1955 in the United States
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|1955 in the United States|
|Years:||1952 1953 1954 – 1955 – 1956 1957 1958|
48 stars (1912–59)
Events from the year 1955 in the United States.
- President: Dwight D. Eisenhower (R-Kansas/New York)
- Vice President: Richard Nixon (R-California)
- Chief Justice: Earl Warren (originally now residing in from of the U.S. state of California)
- Speaker of the House of Representatives: Joseph William Martin, Jr. (R-Massachusetts) (until January 3), Sam Rayburn (D-Texas) (starting January 3)
- Senate Majority Leader: William F. Knowland (R-California) (until January 3), Lyndon B. Johnson (D-Texas) (starting January 3)
- Congress: 83rd (until January 3), 84th (starting January 3)
- January 7 – Marian Anderson is the first African American singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
- January 22 – The Pentagon announces a plan to develop ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) armed with nuclear weapons.
- January 28 – The United States Congress authorizes President Dwight D. Eisenhower to use force to protect Formosa from the People's Republic of China.
- February 10 – The Seventh Fleet of the United States Navy helps the Republic of China evacuate Chinese Nationalist army and residents from the Tachen Islands to Taiwan.
- February 12 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends the first U.S. advisors to South Vietnam.
- February 22 – In Chicago's Democratic primary, Mayor Martin H. Kennelly loses to the head of the Cook County Democratic Party, Richard J. Daley, 364,839 to 264,77.
- March 2 – Claudette Colvin (a fifteen-year-old African American girl) refuses to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, to a white woman after the driver demands it. She is carried off the bus backwards whilst being kicked and handcuffed and harassed on the way to the police station.
- March 5 – WBBJ signs on the air in the Jackson, Tennessee as WDXI, to expanded U.S. commercial television in rural areas.
- March 7 – The 1954 Broadway musical version of Peter Pan, starring Mary Martin, is presented on television for the first time by NBC (also the first time that a stage musical is presented in its entirety on TV exactly as performed on stage). The program gains the largest viewership of a TV special up to that time, and becomes one of the first great television classics.
- March 12 – Charlie Parker dies in New York at age 34.
- March 19 – KXTV of Stockton, California signs on the air in the United States, being the 100th commercial television station in the country.
- March 20 – Evan Hunter's adaptation of Blackboard Jungle premieres in the U.S., featuring the famous single, Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and his Comets. Teenagers jump from their seats to dance to the song.
- March 28 – The important income tax case of Commissioner v. Glenshaw Glass Co. is decided in the Supreme Court.
- April 5 – Richard J. Daley defeats Robert Merrian to become mayor of Chicago by a vote of 708,222 to 581,555.
- April 12 – Jonas Salk's polio vaccine, having passed large-scale trials earlier in the United States, receives full approval by the FDA.
- April 15 – Ray Kroc opens his first McDonald's in Des Plaines, Illinois.
- June 7 – The $64,000 Question premieres on CBS television, with Hal March as the host.
- June 16 – Lady and the Tramp, Walt Disney's 15th animated film, premieres in Chicago, Illinois.
- July 18
- The first atomic-generated electrical power is sold commercially, powering Arco, Idaho.
- Illinois's Governor William Stratton signs the Loyalty Oath Act, that mandates all public employees take a loyalty oath or lose their jobs.
- The Geneva Summit between the US, USSR, UK and France begins.
- The Disneyland Theme Park opens to the public in Anaheim, California.
- July 23 – The Geneva Summit between the US, USSR, UK and France ends.
- August 19 – Hurricane Diane hits the northeast United States, killing 200 and causing over $1 billion in damage.
- August 22 – Eleven schoolchildren are killed when their school bus is hit by a freight train in Spring City, Tennessee.
- August 28 – Emmett Till is killed in Money, Mississippi.
- September 10 – Gunsmoke debuts on the CBS television network.
- September 24 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower suffers a coronary thrombosis while on vacation in Denver.
- September 30 – Actor James Dean is killed when his Porsche 550 Spyder collides with another automobile at a highway junction near Cholame, California.
- October 3 – The Mickey Mouse Club airs on the ABC television network.
- October 4 – The Brooklyn Dodgers won the World Series, defeating the New York Yankees 2–0 in Game 7 of the 1955 Fall Classic.
- October 11 – 70-mm film is introduced with the theatrical release of Rodgers and Hammerstein's masterpiece, Oklahoma!
- October 20 – The first footage of Elvis Presley is filmed as part of a film short about Cleveland disc jockey Bill Randle.
- November 1 – A time bomb explodes in the cargo hold of United Airlines Flight 629, a Douglas DC-6B airliner flying above Longmont, Colorado, killing all 39 passengers and 5 crew members on board.
- November 5 – Racial segregation is forbidden on trains and buses in U.S. interstate commerce.
- November 12 – The Bugs Bunny cartoon Roman-Legion Hare debuts in the U.S.A.
- November 20 – Bo Diddley makes his television debut on Ed Sullivan's Toast Of The Town show for the CBS network.
- November 27 – Fred Phelps establishes the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas.
- December 1 – Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white person, and the national civil rights movement begins.
- December 5
- December 14 – Tappan Zee Bridge in New York opens to traffic.
- December 22 – Cytogeneticist Joe Hin Tjio discovers the correct number of human chromosomes.
- December 31
- January 11 – Max Lucado, writer on Christian themes
- January 12 – Rockne S. O'Bannon, writer and producer
- January 13 – Jay McInerney, novelist
- January 18 – Kevin Costner, film actor, producer and director
- January 21 – Jeff Koons, "kitsch" artist
- January 27 – John Roberts, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the U.S. from 2005
- February 8 – John Grisham, writer of legal thrillers
- February 12 – Bill Laswell, bass player and producer (Massacre, Material, Tabla Beat Science, Painkiller and Praxis)
- February 21 – Kelsey Grammer, TV actor
- February 24 – Steve Jobs, entrepreneur and inventor (d. 2011)
- March 2 – Ken Salazar, U.S. Senator from Colorado from 2005 to 2009
- March 5 – Penn Jillette, magician
- March 17 – Gary Sinise, film & TV actor
- March 19 – Bruce Willis, actor
- April 6 – Michael Rooker, actor
- April 7
- April 8
- April 29 – Kate Mulgrew, TV actress
- May 6 – Tom Bergeron, TV game-show host
- May 9 – Kevin Reed, theologian and author
- May 10 – Mark David Chapman, murderer
- May 16 – Debra Winger, film actress
- May 17 – Bill Paxton, film actor
- June 7 – Joey Scarbury, singer-songwriter
- June 16 – Laurie Metcalf, TV actress
- June 25 – Patricia Smith, African-American poet, "spoken-word performer", playwright, author and writing teacher
- July 1
- July 8 – Lindsey Graham, U.S. Senator from South Carolina from 2003
- July 18 – Nancy Garrido, kidnapper
- July 21 – Howie Epstein, bass player, songwriter and producer (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) (d. 2003)
- July 22 – Willem Dafoe, actor
- August 2 – Caleb Carr, writer
- August 4 – Billy Bob Thornton, film actor, director, screenwriter, producer and singer-songwriter
- August 13 – Daryl, magician
- August 24 – Mike Huckabee, Governor of Arkansas
- August 31 – Edwin Moses, track & field athlete
- September 29 – Joe Donnelly, U.S. Senator from Indiana from 2013
- October 17 – Tyrone Mitchell, murderer (d. 1984)
- October 20 – Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Senator from Rhode Island from 2007
- October 28 – Bill Gates, software designer and entrepreneur
- October 30 – Heidi Heitkamp, U.S. Senator from North Dakota from 2013
- November 5 – Kris Jenner, TV personality
- November 13 – Whoopi Goldberg, African-American comic actress
- November 23 – Mary Landrieu, U.S. Senator from Louisiana from 1997
- November 30
- December 11
- Gene Grossman, economist and academic
- Stu Jackson, basketball player, coach and manager
- December 19 – Rob Portman, U.S. Senator from Ohio from 2011
- December 21 – Jane Kaczmarek, TV actress
- December 26 – Evan Bayh, U.S. Senator from Indiana from 1999 to 2011
- January 1 – Arthur C. Parker, part-Seneca archeologist and ethnographer of Native Americans (born 1881)
- January 20 – Robert P. Tristram Coffin, poet, essayist and novelist (born 1892)
- January 21 – Archie Hahn, athlete (b. 1880)
- January 24 – Ira Hayes, Native American U.S. Marine flag raiser on Iwo Jima (b. 1923)
- January 31 – John Mott, YMCA leader, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1865)
- February 11 – Ona Munson, actress (b. 1903)
- February 12 – Thomas J. Moore, Irish-American film actor (b. 1883)
- February 20 – Oswald Avery, physician and medical researcher (b. 1877)
- February 27 – Trixie Friganza, actress (b. 1870)
- March 3 – Katharine Drexel, Roman Catholic saint (b. 1858)
- March 8 – William C. deMille, screenwriter and director (b. 1878)
- March 9 – Matthew Henson, African-American explorer (b. 1866)
- March 12 – Charlie Parker, African-American jazz saxophonist (b. 1920)
- April 7 – Theda Bara, silent film actress (b. 1885)
- April 14 – Cleveland L. Abbott, African-American football player and player (born 1892)
- April 18 – Albert Einstein, German-born theoretical physicist who developed the general theory of relativity (born 1879)
- May 2 – Truman Abbe, surgeon who received awards for his research on radium in medicine (born 1873)
- May 10 – Tommy Burns, boxer (b. 1881)
- May 11 – Bradley Walker Tomlin, painter (b. 1899)
- May 14 – Charles Pelot Summerall, general (b. 1867)
- May 16 – James Agee, writer (b. 1909)
- May 18 – Mary McLeod Bethune, educator (b. 1875)
- May 22 – Richard "Skeets" Gallagher, actor (b. 1891)
- May 30 – Bill Vukovich, race-car driver (b. 1918)
- June 5 – Pattillo Higgins, oil pioneer and businessman (b. 1863)
- June 10 – Margaret Abbott, golfer, first American woman to take first place in the Olympics (born 1876)
- June 11 – Walter Hampden, film actor (b. 1879)
- June 17 – Carlyle Blackwell, actor (b. 1884)
- July 13 – Stanley Price, film and television actor (b. 1892)
- July 23 – Cordell Hull, United States Secretary of State, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1871)
- July 31 – Robert Francis, actor (b. 1930)
- August 2 – Wallace Stevens, poet (b. 1879)
- August 8 – Grace Hartman, actress (b. 1907)
- August 11 – Robert W. Wood, optical physicist (born 1868)
- August 12 – James B. Sumner, chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1887)
- August 22 – Olin Downes, music critic (b. 1886)
- August 28 – Emmett Till, murder victim (b. 1841)
- September 1 – Philip Loeb, actor (b. 1891)
- September 20 – Robert Riskin, screenwriter (b. 1897)
- September 23 – Martha Norelius, Olympic swimmer (b. 1808)
- September 27 – Leslie Garland Bolling, African-American sculptor (b. 1898)
- September 30
- October 1 – Charles Christie, film studio owner (b. 1880)
- October 8 – Iry LeJeune, Cajun musician (b. 1928)
- October 9 – Alice Joyce, actress (b. 1890)
- October 19 – John Hodiak, film actor (b. 1914)
- October 31 – William Woodward, Jr., banker and horse breeder, shot in mariticide (b. 1920)
- November 1 – Dale Carnegie, writer and lecturer (b. 1888)
- November 4 – Cy Young, baseball player (Cleveland Spiders), member of MLB Hall of Fame (b. 1867)
- November 7 – Tom Powers, actor (b. 1890)
- November 11 – Jerry Ross, lyricist and composer (b. 1926)
- November 14 – Robert E. Sherwood, playwright (b. 1896)
- November 15 – Lloyd Bacon, actor and film director (b. 1889)
- November 22 – Shemp Howard, film actor and comedian (The Three Stooges) (b. 1895)
- November 29 – Rene Paul Chambellan, sculptor (b. 1893)
- December 1 – Chief Thundercloud, character actor (b. 1899)
- December 6
- December 22 – Otto Eppers, cartoonist (b. 1893)
- December 25
- 348 U.S. 426 (1955).
- "School Bus, Train Wreck Memorial Set For Aug. 21". Chattanoogan.com. August 18, 2004.
- Media related to 1955 in the United States at Wikimedia Commons