1953 1954 1955 - 1956 - 1957 1958 1959
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Events of 1956
- 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 Abdal Nasser vows to reconquer Palestine.
- January 25–26 - Finnish troops re-occupy Porkkala after Soviet troops vacate its military base. Civilians can return February 4.
- 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 five years.
- 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 - The British deport Archbishop Makarios from Cyprus to the Seychelles.
- March 12 - 96 U.S. Congressmen sign the Southern Manifesto, a protest against the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling (Brown vs. Board of Education) desegregating public education.
- March 12 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 500 for the first time rising 2.40 points, or 0.48%, to 500.24.
- March 20 - Tunisia gains independence from France.
- March 23 - Pakistan becomes the first Islamic republic, and a national holiday is observed in the country including the former East Pakistan state.
- April 7 - Spain relinquishes its protectorate in Morocco.
- April 9 - Habib Bourgiba is elected prime minister of Tunisia.
- April 19 - British diver Lionel Crabb dives into the Portsmouth harbor to investigate a visiting Soviet cruiser and vanishes.
- May 8 - Austria and Israel form diplomatic relations.
- May 8 - The constitutional union between Indonesia and the Netherlands is dissolved.
- 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 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 Mongolia.
- June 6 - In Singapore, chief minister David Marshall resigns after the breakdown of talks about internal self government in London.
- June 14 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizes the phrase "under God" to be added to the Pledge of Allegiance.
- 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 passes the British House of Commons.
- June 28 - Labour riots in Poznań, Poland, are crushed with heavy loss of life. Soviet troops fire at a crowd that protests high prices, killing 53.
- June 29 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act, creating the Interstate Highway System
- July 8 - The mountain Gasherbrum II is first ascended.
- July 10 - The British House of Lords defeats the abolition of the death penalty.
- 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 Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal sparking international condemnation.
- July 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.
- August 8 - 262 miners die in fire in a coal mine in Marcinelle, Belgium.
- August 17 - West Germany bans the Communist Party of Germany.
- 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 10 - Finland joins UNESCO.
- October 14 - Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Indian Untouchable leader, converts to Buddhism along with 385,000 followers (see Neo-Buddhism).
- October 15 - The RAF retires its last Lancaster bomber.
- October 15 - Fidel Castro and Che Guevara depart from Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico, enroute to Santiago de Cuba aboard the yacht Granma with 82 men.
- 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 - Suez Crisis: Israel invades the Sinai Peninsula and push Egyptian forces back toward the Suez Canal.
- October 29 - 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.
- November 1 - The States Reorganisation Act of India reforms the boundaries and names of Indian states.
- 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 - U.S. 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.
- 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.
- December 2 - Fidel Castro and his followers land in Cuba in the boat Granma.
- December 12 - Japan becomes a member of the United Nations.
- December 23 - British and French troops leave the Suez Canal region.
- January 3 - Mel Gibson, Irish-American actor, film director, producer and screenwriter
- December 9 - Baruch Goldstein, Israeli terrorist (d. 1994)