- Nikolai A. Bulganin becomes Soviet premier, replacing Malenkov (Feb. 8). Background: Rulers of Russia since 1533
- Churchill resigns (April 5); Anthony Eden succeeds him (April 6).
- Federal Republic of West Germany becomes a sovereign state (May 5).
- The Soviet Union and seven East European countries sign the Warsaw Pact, a mutual defense treaty (May 14).
- Argentina ousts dictator Juan Perón (Sept. 19).
- US starts sending $216 million in aid to Vietnam.
- The US, UK, USSR, and France meet at a summit in Geneva.
- World Statistics
Population: 2.780 billion
- President Eisenhower suffers coronary thrombosis in Denver (Sept. 24).
- Rosa Parks refuses to sit at the back of the bus, breaking Montgomery, Ala., segregated seating law (Dec. 1). Martin Luther King, Jr., leads 381-day black boycott of Montgomery bus system; desegregated service begins Dec. 21, 1956. Background: Civil Rights
- AFL and CIO merge to become the AFL-CIO (Dec. 5).
- U.S. Statistics
President: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Vice President: Richard M. Nixon
Life expectancy: 69.6 years
Homicide Rate (per 100,000): 4.5
US GDP (1998 dollars): $415.1 billion
Federal spending: $68.44 billion
Federal debt: $274.4 billion
Consumer Price Index: 26.8
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.03
Brooklyn Dodgers d. NY Yankees (4-3)
Syracuse d. Ft. Wayne Pistons (4-3)
Detroit d. Montreal (4-3)
Women: Louise Brough d. B. Fleitz (7-5 8-6)
Men: Tony Trabert d. K. Nielsen (6-3 7-5 6-1)
Kentucky Derby Champion
NCAA Basketball Championship
San Francisco d. La Salle (77-63)
NCAA Football Champions
- On the Waterfront nearly sweeps the 1954 Academy Awards, winning Best Picture, Best Actor (Marlon Brando), Best Supporting Actress (Eva Maria Saint), and Best Director (Elia Kazan).
- Gunsmoke debuts on CBS, and will go on to be television’s longest-running western.
- 70mm film is introduced with Oklahoma!
- James Dean dies in a car accident at age 26.
- Rebel without a Cause, Marty, East of Eden, Bad Day at Black Rock, Picnic
- James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son
- Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Pictures of a Gone World
- William Gaddis, The Recognitions
- Mary McCarthy, A Charmed Life
- Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
- Flannery O’Connor, A Good Man Is Hard to Find
- Isaac Bashevis Singer, Satan in Goray
Fiction: A Fable, William Faulkner
Music: The Saint of Bleecker Street, Gian Carlo Menotti
Drama: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tennessee Williams
Oscars awarded in 1955
Academy Award, Best Picture: On the Waterfront, Sam Spiegel, producer (Columbia)
Nobel Prize for Literature: Halldór Kiljan Laxness (Iceland)
Miss America: Lee Meriwether (CA)
1955 Emmy Awards
|Best Dramatic Series||U.S. Steel Hour (ABC)|
|Best Actor Starring in a Regular Series||Danny Thomas, Make Room for Daddy|
|Best Actress Starring in a Regular Series||Loretta Young, Loretta Young Show|
|Best Supporting Actor in a Regular Series||Art Carney, Jackie Gleason Show|
|Best Supporting Actress in a Regular Series||Audrey Meadows, Jackie Gleason Show|
|Best Individual Program of the Year||Operation Undersea (ABC)|
|Best Actor in a Single Performance||Robert Cummings, Studio One: Twelve Angry Men|
|Best Actress in a Single Performance||Judith Anderson, Hallmark Hall of Fame: Macbeth|
|Best Direction||Franklin Schaffner, Studio One: Twelve Angry Men|
|Best Written Dramatic Material||Reginald Rose, Twelve Angry Men|
|Most Outstanding New Personality||George Gobel|
|Best Situation Comedy Series||Make Room for Daddy (ABC)|
|Best Written Comedy Material||James Allardice, Jack Douglas, Hal Kanter and Harry Winkler, George Gobel Show|
|Best Variety Series, Including Musical Varieties||Disneyland (ABC)|
|Best Mystery or Intrigue Series||Dragnet (NBC)|
|Best Western or Adventure Series||Stories of the Century (Syndicated)|
|Best Cultural, Religious or Educational Program||Omnibus (CBS)|
|Best News Reporter or Commentator||John Daly|
|Best Sports Program||Gillette Cavalcade of Sports (NBC)|
|Best Children’s Program||Lassie (CBS)|
|Best Audience, Guest Participation or Panel Program||This Is Your Life (NBC)|
1955 Tony Awards
|Play||The Desperate Hours|
|Musical||The Pajama Game|
|Actor—Play||Alfred Lunt, Quadrille|
|Actress—Play||Nancy Kelly, The Bad Seed|
|Supporting or Featured Actor—Play||Francis L. Sullivan, Witness for the Prosecution|
|Supporting or Featured Actress—Play||Patricia Jessel, Witness for the Prosecution|
|Actor—Musical||Walter Slezak, Fanny|
|Actress—Musical||Mary Martin, Peter Pan|
|Supporting or Featured Actor—Musical||Cyril Ritchard, Peter Pan|
|Supporting or Featured Actress—Musical||Carol Haney, The Pajama Game|
|Author—Play||Joseph Hayes, The Desperate Hours|
|Authors—Musical||George Abbott and Richard Bissell, The Pajama Game|
|Director||Robert Montgomery, The Desperate Hours|
|Producers—Play||Howard Erskine and Joseph Hayes, The Desperate Hours|
|Producers—Musical||Frederick Brisson, Robert Griffith and Harold S. Prince, The Pajama Game|
|Composer and Lyricist||Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, The Pajama Game|
|Scenic Designer||Oliver Messel, House of Flowers|
|Costume Designer||Cecil Beaton, Quadrille|
|Choreographer||Bob Fosse, The Pajama Game|
|Conductor and Musical Director||Thomas Schippers, The Saint of Bleecker Street|
|Stage Technician||Richard Rodda, Peter Pan|
|Special Award||Proscenium Productions|
- Narinder Kapany (England) develops fiber optics.
- Owen Chamberlain and Emilio Segrè discover the antiproton, a form of antimatter.
- The corticosteroid prednisone is developed.
- Severo Ochoa at NYU synthesizes DNA- and RNA-like molecules. Background: genetic engineering
Nobel Prizes in Science
Chemistry: Vincent du Vigneaud (US), for work on pituitary hormones
Physics: Polykarp Kusch and Willis E. Lamb, Jr. (US), for atomic measurements
Physiology or Medicine: Hugo Theorell (Sweden), for work on oxidation enzymes
- Albert Einstein
- Alexander Fleming
- Thomas Mann
- Carmen Miranda
- Charlie Parker