music charts for the first time, with Heartbreak Hotel.
* February 23 – Norma Jean Mortenson legally changes her name to Marilyn Monroe.
* February 25 – Nikita Khrushchev attacks the veneration of Joseph Stalin as a "cult of personality."
* March 1 – The International Air Transport Association finalizes a draft of the Radiotelephony spelling alphabet for
the International Civil Aviation Organization.
* March 2 – Morocco declares its independence from France.
* March 9
- The British deport Archbishop Makarios from Cyprus to the Seychelles.
- Soviet Armed Forces suppresses mass demonstrations in the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, reacting to Nikita
Khrushchev's de-Stalinization policy.
* March 11 – Laurence Olivier's film, Richard III, adapted from Shakespeare's play, premieres in the U.S. in theatres
and on NBC Television, on the same day as an afternoon matinée. It is one of the first such experiments of its kind.
Olivier is later nominated for an Oscar for his performance.
* March 12
- 96 U.S. Congressmen sign the Southern Manifesto, a protest against the 1954 Supreme Court ruling (Brown v.
Board of Education) desegregating public education.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 500 for the first time rising 2.40 points, or 0.48%, to 500.24.
* March 13 – Elvis Presley releases his first Gold Album titled Elvis Presley.
* March 15 – The Broadway musical My Fair Lady opens in New York City.
* March 19 – At age 48, Dutch boxer Bep van Klaveren contests his last match in Rotterdam.
* March 20 – Tunisia gains independence from France.
* March 21 – The 28th Academy Awards ceremony is held.
* March 23 – Pakistan becomes the first Islamic republic, and a national holiday is observed in the country including
the former East Pakistan state.
* April 2 – The first episode of As the World Turns is broadcast on the CBS television network
* April 7 – Spain relinquishes its protectorate in Morocco.
* April 9 – Habib Bourguiba is elected prime minister of Tunisia. Confirmation needed
* April 14 – Videotape is first demonstrated at the 1956 NARTB (now NAB) convention in Chicago by Ampex. It is the
demonstration of the first practical and commercially successful videotape format known as 2" Quadruplex.
* April 17 – Queen Elizabeth II inaugurates Chew Valley Lake.
* April 18 – Maria Desylla-Kapodistria is elected mayor of Corfu and becomes the first female mayor in Greece.
* April 19
- British diver Lionel Crabb dives into Portsmouth harbor to investigate a visiting Soviet cruiser and vanishes.
- Actress Grace Kelly marries Rainier III, Prince of Monaco.
* April 21 – Former U.S. First Daughter Margaret Truman marries Clifton Daniel.
* April 27 – Heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano retires without losing a professional boxing match.
* May 2 – The United Methodist Church in America decides at its General Conference to grant women full ordained
clergy status. It also calls for an end to racial segregation in the denomination.
* May 8
- Austria and Israel form diplomatic relations. Confirmation needed
- he constitutional union between Indonesia and the Netherlands is dissolved.
- John Osborne's Look Back in Anger opens at the Royal Court Theatre, London, changing the scope of theatrical
and other forms of drama in the UK.
* May 9 – Manaslu, 8th highest mountain in the world, is first ascended.
* May 18 – Lhotse (main), the 4th highest mountain, is first ascended.
* May 23 – French minister Pierre Mendès France resigns due to his government's policy on Algeria.
* May 24 – The first Eurovision Song Contest is broadcast from Lugano, Switzerland. The winning song is Refrain by
Lys Assia (music by Géo Voumard, text by Émile Gardaz).
* May 25 – India announces the institution of diplomatic relations with Spain (still under Franco's rule)
* June 1 – Vyacheslav Molotov resigns as foreign minister of the Soviet Union; he later becomes ambassador in
* June 3 – British Rail renames 'Third Class' passenger facilities as 'Second Class' (Second Class facilities had been
abolished in 1875, leaving just First Class and Third Class).
* June 6 – In Singapore, chief minister David Marshall resigns after the breakdown of talks about internal self
government in London.
* June 8 – General Electric/Telechron introduces model 7H241 "The Snooz Alarm", first snooze alarm clock ever.
* June 10 – 1956 Summer Olympics: Equestrian events open in Stockholm, Sweden (all other events are held in
November in Melbourne, Australia).
* June 13 – International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO).
* June 14 - The Flag of the United States Army is formally dedicated.
* June 15 – Eindhoven University of Technology is founded in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
* June 18 – The last foreign troops leave Egypt.
* June 23 – Gamal Abdel Nasser becomes the 2nd president of Egypt.
* June 28
- MP Sydney Silverman's bill for the abolition of the death penalty in the UK passes the British House of Commons.
- Labour riots in Poznań, Poland, are crushed with heavy loss of life. Soviet troops fire at a crowd that protests high
prices, killing 53.
- The film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I, starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner, is released
only a few months after the film version of R&H's Carousel.
* June 29
- Actress Marilyn Monroe marries playwright Arthur Miller.
- resident Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Federal Aid Highway Act, creating the Interstate Highway System
* June 30 – A TWA Lockheed Constellation and United Airlines Douglas DC-7 collide in mid-air over the Grand
Canyon in Arizona, killing all 128 people aboard both aircraft in the deadliest civil aviation disaster to date; the
accident leads to sweeping changes in the regulation of cross-country flight and air traffic control over the United
* July 2 – A lab experiment at Sylvania Electric Products results in an explosion.
* July 8 – The mountain Gasherbrum II is first ascended.
* July 10 – The British House of Lords defeats the abolition of the death penalty.
* July 24 – At New York City's Copacabana Club, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis perform their last comedy show
together (their act started on July 25, 1946).
* July 25 – 72 kilometers (45 miles) south of Nantucket Island, the Italian ocean liner SS Andrea Doria sinks after
colliding with the Swedish ship SS Stockholm in heavy fog, killing 51.
* July 26 – Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal sparking international condemnation.
* July 30 – A Joint Resolution of Congress is signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing "In God We
Trust" as the U.S. national motto.
* July 31 – Cricket: Jim Laker sets an extraordinary record at Old Trafford in the fourth Test between England and
Australia, taking 19 wickets in a first class match (the previous best was 17).
* The exhibition This Is Tomorrow opens at Whitechapel Art Gallery in London.
* August 6 – After going bankrupt in 1955, the American broadcaster DuMont Television Network has its final
broadcast, a boxing match from St. Nicholas Arena.
* August 8 – 262 miners die in a fire in a coal mine in Marcinelle, Belgium.
* August 11 – Jackson Pollock dies after crashing his car, aged 44.
* August 17 – West Germany bans the Communist Party of Germany.
* September 9 – Elvis Presley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time.
* September 13 – The hard disk drive is invented by an IBM team led by Reynold B. Johnson.
* September 16 – Television broadcasting commences in Australia.
* September 21 – Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza García is assassinated.
* September 25 – The submarine Transatlantic telephone cable opens.
* October 8 – Baseball pitcher Don Larsen of the New York Yankees throws the only perfect game in World Series
history in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Yogi Berra caught the game. Dale Mitchell
was the final out. The New York Yankees won the series. Larsen was named series MVP.
* October 10 – Finland joins UNESCO.
* October 14 – Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Indian Untouchable leader, converts to Buddhism along with 385,000 followers
* October 15
- The RAF retires its last Lancaster bomber.
- Fidel Castro and Che Guevara depart from Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico, enroute to Santiago de Cuba aboard the
yacht Granma with 82 men.
* October 17 – The Game of the Century: 13-year-old Bobby Fischer beats GM Donald Byrne in the NY Rosenwald
* October 22 – Suez Crisis: Britain, France, and Israel secretly meet in and make plans to invade Egypt.
* October 23 – The Hungarian revolution breaks out against the pro-Soviet government. Hungary attempts to leave
the Warsaw Pact.
* October 26 – Red Army troops invade Hungary.
* October 29
- The Huntley-Brinkley Report debuts on NBC-TV.
- Suez Crisis: Israel invades the Sinai Peninsula and push Egyptian forces back toward the Suez Canal.
- Tangier Protocol: The international city Tangier is reintegrated into Morocco.
- The first hard disk drive (5MB) is born at IBM.
* October 31 – Suez Crisis: The United Kingdom and France begin bombing Egypt to force the reopening of the Suez
* November 1 – The States Reorganisation Act of India reforms the boundaries and names of Indian states. Two
new states Kerala and Karnataka were formed.
* November 3 – MGM's screen classic, The Wizard of Oz, is shown on television for the first time by CBS, as the final
installment of their Ford Star Jubilee.
* November 4 – 1956 Hungarian Revolution: More Soviet troops invade Hungary to crush a revolt that started on
October 23. Thousands are killed, more are wounded, and nearly a quarter million leave the country.
* November 6 – United States presidential election, 1956: Republican incumbent Dwight D. Eisenhower defeats
Democrat challenger Adlai E. Stevenson in a rematch of their contest 4 years earlier.
* November 7 – Suez Crisis: The United Nations General Assembly adopts a resolution calling for the United
Kingdom, France, and Israel to withdraw their troops from Arab lands immediately.
* November 13 – The United States Supreme Court declares Alabama and Montgomery, Alabama laws requiring
segregated buses illegal, thus ending the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
* November 14 – Fighting ends in Hungary. Confirmation needed
* November 15 – Middle East Technical University is founded in Ankara, Turkey.
* November 20 – In Yugoslavia, former prime minister Milovan Djilas is arrested after he criticizes Josip Broz Tito.
* November 22 – The 1956 Summer Olympics begin in Melbourne, Australia.
* November 23 – The Suez Crisis causes petrol rationing in Britain.
* November 30 – Floyd Patterson wins the world heavyweight boxing championship that was vacant after the
retirement of Rocky Marciano.
* December 2
- Fidel Castro and his followers land in Cuba in the boat Granma.
- A pipe bomb planted by George Metesky explodes at the Paramount Theater in Brooklyn, injuring 6 people.
* December 5 – Rose Heilbron becomes Britain's first female judge.
* December 9 – Trans-Canada Air Lines Flight 810 crashes into a mountain in British Columbia. All 62 people on
board die, making this one of the worst airline crashes in the world at that date.
* December 12 – Japan becomes a member of the United Nations.
* December 18 – To Tell the Truth debuts on CBS-TV.
* December 19 – John Bodkin Adams is arrested for the murder of 2 patients in Eastbourne, Great Britain.
* December 23 – British and French troops leave the Suez Canal region.
* December 31 – Bob Barker makes his TV debut as host of the game show Truth or Consequences.
* Minamata disease is discovered.
* The Alpine Club of Canada, Toronto section, is founded.
B i r t h s
* January 1
o Mark R. Hughes, American entrepreneur (d. 2000)
o Kōji Yakusho, Japanese actor
* January 3 – Mel Gibson, Australian actor and director (Lethal Weapon)
* January 5 – Chen Kenichi, Japan-born Chinese chef
* January 7 – David Caruso, American actor (NYPD Blue)
* January 9 – Imelda Staunton, British actress
* January 10 – Shawn Colvin, American singer
* January 14 – Ben Heppner, Canadian tenor
* January 16 – Martin Jol, Dutch football manager
* January 17 – Paul Young, English musician
* January 18 – Tom Bailey, English musician
* January 20 – Bill Maher, American actor, comedian, and political analyst
* January 21 – Geena Davis, American actress
* January 24 – Lounès Matoub, Algerian Berber Kabyle singer
* January 25 – Bronwyn Pike, Australian politician
* January 27 – Mimi Rogers, American actress
* January 31 – Johnny Rotten, British punk musician and TV personality
* February 1 – Mike Kitchen, Canadian ice hockey player and coach
* February 2 – Adnan Oktar (Harun Yahya), Famous Turkish author
* February 3 – Nathan Lane, American actor (The Birdcage)
* February 3 – Lee Ranaldo, American musician (Sonic Youth)
* February 6 – Jon Walmsley, British actor (The Waltons)
* February 11
o Didier Lockwood, French jazz violinist
o Catherine Hickland, American actress
* February 13
o Yiannis Kouros, Greek-Australian ultramarathoner
o Paul Stojanovich, American television producer
* February 14 – Tom Burlinson, Australian actor
* February 15 – Desmond Haynes, West Indian cricketer
* February 18 – Thomas Gradin, Swedish hockey player
* February 19 – Roderick MacKinnon, American biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
* February 24
o Judith Butler, American philosopher
o Paula Zahn, American television journalist (CBS News)
* February 25 – Davie Cooper, Scottish footballer (d. 1995)
* February 26 – Keisuke Kuwata, Japanese musician
* February 29
o Bob Speller, Canadian politician
o Aileen Wuornos, American serial killer (d. 2002)
* March 1 – Tim Daly, American actor
* March 5
o Teena Marie, American singer
o Marco Paolini, Italian stage actor, dramaturge and author
* March 11 – Rob Paulsen, American voice actor
* March 16 – Vladimír Godár, Slovak composer
* March 18 – Ingemar Stenmark, Swedish alpine skier
* March 19 – Yegor Gaidar, Russian economist and politician
* March 20 – Catherine Ashton, British politician
* March 21 – Ingrid Kristiansen, Norwegian runner
o José Manuel Barroso, Prime Minister of Portugal
o Win Lyovarin, Thai author
* March 24 – Steve Ballmer, American CEO of Microsoft
* March 28 – Evelin Jahl, German athlete
* March 30 – Shahla Sherkat, Iranian feminist journalist
* April 3
o Ray Combs, American game show host and comedian (d. 1996)
o Boris Miljković, Serbian TV & theatre director and video artist
* April 4
o Kerry Chikarovski, Australian politician
o David E. Kelley, American writer and television producer
* April 5 – Diamond Dallas Page, American professional wrestler
* April 6
o Sebastian Spreng, American-Argentinean visual artist
o Dilip Vengsarkar, Indian cricketer
* April 12
o Andy García, American actor
o Yasuo Tanaka, Japanese politician, novelist
* April 13 – Possum Bourne, New Zealand rally car driver (d. 2003)
* April 14 – Barbara Bonney, American soprano
* April 16
o David McDowell Brown, American astronaut (Columbia Disaster) (d. 2003)
o Lise-Marie Morerod, Swiss skier
* April 19 – Sue Barker, British tennis player and television presenter
* April 21 – Phillip Longman, American demographer
* April 26 – Koo Stark, British actress
* April 28 – Jimmy Barnes, Australian musician
* April 30 – Lars von Trier, Danish film director
* May 1 – Alexander Ivanov, Russian-born American chess Grandmaster
* May 4
o David Guterson, American writer
o Ulrike Meyfarth, German high jumper
* May 6 – Vladimir Lisin, Russian business oligarch
* May 7
o Jan Peter Balkenende, Prime Minister of the Netherlands
o Jean Lapierre, Canadian politician and television host
* May 10 – Vladislav Nikolayevich Listyev, Russian journalist (d. 1995)
* May 12 – Greg Phillinganes, American keyboardist
* May 13
o Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Indian guru
o Kenneth Eriksson, Swedish rally driver
* May 15 – Dan Patrick, American sports commentator
* May 17
o Sugar Ray Leonard, African American boxer
o Bob Saget, American actor and television host
* May 20 – Ingvar Ambjørnsen, Norwegian author
* May 23
o Buck Showalter, American baseball player and manager
o Ursula Plassnik, Austrian politician
* May 24 – Michael Jackson, Irish Anglican bishop
* May 26 – Lisa Niemi, American actress, widow of Patrick Swayze
* May 28 – Jerry Douglas, American dobro player
* May 29 – La Toya Jackson, American singer
* June 3 – George Burley, Scottish football manager
* June 8 – Udo Bullmann, German politician
* June 5 – Kenny G, American grammy-award winning saxophonist
* June 6 – Björn Borg, Swedish tennis player
* June 9 – Patricia Cornwell, American novelist
* June 10 – Duke Georg Borwin of Mecklenburg, German head of the House of Mecklenburg
* June 11 – Joe Montana, American football player
* June 14 – King Diamond, Danish heavy metal musician
* June 20 – Cho Chikun, Korean professional Go player
* June 23 – Randy Jackson, African American musician and talent judge
* June 25 – Boris Trajkovski, President of the Republic of Macedonia (d. 2004)
* June 26 – Chris Isaak, American musician
* June 27 – Heiner Dopp, German field hockey player
* June 28 – Noel Mugavin, Australian rules football player
* June 30 – Ronald Winans, African American musician (d. 2005)
* July 2 – Jerry Hall, American model and actress
* July 3 – Rick Ducommun, Canadian actor and comedian
* July 9 – Tom Hanks, American actor
* July 11 – Sela Ward, American actress
* July 12 – Sandi Patty, American gospel singer
* July 14 – Vladimir Kulich, Czech actor
* July 15
o Ian Curtis, British rock musician (Joy Division) (d. 1980)
o Barry Melrose, Canadian hockey player, coach, and commentator
o Toshihiko Seko, Japanese long-distance runner
* July 16 – Tony Kushner, American playwright
* July 18 – Sheila Aldridge, American singer (The Aldridge Sisters)
* July 19 – Yoshiaki Yatsu, Japanese professional wrestler
* July 24 – Pat Finn, American game show host and producer
* July 26 – Andy Goldsworthy, British sculptor and photographer
* July 31
o Michael Biehn, American actor
o Deval Patrick, African American Governor of Massachusetts
* August 1 – Steve Green, American Christian musician
* August 5 – Maureen McCormick, American actress (The Brady Bunch)
* August 17 – Dave Jones, English football manager
* August 20 – Joan Allen, American actress
* August 21 – Kim Cattrall, Canadian actress
* August 22 – Paul Molitor, American baseball player
* August 23 – Andreas Floer, German mathematician (d. 1991)
* August 24 – John Culberson, American politician
* August 26 – Mark Mangino, American football coach
* August 29 – Mark Morris, American choreographer
* August 31 – Masashi Tashiro, Japanese television performer
* September 1 – Bernie Wagenblast, American editor and broadcaster
* September 2 – Angelo Fusco, Provisional Irish Republican Army member
* September 3 – Pat McGeown, Provisional Irish Republican Army member (d. 1996)
* September 10 – Johnny Fingers, Irish musician The Boomtown Rats
* September 11 – Phillip D. Bissett, American politician
* September 12
o Leslie Cheung, Hong Kong actor (d. 2003)
o Ricky Rudd, American race car driver
o Walter Woon, law professor and former Nominated Member of Parliament and Attorney-General of Singapore
* September 14
o Kostas Karamanlis, Greek politician
o Ray Wilkins, English footballer and coach
* September 15 – George Howard, American jazz saxophone musician (d. 1998)
* September 16
o Mickey Rourke, American actor
o David Copperfield, American illusionist
* September 17 – Brian Andreas, American writer, sculptor, painter, and publisher
* September 20 – Gary Cole, American actor
* September 21 – Jack Givens, American basketball player
* September 23 – Paolo Rossi, Italian soccer player
* September 24 – Gregory Peter Panos, American futurist, writer, inventor, virtual reality expert, human simulation
* September 25 – Jamie Hyneman, American television co-host (MythBusters)
* September 26 – Linda Hamilton, American actress (Terminator)
* September 29
o Sebastian Coe, British athlete, co-ordinator of the London 2012 Olympic Games
o Kenneth Newby, Canadian media artist
* October 8 – Stephanie Zimbalist, American actress
* October 10 – Amanda Burton, Irish actress
* October 11 – Nicanor Duarte, President of Paraguay
* October 17 – Mae Jemison, African American astronaut
* October 18 – Martina Navratilova, Czech-American tennis player
* October 19 – Carlo Urbani, Italian physician (d. 2003)
* October 23 – Dwight Yoakam, American country singer/musician and actor
* October 27 – Jaq D. Hawkins, British author, occultist and lecturer
* October 28 – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran
* November 8
o Steven Miller, American record producer
o Richard Curtis, British Film director, screenwriter and producer
* November 10 – Mohsen Badawi, Egyptian entrepreneur, political activist, and writer
* November 14 – Avi Cohen, Israeli football player
* November 18
o Noel Brotherston, Irish footballer (d. 1995)
o Warren Moon, American football player
* November 20 – Bo Derek, American actress
* November 23
o Shane Gould, Australian swimmer
o Nikolay Sidorov, Soviet athlete
* November 26 – Dale Jarrett, American race car driver
* November 27 – William Fichtner, American actor
* November 28 – Lucy Gutteridge, British actress
* November 29
o Leo Laporte, American author and television host
o Eric Laakso, American football player
* December 5 – Krystian Zimerman, Polish pianist
* December 6 – Randy Rhoads, American guitarist
* December 7 – Larry Bird, American basketball player
* December 11 – Lani Brockman, American playwright
* December 12
o Johan van der Velde, Dutch cyclist
o Ana Alicia, Mexican actress
* December 13 – Majida El Roumi, Lebanese singer
* December 14 – Béla Réthy, German sports journalist
* December 18 – Ron White, American comedian
* December 19 – Masami Akita, Japanese noise musician (also known as Merzbow)
* December 23 – Michele Alboreto, Italian race car driver (d. 2001)
* December 26 – David Sedaris, American essayist
* December 28
o Jimmy Nicholl, Canadian-born footballer
o Nigel Kennedy, English violinist
* December 29 – Fred MacAulay, Scottish comedian
* December 30 – Sheryl Lee Ralph, African American actress
* December 31 – Hussein Ahmed Salah, Djiboutian marathon player