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Other Pages From The Year 1956 Featuring Toys Clothes Fashion Accessories

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1956 the increase in living standards and the focus on education helped to fuel the increase in college education with 1 in 3 high school graduates now going off to college. TV shows included "As The World Turns" and "The Price is Right". Mothers could now buy disposable diapers and tefal non stick Frying Pans. Elvis Presley appears on the Ed Sullivan show and enters the music charts for the first time, with "Heartbreak Hotel".

Cost of Living 1956

How Much things cost in 1956
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 1.52%
Yearly Inflation Rate UK 4.7% 4.7%
Average Cost of new house $11.700.00 Average Monthly Rent $88.00 Average Yearly Wages $4.450.00 Cost of a gallon of Gas 22 cents Average Cost of a new car $2,050.00 Ground Coffee per LB 85 Cents
Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling
Average House Price 2,280
Part of our 1950s Toys Selection of 250 Fifties Toys
Price: $5.95
Little Sweetheart Electric Washing Machine From The 1950s

From Fifties Fashion Section
Price: $1.98
Smart Cuddle Cap

Price: $15.98
Shinto Sheath and Pants
From Our Fifties Furniture Page
Price: $49.50
Portable Bar
From Our Fifties Electrical
Price: $69.25
Silvertone AM-FM Radio

What Events Happened in 1956

Egypt Suez Crisis
  • Suez Crisis caused by the Egyptian Nationalization of the Suez Canal.
More Information for the Suez Canal Nationalization
Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal during July of 1956. The move to nationalize the canal was made after the United States and United Kingdom decided not to help finance the construction of the Aswan Dam due to concerns over Egypt’s blossoming relationship with the Soviet Union. Nasser thought that by nationalizing the canal he would be able to collect tolls to help fund the Aswan Dam project. He also thought he could reduce British and French influence in the country as the Suez Canal had been operated by the Suez Canal Company (a French and British joint venture). Later in the year a group of Israeli forces, backed by France and Britain, made their way toward the canal leading to a standoff and conflict known as the “Suez Crisis.” The conflict ended in 1957 but the Suez Canal remained a flash point for future conflicts in the region.

  • Following UN resolution condemning the invasion supported by the United States Britain, France and Israel Withdraw forces from Egypt.
  • Suez Crisis causes petrol rationing in Britain.
  • The First C.N.D. Marches take place at Aldermarston
  • Rock and Roll Dance Craze sweeps the World
First Eurovision Song Contest
  • Switzerland wins the first Eurovision song contest.
More Information for Eurovision
The very first Eurovision Song Contest was held during May of 1956. The Eurovision Song Contest is a televised event that invited countries across Europe to each submit original songs. Competitors go up against singers from other European nations for the title of best original song by performing their songs on television and being judged. The first competition featured 2 songs each from 7 countries and Lys Assia from Switzerland won first place for her song “Refrain.” The show was popular and has continued every year since 1956, inviting as many as 43 countries to participate. It is still one of the world’s longest running and most watched television shows.

  • Prince Ranier of Monaco marries Grace Kelly
  • Pakistan becomes Islamic Republic
  • Alabama Bus segregation laws declared illegal by US Supreme Court
  • Cuban revolutionaries including Fidel Castro land in Cuba at the start of the Cuban Revolution
U.S.A. The Movie "The Ten Commandments" Premieres
United States
  • The epic film "The Ten Commandments" premieres.
More Information and Timeline for The Ten Commandments
The wildly popular epic film “The Ten Commandments” premieres in the United States on October 5, 1956. The film, directed by legendary icon Cecil B. DeMille, starred Charlton Heston as Moses, Yul Brynner as Rameses and Anne Baxter as Nefretiri. The film told the Biblical tale of Moses in a grand and cinematic way and was filmed on location in Egypt. At the time it was created, “The Ten Commandments” was the most expensive film ever made and featured some of the largest sets ever created. It was a huge financial success and had critical acclaim, being nominated for 7 Academy Awards.

  • Continued independence granted for colonies in Africa from Britain and France
  • US Carries Out H Bomb Tests Bikini Atoll
  • Warsaw Pact troops invade Hungary during the The Hungarian October Revolution .
U.S.A. Elvis Presley First Hit “Heartbreak Hotel.”
United States
  • Elvis Presley releases his first hit.
More Information for Elvis first single.
In January of 1956, iconic Rock ‘n’ Roll performer Elvis Presley released his first pop single “Heartbreak Hotel.” Elvis recorded the track earlier in the month at a studio in Nashville, Tennessee not long after he had signed his major recording contract with RCA. “Heartbreak Hotel” soon became the number one song on the Billboard pop charts for eight weeks after its release, it also hit number one on the country singles chart. This was also his first single to sell over one million copies. During the month of January he also had his first network TV appearance on Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey’s "Stage Show.”

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U.S.A. Rocky Marciano retires as Undefeated Heavyweight World Champion
  • Rocky Marciano retires as the only undefeated Heavyweight Champion of the world with a perfect record.
More Information for Rocky Marciano
1. Thirty-one year old Rocky Marciano retires from the sport of professional boxing during April of 1956 as the only champion with a perfect record, having won all 49 of his professional career match-ups.
2. Marciano began his boxing career after leaving the U.S. Army at the end of World War II.
3. He had his first professional match in 1947 against Lee Epperson.
4. In 1952 he won the title of Heavyweight Champion of the World after defeating Joe Walcott.
5. After winning the title, he successfully defended his crown five other times before his retirement.
6. Of his 49 total matches, he won 43 of them with a knockout.
7. Marciano was later killed in a plane crash at the age of forty-five during 1969.

Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev denounces Stalin
  • Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev gives secret speech denouncing Stalin.
More Information for Khrushchev's Speech
The Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union is held during February of 1956, during which the Soviet Leader, Nikita Khrushchev, gave a speech condemning former Soviet premier Joseph Stalin who had died three years earlier. Khrushchev denounced Stalin as a cruel leader who had created a toxic, suspicious and terrifying environment in which persecution was rife. Khrushchev stated that Stalin’s “cult of personality” must be dismantled and urged the Soviet Congress members to reveal the truth about Stalin slowly to the Russian public. The entirety of the secretive speech was not revealed to the Russian people until 1988.

  • Premium Bonds introduced in England to encourage saving
  • British naval diver Dissapears on May 9th "Buster" Crabb is later Found Dead following covert diving operation on Russian Cruiser
  • The Summer Olympics are held in Melbourne, Australia
United States "As the World Turns" begins on CBS
  • The first half-hour serial "As the World Turns" begins on CBS.
More Information for As the World Turns
1. The very first half-hour television serial (soap opera) "As the World Turns" premiered on CBS during April of 1956. It was unusual as most serials had only been 15 minutes in length up until that point.
2. The public reception of the show was initially tepid but it soon became quite popular and was one of the highest rated shows on television.
3. "As the World Turns" had featured several now well-known actors during its fifty plus year run including Meg Ryan, Amanda Seyfried, Matthew Morrison, and Jordana Brewster.
4. The show was set in fictional Oakdale, Illinois and plot lines focused on the lives of the town's residents.
5. It was notable in that it had a much slower pace than other serial soap operas of the time, choosing to highlight gradual character development rather than over the top drama.
6. It won several Emmy Awards throughout its run.
7. In 2010 the show was cancelled by CBS due to low ratings.

United States "My Fair Lady" opens on Broadway
  • "My Fair Lady" opens on Broadway starring Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle and Rex Harrison as Professor Higgins.
More Information for the My Fair Lady musical
The smash hit musical comedy “My Fair Lady” debuts on Broadway during March of 1956. The musical, created by Lerner and Loewe, was based off of George Bernard Shaw’s 1913 play “Pygmalion” and starred Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews in the lead roles of Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle. The show proved to be immensely popular with audiences and was praised by critics. It was nominated for ten Tony Awards and won six, including Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical, and Best Direction. Its original run continued until September of 1962 with a total of 2,717 performances, making it the longest running musical at that time. It was revived in 1976, 1981, and 1993 and there was a popular film version released in 1964.

United States 1956 Federal-Aid Highway Act Signed Into Law
  • Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 signed into law on 29th June for the construction of 41,000 miles of interstate highways over a 20-year period.
More Information for the Federal Aid Highway Act
U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 into law during June of 1956. The Federal Highway Act authorized the creation of the interstate system with the construction of over 41,000 miles of highways across the United States. It was the largest U.S. Public construction project to be undertaken by the government at the point in history and was estimated to cost between $25 and $30 billion to build. Eisenhower pushed for the creation of the interstate system, citing a benefit to national security as the highways would allow for faster and safer evacuation routes in the event of a nuclear attack. The Federal Highway Act also helped to boost the auto industry, solidifying the car’s place in American culture.

Monaco --- Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier of Monaco
  • The Movie star Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier of Monaco and becomes Princess Grace of Monaco
More Information and Timeline For Grace Kelly
1. Grace Kelly was an Oscar winning actress winning an Oscar for Best Actress in The Country Girl, other movies she starred in included High Noon (1952), Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), To Catch a Thief (1955) and High Society (
2. April 1955 while attending the Cannes Film Festival she met Prince Rainier III, the sovereign of the principality of Monaco .
3. December 1955 while visiting the U.S. Rainier met Kelly and her family, and he proposed. She accepted and the families began preparations for what the press at that time dubbed "The Wedding of the Century." .
4. April 18th 1956 The Movie star Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier of Monaco in a a 16-minute civil ceremony in the Palace Throne Room of Monaco, The Napoleonic Code of Monaco and the laws of the Roman Catholic Church necessitated two ceremonies, the first a civil ceremony and on the following day a church ceremony
5. April 19th 1956 the church ceremony took place at Monaco's Saint Nicholas Cathedral and was watched by over 30 million viewers on live television,,

  • Soccer star Pele joins Brazil's Santos team at the age of 15 in June
  • Eight black students are refused entry at Sturgis High School in Sturgis, Kentucky
  • 52 people die when the Italian passenger liner S.S. Andrea Doria collides on July 25th off Nantucket Island, Mass. with the Swedish liner S.S. Stockholm.
  • The Winter Olympic Games are held in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy

Popular Culture

  • Rocky Marciano retires as the only undefeated Heavyweight Champion of the world with a perfect record
  • Elvis Presley enters the US music charts for the first time, with " Heartbreak Hotel. " the first of 170 hit singles
  • Elvis Presley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time
  • Elvis Presley's first movie, "Love Me Tender" opens in New York
  • Diamonds Are Forever is published by Ian Fleming
  • "My Fair Lady" opens on Broadway starring Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle and Rex Harrison as Professor Higgins.
  • The first half-hour serial "As the World Turns" begins on CBS.

Popular Films

  • Guys and Dolls
  • The King and I
  • Trapeze
  • High Society
  • Around the World in Eighty Days

Popular Musicians

  • Elvis Presley
  • Bill Haley and the Comets
  • Chuck Berry
  • Jerry Lee Lewis
  • Johnny Cash
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Dean Martin

Check out our TV Shows From The 50s whenever possible we have included a trailer to jog your memory. Series trailers and more information are found on the decade they started.

Born This Year

David Copperfield September 16th
Gary Cole September 20th
Martina Navratilova October 18th
Bo Derek November 20th

Technology 1956

  • First hard disk (5MB) invented by IBM.
  • Black-and-white portable TV sets hit the market
  • The first Transatlantic Telephone Cable goes in operation
  • The first commercial videotape recorder the VR-1000 from Ampex Corp goes on sale.
  • Tefal starts producing non stick Frying Pans
  • Oral Vaccine developed against Polio by Albert Sabin
  • Sony exports it's first products to Canada a Transistor Radio
Inventions Invented by Inventors and Country ( or attributed to First Use )
Nuclear Power England first power station at Calder Hall
Video Tape USA
Video Recorder USA

1956 Calendar

Major World Political Leaders

Australia Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies Brazil President Nereu Ramos Till 31 January
Brazil President Juscelino Kubitschek From 31 January

Canada Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent

China Chairman of the People's Republic of China Mao Zedong

France President René Coty

Germany Chancellor Konrad Adenauer
India Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru

Italy Prime Minister Antonio Segni

Japan Prime Minister Ichiro Hatoyama Till 23 December
Japan Prime Minister Tanzan Ishibashi From 23 December
Mexico President Adolfo Ruiz Cortines Russia / Soviet Union
First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev South Africa Prime Minister Johannes Gerhardus Strijdom United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower United Kingdom Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden

Political Elections

United States Presidential Election 1956 Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican) Defeats Adlai Stevenson (Democratic)