1956 events in history

Jan 1 Sudan achieves independence from Egypt and the United Kingdom
Jan 1 A new year event causes panic and stampedes at Yahiko Shrine, Yahiko, Niigata, Japan, killing at least 124 people
Jan 3 A fire damages the top part of the Eiffel Tower
Jan 8 Operation Auca: Five U.S. missionaries are killed by the Huaorani of Ecuador shortly after making contact with them
Jan 16 President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt vows to reconquer Palestine
Jan 28 Elvis Presley makes his first US television appearance
Jan 30 African-American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.'s home is bombed in retaliation for the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Feb 14 The XX Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union begins in Moscow. On the last night of the meeting, Premier Nikita Khrushchev condemns Joseph Stalin's crimes in a secret speech
Feb 20 The United States Merchant Marine Academy becomes a permanent Service Academy
Feb 25 In his speech On the Personality Cult and its Consequences, Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union denounces the cult of personality of Joseph Stalin
Mar 1 Formation of the East German Nationale Volksarmee
Mar 1 The International Air Transport Association finalizes a draft of the Radiotelephony spelling alphabet for the International Civil Aviation Organization
Mar 2 Morocco gains its independence from France
Mar 9 Soviet forces suppress mass demonstrations in the Georgian SSR, reacting to Nikita Khrushchev's de-Stalinization policy
Mar 15 My Fair Lady receives its premiere performance on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Theatre
Mar 20 Tunisia gains independence from France
Mar 23 Pakistan becomes the first Islamic republic in the world. (Republic Day in Pakistan)
Apr 2 As the World Turns and The Edge of Night premiere on CBS-TV. The two soaps become the first daytime dramas to debut in the 30-minute format
Apr 3 Hudsonville-Standale Tornado: The western half of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan is struck by a deadly F5 tornado
Apr 5 In Sri Lanka, the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna win the general elections in a landslide and S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike is sworn in as the Prime Minister
Apr 5 Fidel Castro declares himself at war with Cuban President Fulgencio Batista
Apr 7 Spain relinquishes its protectorate in Morocco
Apr 14 In Chicago, videotape is first demonstrated
Apr 19 Actress Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier of Monaco
Apr 26 SS Ideal X, the world's first successful container ship, leaves Port Newark, New Jersey for Houston, Texas
Apr 30 Former Vice President and Senator Alben Barkley dies during a speech in Virginia. He collapses after proclaiming "I would rather be a servant in the house of the lord than sit in the seats of the mighty."
May 1 A doctor in Japan reports an "epidemic of an unknown disease of the central nervous system", marking the official discovery of Minamata disease
May 1 The polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk is made available to the public
May 18 First ascent of Lhotse 8,516 meters, by a Swiss team
May 20 In Operation Redwing, the first United States airborne hydrogen bomb is dropped over Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean
May 24 Conclusion of the Sixth Buddhist Council on Vesak Day, marking the 2,500 year anniversary after the Lord Buddha's Parinibbāna
May 24 The first Eurovision Song Contest is held in Lugano, Switzerland
Jun 5 Elvis Presley introduces his new single, "Hound Dog", on The Milton Berle Show, scandalizing the audience with his suggestive hip movements
Jun 11 Start of Gal Oya riots, the first reported ethnic riots that target minority Sri Lankan Tamils in the Eastern Province. The total number of deaths is reportedly 150
Jun 20 A Venezuelan Super-Constellation crashes in the Atlantic Ocean off Asbury Park, New Jersey, killing 74 people
Jun 23 The French National Assembly takes the first step in creating the French Community by passing the Loi Cadre, transferring a number of powers from Paris to elected territorial governments in French West Africa
Jun 28 In Poznań, workers from HCP factory went to the streets, sparking one of the first major protests against communist government both in Poland and Europe
Jun 29 The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 is signed, officially creating the United States Interstate Highway System
Jun 30 A TWA Super Constellation and a United Airlines DC-7 collide above the Grand Canyon in Arizona and crash, killing all 128 on board both airliners
Jul 7 Fritz Moravec and two other Austrian mountaineers make the first ascent of Gasherbrum II (8,035 m)
Jul 16 Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closes its very last "Big Tent" show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, due to changing economics all subsequent circus shows will be held in arenas
Jul 25 Forty-five miles south of Nantucket Island, the Italian ocean liner SS Andrea Doria collides with the MS Stockholm in heavy fog and sinks the next day, killing 51
Jul 26 Following the World Bank's refusal to fund building the Aswan Dam, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal, sparking international condemnation
Jul 30 A joint resolution of the U.S. Congress is signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing In God we trust as the U.S. national motto
Jul 31 Jim Laker becomes the first man to take all 10 wickets in a Test match innings as he returns figures of 10/53 in the Australian 2nd innings. This combined with his 9/37 in the first innings gave him match figures of 19/90 in the 4th Test at Old Trafford
Aug 6 After going bankrupt in 1955, the American broadcaster DuMont Television Network makes its final broadcast, a boxing match from St. Nicholas Arena in New York in the Boxing from St. Nicholas Arena series
Aug 30 The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway opens
Sep 9 Elvis Presley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time
Sep 13 The IBM 305 RAMAC is introduced, the first commercial computer to use disk storage
Sep 13 The dike around the Dutch polder East Flevoland is closed