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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

  • Suez Crisis caused by the Egyptian Nationalization of the Suez Canal
  • Israel attacks Egypt during Suez Crisis and Britain and France Bomb Egypt
  • 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
  • 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
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 .
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 “Hearthbreak 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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United States
  • 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
  • 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
    • 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.

  • 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
  • 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)