A little bit of history for you on things that happened in my birth year…
January 3 – By popular demand, Peter Pan, starring Mary Martin, is restaged live by Producers’ Showcase on NBC-TV.
January 16 – Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser vows to reconquer Palestine.
January 26 – The 1956 Winter Olympic Games open in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.
February 16 – Only a little more than four months after the release of the 70mm version of Oklahoma!, the film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones, is released in Cinemascope 55. MacRae and Jones had previously starred in Oklahoma! Carousel, intended for showing in 55mm, ends up being shown only in 35mm.
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 24 – Doris Day records her most famous song: Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be). It is from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much, in which Day co-stars with James Stewart.
February 25 – Nikita Khrushchev attacks the veneration of Joseph Stalin as a “cult of personality”.
March 2 – Morocco declares its independence from France.
March 9 -Soviet Armed Forces suppresses mass demonstrations in the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, reacting to Nikita Khrushchev’s de-Stalinization policy.
March 11 – After having opened in London the previous year, Laurence Olivier’s film, Richard III, adapted from Shakespeare’s play, has its U.S. premiere in theatres and on NBC Television on the same day. On TV it is not shown in prime time, but as an afternoon matinée, in a slightly cut version. 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) that desegregated 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 20 – Tunisia gains independence from France.
March 21 – The 28th Academy Awards ceremony is held.
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 19 -British diver Lionel Crabb dives into Portsmouth harbour 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 9 – Manaslu, eighth highest mountain in the world, is first ascended.
June 5 – Elvis Presley introduces his new single, “Hound Dog”, on The Milton Berle Show, scandalizing the audience with his suggestive hip movements.
June 10 – 1956 Summer Olympics: Equestrian events open in Stockholm, Sweden (all other events are held in November in Melbourne, Australia).
June 14 – The Flag of the United States Army is formally dedicated.
June 28 -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. It becomes the most financially successful film version of a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical up to that time, and the only one to win an acting Oscar (Yul Brynner wins Best Actor for his performance as the King of Siam). It is also one of two Rodgers and Hammerstein films to be nominated for Best Picture (which it does not win). June 29 -Actress Marilyn Monroe marries playwright Arthur Miller.
President 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 States.
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 16 – With the closing of its “Big Tent” show in Pittsburgh, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announces all subsequent circuses will be “arena shows” due to changing economics.
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 mi) 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.
August 8 – 262 miners die in a fire in a coal mine in Marcinelle, Belgium.
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.
September 27 – The Bell X-2 becomes the first manned aircraft to reach Mach 3.
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.
The Lockheed L-1649A Starliner makes its first flight.
October 14 – Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Indian Dalit leader, converts to Buddhism along with 385,000 followers (see Neo-Buddhism).
October 15 -The RAF retires its last Lancaster bomber.
Fidel Castro and Che Guevara depart from Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico, en route 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 chess tournament.
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.
October 31 -Suez Crisis: The United Kingdom and France begin bombing Egypt to force the reopening of the Suez Canal.
A United States Navy team becomes the third group to reach the South Pole (arriving by air) and commences construction of the first permanent Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station.
November 1 The film Oklahoma! (1955), previously released to select cities in Todd-AO, now receives a national release in Cinemascope, since not all theatres are yet equipped for Todd-AO. To accomplish this, the film had to be actually shot twice, rather than printing one version in two different film processes as is done today. November 3 – MGM’s film The Wizard of Oz makes its TV debut on the CBS network. This marks the first time a major Hollywood film running more than ninety minutes is televised uncut in one evening. Up to then, only B-movies and British films had been telecast, often edited or in two parts if they ran more than ninety minutes. The longest film telecast prior to this was Olivier’s version of Richard III, which, unlike Oz, was somewhat edited and not telecast in prime time.
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 22 – The 1956 Summer Olympics begin in Melbourne, Australia.
November 23 – The Suez Crisis causes petrol rationing in Britain.
November 28 – Roger Vadim’s drama film And God Created Woman released in France as Et Dieu… créa la femme, propels Brigitte Bardot into the public spotlight as a “sex kitten”.
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 4 – The Million Dollar Quartet (Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash) get together at Sun Studios for the first and last time in history.
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 are killed.
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.
Also in December my bride and I were both born! The most important events of the year as far as I am concerned! LOL!!! Yes we are now both 56 to match the year “56” that we were born!!!
I hope you didn’t mind this little historical lesson on our birth year!
Until next post have a wonderful week and take the challenge to research what happened the year you were born… its very enlightening! Joe