1950 1951 1952 - 1953 - 1954 1955 1956
1920s 1930s 1940s - 1950s - 1960s 1970s 1980s
Events of 1953
- January 7 - President Harry S. Truman announces the United States has developed a hydrogen bomb.
- January 12 - Estonian émigrés found a government in exile in Oslo.
- January 14 - Marshal Josip Broz Tito is chosen President of Yugoslavia.
- January 15 - Georg Dertinger, foreign minister of East Germany, is arrested for spying.
- January 20 - Dwight D. Eisenhower succeeds Harry S. Truman as President of the United States.
- January 24 - Mau Mau rebels in Kenya kill the Ruck family (the father, mother and a 6-year-old son.
- January 26 - Walter Ulbricht announces that the agriculture will be collectivized in East Germany.
- January 31 – February 1 - The North Sea flood of 1953 kills 1,835 people in the southwestern Netherlands (especially Zeeland), 307 in the United Kingdom and several hundred at sea, including 133 on the ferry Princess Victoria in the Irish Sea.
- February 1 - The surge of the North Sea Flood of 1953 continues from the previous day.
- February 11 - President Eisenhower refuses a clemency appeal for Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.
- February 11 - The Soviet Union breaks diplomatic relations with Israel.
- February 16 - The Pakistan Academy of Sciences is established in Pakistan.
- February 19 - Georgia approves the first literature censorship board in the United States.
- February 28 - James D. Watson and Francis Crick announce that they have discovered the structure of the DNA molecule.
- February 28 - Greece, Turkey, and Yugoslavia sign the Balkan Pact.
- March 1 - Joseph Stalin suffers a stroke and collapses after an all-night dinner with Soviet Union interior minister Lavrenty Beria and future premiers Georgi Malenkov, Nikolai Bulganin and Nikita Khrushchev. The stroke paralyzes the right side of his body.
- March 1 - Bernard Freyberg, 1st Baron Freyberg is made deputy constable and lieutenant governor of Windsor Castle.
- March 5 - Joseph Stalin dies after 31 years of ruling the Soviet Union.
- March 6 - Georgy Maksimilianovich Malenkov succeeds Joseph Stalin as Premier and First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
- March 13 - The United Nations Security Council nominates Dag Hammarskjöld as United Nations Secretary General.
- March 14 - Nikita Khruschev is selected First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.
- March 17 - A nuclear test is conducted in Nevada, with 1,620 spectators at 3.4 km (2.1 miles).
- March 18 - An earthquake hits western Turkey, killing 250.
- March 25 - 26 - Lari Massacre in Kenya: Mau Mau rebels kill up to 150 Kikuyu natives.
- March 26 - Jonas Salk announces his polio vaccine.
- April 7 - Dag Hammarskjöld is elected United Nations Secretary General.
- April 8 - Jomo Kenyatta is sentenced to 7 years in prison for the alleged organization of the Mau Mau Rebellion.
- April 10 - Melbourne Knights is founded as Croatia SC in Melbourne.
- April 13 - Ian Fleming publishes his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale in the United Kingdom.
- April 25 - Francis Crick and James D. Watson publish their description of the double helix structure of DNA.(::Watson, J. D. and Crick, F. H. C. (1953). Molecular structure of nucleic acids: a structure for deoxyribose nucleic acid. Nature 171, 737-738.)
- May 2 - Hussein is crowned King of Jordan.
- May 9 - France agrees to the provisional independence of Cambodia with King Norodom Sihanouk.
- May 10 - The town of Chemnitz in East Germany becomes Karl Marx Stadt.
- May 11 - The 1953 Waco tornado outbreak: A F5 tornado hits in the downtown section of Waco, Texas, killing 114.
- May 18 - At Rogers Dry Lake, California Jackie Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier (in a F-86 Sabrejet at an average speed of 652.337 miles-per-hour).
- May 25 - Nuclear testing: At the Nevada Test Site, the United States conducts its first and only nuclear artillery test.
- May 29 - Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay perform the first successful ascent to the summit of Mount Everest.
- June 2 - Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom is crowned at Westminster Abbey.
- June 7 - Italian general election, 1953: The Christian Democrats win a plurality in both legislative houses.
- June 8 - Flint-Worcester tornado outbreak sequence: A tornado kills 115 in Flint, Michigan (the last to claim more than 100 lives).
- June 8 - Austria and the Soviet Union form diplomatic relations.
- June 9 - CIA Technical Services Staff head Sidney Gottlieb approves of the use of LSD in a MKULTRA subproject.
- June 9 - Flint-Worcester Tornadoes: A tornado spawned from the same storm system as the Flint tornado hits in Worcester, Massachusetts, killing 94.
- June 12 - Currency reform causes riots in Czechoslovakia.
- June 13 - Hungarian Prime Minister Mátyás Rákosi is replaced by Imre Nagy.
- June 16 - The Soviet Union and Yugoslavia form diplomatic relations.
- June 17 - Workers Uprising: In East Germany, the Soviet Union orders a division of troops into East Berlin to quell a rebellion.
- June 18 - Egypt declares itself a republic.
- June 19 - Convicted Soviet spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are executed.
- June 30 - The first Chevrolet Corvette is built at Flint, Michigan.
- July 4 - Strikes and riots hit coal mining regions in Poland.
- July 5 - The European Economic Community holds its first assembly in Strasbourg, France.
- July 10 - The Soviet official paper Pravda announces that Lavrenti Beria has been deposed as head of the NKVD.
- July 26 - Fidel Castro and his brother lead a disastrous assault on the Moncada Barracks, preliminary to the Cuban Revolution.
- July 26 - The Short Creek Raid is carried out on a polygynous Mormon sect in Arizona.
- July 27 - The Korean War ends: The United States, People's Republic of China, North Korea, and South Korea sign an armistice agreement.
- August 5 - Operation Big Switch: Prisoners of war are repatriated after the Korean War.
- August 7 - Ohio is admitted as a U. S. state, retroactive to 1803.
- August 8 - Soviet prime minister Georgi Malenkov announces that the Soviet Union has a hydrogen bomb.
- August 12 - A magnitude 7.2 earthquake totally devastates most of the Ionian Sea islands, in Greece's worst natural disaster in centuries.
- August 13 - 4 million workers go on strike in France to protest austerity measures.
- August 17 - The first planning session of Narcotics Anonymous is held in Southern California (see October 5).
- August 19 - Cold War: The CIA helps to overthrow the government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran, and retain Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on the throne (see Operation Ajax).
- August 20 - The French government ousts the sultan of Morocco and exiles him to Corsica.
- August 20 - The United States gives West Germany 382 ships it had captured during World War II.
- August 25 - The general strike ends in France.
- September 4 - The discovery of REM sleep is first published by researchers Eugene Aserinsky and Nathaniel Kleitman.
- September 5 - The United Nations rejects the Soviet Union's suggestion to accept China as a member.
- September 7 - Nikita Khrushchev becomes head of the Soviet Central Committee.
- September 25 - A hurricane in South-East Asia kills over 1,000.
- September 25 - The first German prisoners of war return from the Soviet Union to West Germany.
- September 26 - Rationing of cane sugar ends in the UK.
- October 5 - Earl Warren is appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States by U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower.
- October 5 - The first meeting of Narcotics Anonymous is held (the first planning session was held August 17).
- October 9 - Konrad Adenauer is re-elected as German chancellor.
- October 9 - The Guyanese constitution is suspended.
- October 23 - The Philippines' DZAQ-TV3 (now ABS-CBN) makes its initial telecast, becoming Asia's first commercial television broadcaster.
- October 30 - Cold War: U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally approves the top secret document of the United States National Security Council NSC 162/2, which states that the United States' arsenal of nuclear weapons must be maintained and expanded to counter the communist threat.
- November 5 - David Ben-Gurion resigns as prime minister of Israel.
- November 9 - Cambodia becomes independent from France.
- November 21 - Puerto Williams is founded in Chile as the southernmost settlement of the world.
- November 21 - Authorities at the British Natural History Museum announce that the skull of the Piltdown Man, one of the most famous fossil skulls in the world, is a hoax.
- November 29 - French paratroopers take Dien Bien Phu.
- November 30 - Edward Mutesa II, the kabaka (king) of Buganda, is deposed and exiled to London by Sir Andrew Benjamin Cohen, Governor of Uganda.
- Hugh Hefner publishes the first issue of Playboy Magazine, selling 54,175 copies at $.50 each.
- December 2 - The United Kingdom and Iran reform diplomatic relations.
- December 8 - U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers his Atoms for Peace address to the UN General Assembly in New York City.
- December 10 - Albert Schweitzer is given the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize.
- December 17 - The FCC approves color television.
- December 23 - The Soviet Union announces officially that Lavrenti Beria has been executed.
- December 24 - Tangiwai disaster: A railway bridge collapses at Tangiwai, New Zealand, sending a fully loaded passenger train into the Whangaehu River; 153 are killed.
- December 30 - The first color television sets go on sale for about $1,175 (American dollars).
- July 28 - Don Black, White nationalist and founder of Stormfront
- October 24 - Steven J. Hatfill, bio-weapons expert
- December 8 - Norman Finkelstein, American professor and critic of Israel