|1956 by topic|
|Lists of leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2709|
|Balinese saka calendar||1877–1878|
|British Regnal year||4 Eliz. 2 – 5 Eliz. 2|
|Chinese calendar||乙未年 (Wood Goat)|
4652 or 4592
— to —
丙申年 (Fire Monkey)
4653 or 4593
|- Vikram Samvat||2012–2013|
|- Shaka Samvat||1877–1878|
|- Kali Yuga||5056–5057|
|Japanese calendar||Shōwa 31|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 45|
|Thai solar calendar||2499|
2082 or 1701 or 929
— to —
2083 or 1702 or 930
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1956.|
1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1956th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 956th year of the 2nd millennium, the 56th year of the 20th century, and the 7th year of the 1950s decade.
- January 1
- January 3
- January 8 – Operation Auca: Five U.S. evangelical Christian missionaries, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, Jim Elliot and Pete Fleming, are killed for trespassing by the Huaorani people of Ecuador, shortly after making contact with them.
- January 16 – Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser vows to reconquer Palestine.
- January 25 – 26 – Finnish troops reoccupy Porkkala, after Soviet troops vacate its military base. Civilians can return February 4.
- January 26 – The 1956 Winter Olympics open in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.
- February 11 – British spies Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean resurface in the Soviet Union, after being missing for 5 years.
- February 14 – 25 – The 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union is held in Moscow.
- February 16 – Only a little more than four months after the release of the 70 mm version of Oklahoma!, the film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones, is released in CinemaScope 55. MacRae and Jones had previously starred in Oklahoma! Carousel, intended for showing in 55 mm, ends up being shown only in 35 mm.
- February 22 – Elvis Presley enters the United States music charts for the first time, with "Heartbreak Hotel".
- February 23 – Norma Jean Mortenson legally changes her name to Marilyn Monroe.
- February 24 – Doris Day records her most famous song, "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)"; it is from Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much, in which Day co-stars with James Stewart.
- February 25 – Nikita Khrushchev attacks the veneration of Joseph Stalin, in a speech "On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences", at a secret session concluding the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
- March 1 – The International Air Transport Association finalizes a draft of the radiotelephony spelling alphabet, for the International Civil Aviation Organization.
- March 2 – Morocco declares its independence from France.
- March 9
- March 10 – The Fairey Delta 2 breaks the World Air Speed Record, raising it to 1,132 mph (1,822 km/h) or Mach 1.73, an increase of some 300 mph (480 km/h) over the previous record, and thus becoming the first aircraft to exceed 1,000 mph (1,600 km/h) in level flight.
- March 11 – After having opened in London the previous year, Laurence Olivier's film, Richard III, adapted from Shakespeare's play, has its U.S. premiere in theatres and on NBC-TV on the same day. On television it is not shown in prime time, but as an afternoon matinée, in a slightly cut version. It is one of the first such experiments of its kind. Olivier is later nominated for an Oscar for his performance.
- March 12
- March 13 – Elvis Presley releases his first gold album titled Elvis Presley in the United States.
- March 15 – The Broadway musical My Fair Lady opens in New York City.
- March 19 – At age 48, Dutch boxer Bep van Klaveren contests his last match in Rotterdam.
- March 20 – Tunisia gains independence from France.
- March 21 – The 28th Academy Awards Ceremony is held in Los Angeles. Marty is awarded Best Picture.
- March 23 – Pakistan becomes the first Islamic republic, and a national holiday is observed in the country, including the state of East Pakistan.
- April 2 – The first episodes of As the World Turns and The Edge of Night are broadcast on the CBS Television Network in the United States.
- April 7 – Spain relinquishes its protectorate in Morocco.
- April 9 – Habib Bourguiba is elected President of the National Constituent Assembly of the Kingdom of Tunisia; on April 15 he becomes Prime Minister.
- April 14 – Videotape is first demonstrated at the 1956 NARTB (modern-day NAB) convention in Chicago by Ampex. It is the demonstration of the first practical and commercially successful videotape format known as 2" Quadruplex.
- April 17 – Queen Elizabeth II inaugurates the 4.9 km² Chew Valley Lake in Somerset, England, as a reservoir for the Bristol area.
- April 18 – Maria Desylla-Kapodistria is elected mayor of Corfu, becoming the first female mayor in Greece.
- April 19
- April 21 – Former U.S. First Daughter Margaret Truman marries Clifton Daniel.
- April 27 – Heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano retires, without losing a professional boxing match.
- May 2
- The United Methodist Church in America decides, at its General Conference, to grant women full ordained clergy status. It also calls for an end to racial segregation in the denomination.
- Violet Gibson, who attempted to assassinate Mussolini in 1926, dies in a mental hospital in England, after a lifetime of imprisonment.
- May 8
- Austria and Israel establish diplomatic relations.Confirmation needed
- The constitutional union between Indonesia and the Netherlands is dissolved.
- John Osborne's Look Back in Anger opens at the Royal Court Theatre, London, changing the scope of theatrical and other forms of drama in the UK: the theatre's press release describes the dramatist as among the angry young men of the time.
- May 9 – Manaslu, eighth highest mountain in the world (in the Nepalese Himalayas), is first ascended, by a Japanese team.
- May 18 – Lhotse main summit, the fourth highest mountain (on the Nepalese–Tibetan border, is first ascended, by Fritz Luchsinger and Ernst Reiss.
- May 22 – The NBC Peacock logo debuts on television in the United States.
- May 23 – French minister Pierre Mendès France resigns, due to his government's policy on Algeria.
- May 24 – The first Eurovision Song Contest is broadcast from Lugano, Switzerland. The winning song is the host country's Refrain by Lys Assia (music by Géo Voumard, lyrics by Émile Gardaz).
- May 25 – India announces the institution of diplomatic relations with Francoist Spain).
- June 1 – Vyacheslav Molotov resigns as foreign minister of the Soviet Union; he later becomes ambassador to Mongolia.
- June 3 – British Railways rename 'Third Class' passenger facilities 'Second Class'.
- June 4 – Montgomery bus boycott: The related civil suit[clarification needed] is heard in federal district court; the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in November.
- June 5
- The text of Nikita Khrushchev's February attack on Stalin's reputation, "On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences", is first published in the West, in The New York Times.
- Elvis Presley performs "Hound Dog" on The Milton Berle Show, scandalizing the American television audience with his suggestive hip movements.
- June 6 – In Singapore, chief minister David Marshall resigns, after the breakdown of talks about internal self-government in London.
- June 8 – General Electric/Telechron introduces model 7H241 "The Snooz Alarm", the first snooze alarm clock ever.
- June 10 – 1956 Summer Olympics: Equestrian events open in Stockholm, Sweden (all other events are held in November in Melbourne, Australia).
- June 13
- June 14 – The Flag of the United States Army is formally dedicated.
- June 15 – Eindhoven University of Technology is founded in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
- June 18 – The last foreign troops leave Egypt.
- June 21 – Playwright Arthur Miller appears before the House Un-American Activities Committee in Washington, D.C.
- June 23 – Gamal Abdel Nasser becomes the 2nd president of Egypt, a post he holds until his death in 1970.
- June 28
- Poznań 1956 protests: Labour riots in Poznań, Poland, are crushed with heavy loss of life. Soviet troops fire at a crowd protesting high prices, killing 53 people.
- The film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I, starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner, is released only a few months after the film version of R&H's Carousel. It becomes the most financially successful film version of a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical up to this time, and the only one to win an acting Oscar (Yul Brynner wins Best Actor for his performance as the King of Siam). It is also one of two Rodgers and Hammerstein films to be nominated for Best Picture (which it does not win).
- June 29
- June 30 – 1956 Grand Canyon mid-air collision: A TWA Lockheed Constellation and United Airlines Douglas DC-7 collide in mid-air over the Grand Canyon in Arizona, killing all 128 people aboard both aircraft, in the deadliest civil aviation disaster to date; the accident leads to sweeping changes in the regulation of cross-country flight and air traffic control over the United States.
- July 2 – A laboratory experiment involving scrap thorium at Sylvania Electric Products in Bayside, New York, results in an explosion.
- July 4 – An American Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft makes its first flight over the Soviet Union.
- July 8 – The mountain Gasherbrum II, on the border of Pakistan and China, is first ascended, by an Austrian expedition.
- July 9 – The 7.7 Mw Amorgos earthquake shakes the Cyclades island group in the Aegean Sea, with a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). The shaking and the subsequent tsunami leave 53 people dead.
- July 10 – The British House of Lords defeats the abolition of the death penalty.
- July 13 – John McCarthy (Dartmouth), Marvin Minsky (MIT), Claude Shannon (Bell Labs) and Nathaniel Rochester (IBM) assemble the first coordinated research meeting on the topic of artificial intelligence, at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, in the United States.
- July 16 – With the closing of its "Big Tent" show in Pittsburgh, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announces all subsequent circuses will be "arena shows", due to changing economics.
- July 24 – At New York City's Copacabana nightclub, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis perform their last comedy show together (their act started on July 25, 1946).
- July 25 – The Italian ocean liner SS Andrea Doria sinks after colliding with the Swedish ship SS Stockholm in heavy fog 72 kilometers (45 mi) south of Nantucket island, killing 51.
- July 26 – Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal, sparking international condemnation.
- July 30 – A joint resolution of Congress is signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing "In God we trust" as the U.S. national motto.
- July 31
- August 6 – After going bankrupt in 1955, the American broadcaster DuMont Television Network airs its final broadcast, an episode of its sports series Boxing from St. Nicholas Arena.
- August 8 – 262 miners (chiefly Italian nationals) die in a fire at the Bois du Cazier coal mine, in Marcinelle, Belgium.
- August 9 – The exhibition This Is Tomorrow opens at Whitechapel Art Gallery in London.
- August 12 – Around 5,000 members of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church hold a mass outside Cluj-Napoca Piarists' Church to demonstrate that their church, proscribed by the government in 1948, has not ceased to exist as the regime claims.
- August 17 – West Germany bans the Communist Party of Germany.
- September 9 – Elvis Presley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show in the United States for the first time.
- September 13
- September 16 – Television broadcasting in Australia commences.
- September 21 – Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza García is assassinated.
- September 25 – The submarine transatlantic telephone cable opens.
- September 27 – The Bell X-2 becomes the first manned aircraft to reach Mach 3.
- October 5 – Cecil B. DeMille's epic film The Ten Commandments, starring Charlton Heston as Moses, is released in the United States. It will be in the top ten of the worldwide list of highest-grossing films of all time, adjusted for inflation.
- October 8 – Baseball pitcher Don Larsen of the New York Yankees throws the only perfect game in World Series history, in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Yogi Berra catches the game. Dale Mitchell is the final out. The New York Yankees win the series. Larsen is named series MVP.
- October 10
- October 14 – In India:
- October 15 – The British Royal Air Force retires its last Avro Lancaster bomber.
- October 17
- October 22 – Suez Crisis: The United Kingdom, France, and Israel secretly meet in Sèvres and make plans to invade Egypt.
- October 23 – The Hungarian Revolution breaks out against the pro-Soviet government, originating as a student demonstration in Budapest. Hungary attempts to leave the Warsaw Pact.
- October 26 – Soviet Red Army troops invade Hungary.
- October 29
- October 31
- November 1
- The States Reorganisation Act of India reforms the boundaries and names of Indian states. Three new states, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, are formed.
- City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco publishes Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg, a key work of the Beat Generation.
- The film Oklahoma! (1955), previously released to select cities in Todd-AO, now receives a U.S. national release in CinemaScope, since not all theatres are yet equipped for Todd-AO. To accomplish this, the film had to be actually shot twice, rather than printing one version in two different film processes, as is later done.
- November 3
- November 4 – Hungarian Revolution of 1956: 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 – 1956 United States presidential election: Republican incumbent Dwight D. Eisenhower defeats Democrat challenger Adlai 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 12 – Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia join the United Nations.
- November 13 – Browder v. Gayle: The United States Supreme Court declares illegal the state and municipal laws requiring segregated buses in Montgomery, Alabama, thus ending the Montgomery bus boycott.
- November 14 – Fighting ends in Hungary.Confirmation needed
- November 15 – Middle East Technical University is founded in Ankara, Turkey.
- November 18 – At a reception at the Polish embassy in Moscow, Nikita Khrushchev utters his famous phrase "We will bury you".
- November 20 – In Yugoslavia, former prime minister Milovan Đilas 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.
- November 25 – Fidel Castro and Che Guevara depart from Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico, en route to Santiago de Cuba aboard the yacht Granma, with 82 men.
- November 28 – Roger Vadim's drama film And God Created Woman, released in France as Et Dieu ... créa la femme, propels Brigitte Bardot into the public spotlight as a "sex kitten".
- November 30 – African-American Floyd Patterson wins the world heavyweight boxing championship, that is vacant after the retirement of Rocky Marciano.
- December 2
- December 3 – The 1956 Bush Terminal explosion occurs in Brooklyn.
- December 4 – The Million Dollar Quartet (Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash) get together at Sun Studio, for the first and last time in history.
- December 5 – Rose Heilbron becomes Britain's first female judge.
- December 9 – Trans-Canada Air Lines Flight 810, a Canadair North Star, crashes into Slesse Mountain near Chilliwack, British Columbia. All 62 people aboard, including five Canadian Football League players, are killed.
- December 12 – Japan becomes a member of the United Nations.
- December 18 – To Tell the Truth debuts on CBS-TV in the United States.
- December 19 – British doctor John Bodkin Adams is arrested for the murder of 2 patients in Eastbourne.
- December 23 – British and French troops leave the Suez Canal region.
- December 31 – Bob Barker makes his television debut, as host of the game show Truth or Consequences in the United States.
- Asian flu pandemic originates in China.
- Minamata disease is discovered.
- The Alpine Club of Canada, Toronto section, is founded.
|January · February · March · April · May · June · July · August · September · October · November · December|
- January 1
- January 3
- January 4 – Bernard Sumner, British musician
- January 5
- January 7
- January 9
- January 12 – Nikolai Noskov, Soviet and Russian rock singer and songwriter
- January 13 – Janet Hubert, African-American actress
- January 14 – Ronan Bennett, Northern Irish writer
- January 15 – Vitaly Kaloyev, Russian convicted murderer, architect deputy minister of construction of North Ossetia-Alania
- January 16 – Martin Jol, Dutch football manager
- January 17 – Paul Young, English musician
- January 18
- January 19 – Adriana Acosta, Argentine militant and field hockey player (d. 1978)
- January 20 – Bill Maher, American actor, comedian and political analyst
- January 21
- January 24 – Lounès Matoub, Algerian Berber Kabyle singer (d. 1998)
- January 25 – Bronwyn Pike, Australian politician
- January 26 – Pat Musick, American voice actress
- January 27
- January 28 – Peter Schilling, German singer
- January 29
- January 30 – Keiichi Tsuchiya, Japanese race car driver
- January 31
- February 1 – Mike Kitchen, Canadian ice hockey player and coach
- February 2
- February 3
- February 6 – Jon Walmsley, British actor
- February 7
- February 10 – Enele Sopoaga, 12th Prime Minister of Tuvalu
- February 11
- February 13
- February 14 – Tom Burlinson, Australian actor
- February 15 – Desmond Haynes, West Indian cricketer
- February 18 – Thomas Gradin, Swedish hockey player
- February 19
- February 20 – François Bréda, Romanian essayist, poet, literary critic, literary historian, translator and theatrologist (d. 2018)
- February 23
- February 24
- February 25
- February 26
- February 27 – Angela Aames, American actress (d. 1988)
- February 28 – Liem Swie King, Indonesian badminton player
- February 29
- March 1
- March 2 – Eduardo Rodríguez, President of Bolivia
- March 3 – Frank Giroud, French comics writer (d. 2018)
- March 5
- March 7
- March 8 – John Kapelos, Canadian actor
- March 9
- March 11 – Rob Paulsen, American voice actor and singer
- March 12
- March 13 – Dana Delany, American actress
- March 16
- March 18 – Ingemar Stenmark, Swedish alpine skier
- March 19 – Yegor Gaidar, Russian economist and politician (d. 2009)
- March 20
- March 21
- March 22
- March 24 – Steve Ballmer, American businessman, CEO of Microsoft (2000–2014), owner of the Los Angeles Clippers
- March 25 – Matthew Garber, English child actor (d. 1977)
- March 28
- March 29 – Evie, American Christian musician
- March 30 – Shahla Sherkat, Iranian feminist journalist
- April 3
- April 4
- April 5 – Diamond Dallas Page, American professional wrestler
- April 6
- April 7 – Christopher Darden, African-American attorney, author, actor and lecturer
- April 9 – Edmund Chong Ket Wah, Malaysian politician (d. 2010)
- April 12
- April 13 – Possum Bourne, New Zealand rally car driver (d. 2003)
- April 14 – Barbara Bonney, American soprano
- April 16
- April 18
- April 19 – Sue Barker, British tennis player and television presenter
- April 21 – Phillip Longman, American demographer
- April 22 – Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Finnish conductor
- April 23 - Greg Colson, American artist
- April 26 – Koo Stark, British actress
- April 27 – Bryan Harvey, American musician (d. 2006)
- April 28
- April 30 – Lars von Trier, Danish film director and screenwriter
- May 1
- May 4
- May 5 – Lisa Eilbacher, American actress
- May 6
- May 7
- May 9
- May 10
- May 12 – Jānis Bojārs, Latvian shot putter (d. 2018)
- May 13
- May 15 – Dan Patrick, American sports commentator
- May 17
- May 19 – Steven Ford, American actor
- May 20
- May 23
- May 24 – Michael Jackson, Irish Anglican bishop
- May 26 – Lisa Niemi, American actress and dancer, spouse of Patrick Swayze
- May 27 – Giuseppe Tornatore, Italian film director
- May 28
- May 29 – La Toya Jackson, African-American singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman and television personality
- May 31 – Yoshiko Sakakibara, Japanese voice actress
- June 1
- June 2 – Mani Ratnam, Indian film director, screenwriter and producer
- June 3 – George Burley, Scottish football manager
- June 4 – Keith David, African-American actor and voice actor
- June 5 – Kenny G, American saxophonist
- June 6
- June 7
- June 8
- June 9 – Patricia Cornwell, American novelist
- June 10 – Borwin, Duke of Mecklenburg, German head of the House of Mecklenburg
- June 11
- June 13 – Yurik Vardanyan, Soviet weightlifter (d. 2018)
- June 14 – King Diamond, Danish heavy metal musician
- June 15 – Robin Curtis, American actress
- June 17
- June 20 – Cho Chikun, Korean Go player
- June 21 – Thomas James O'Leary, American actor
- June 22
- June 23
- June 24 – Turid Leirvoll, Norwegian-Danish politician
- June 25
- June 26
- June 27
- June 28 – Noel Mugavin, Australian rules football player
- June 29
- June 30
- July 1
- July 2
- July 3 – Dorota Pomykała, Polish actress
- July 4 – Bárbara Bruno, Brazilian actress, director and producer
- July 5
- July 7
- July 9 – Tom Hanks, American actor and director
- July 10 – K. Rajagopal, Malaysian football manager and national player
- July 11
- July 12 – Mel Harris, American actress
- July 13
- July 14
- July 15
- July 16
- July 17 – Robert Romanus, American actor and musician
- July 18 – Sheila Aldridge, American singer
- July 19
- July 24
- July 25 – Frances Arnold, American biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
- July 26
- July 30
- July 31
- August 2 – Robert Khuzami, Deputy Attorney for the Southern District of New York
- August 4
- August 5
- August 6 – Stepfanie Kramer, American actress
- August 7
- August 8 – Chris Foreman, English rock guitarist
- August 10
- August 12 – Bruce Greenwood, Canadian actor
- August 14
- August 17 – Dave Jones, English football manager
- August 19 – Adam Arkin, American actor
- August 20
- August 21
- August 22
- August 23
- August 24
- August 25 – Henri Toivonen, Finnish rally car driver (d. 1986)
- August 26 – Mark Mangino, American football coach
- August 28 – Luis Guzmán, Puerto Rican actor
- August 29
- August 31
- September 1 – Bernie Wagenblast, American editor and broadcaster
- September 2
- September 3 – Pat McGeown, Provisional Irish Republican Army member (d. 1996)
- September 7 – Michael Feinstein, American singer and pianist
- September 8 – Maurice Cheeks, American basketball player and coach
- September 11 – Phillip D. Bissett, American politician
- September 12
- September 13 – Ilie Balaci, Romanian football player (d. 2018)
- September 14
- September 15 – George Howard, American jazz saxophone musician (d. 1998)
- September 16
- September 17
- September 18 – Tim McInnerny, English actor
- September 20
- September 21 – Jack Givens, American basketball player
- September 23
- September 24 – Gregory Peter Panos, American futurist, writer, inventor
- September 25 – Jamie Hyneman, American television co-host
- September 26 – Linda Hamilton, American actress
- September 29 – Sebastian Coe, Baron Coe, British athlete; co-ordinator of the London 2012 Olympic Games
- September 30 – Gordon Elliott, British-Australian television personality and talk show host
- October 1
- October 2 – Charlie Adler, American voice actor and director
- October 3 – Ralph Morgenstern, German actor
- October 4 – Christoph Waltz, German-Austrian actor
- October 8
- October 10 – Amanda Burton, Irish actress
- October 11 – Nicanor Duarte, 47th President of Paraguay
- October 12 – Trần Đại Quang, President of Vietnam (d. 2018)
- October 16 – Rudra Mohammad Shahidullah, Bangladeshi poet (d. 1991)
- October 17
- October 18
- October 19
- October 20
- October 21 – Carrie Fisher, American actress and novelist (d. 2016)
- October 22 – Marvin Bush, American businessman
- October 23 – Dwight Yoakam, American country singer, musician and actor
- October 26 – Rita Wilson, American actress and producer
- October 28 – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 6th President of Iran
- November 5 – Rob Fisher, British keyboardist and songwriter (Climie Fisher) (d. 1999)
- November 7
- November 8
- November 10
- November 11 – Talat Aziz, ghazal singer
- November 14
- November 17
- November 18
- November 20
- November 21 – Terri Welles, American actress and adult model
- November 22 – Richard Kind, American actor
- November 23
- November 24 – Jouni Kaipainen, Finnish composer
- November 26 – Dale Jarrett, American race car driver
- November 27
- November 28
- November 29
- December 1
- December 4 – Bernard King, American basketball player and commentator
- December 5
- December 6
- December 7
- December 9
- December 10 – Rod Blagojevich, American politician and convicted felon, Governor of Illinois (2003–2009)
- December 11 – Lani Brockman, American playwright
- December 12
- December 13 – Majida El Roumi, Lebanese singer
- December 14 – Béla Réthy, German sports journalist
- December 16 – Duncan Faure, South African musician
- December 18 – Ron White, American comedian
- December 19
- December 21 – Anna Erlandsson, Swedish filmmaker and animator
- December 23
- December 24
- December 26
- December 28
- December 29 – Fred MacAulay, Scottish comedian
- December 30
- December 31
- Dong Hao, Chinese host, voice actor and painter
- Gilma Jiménez, Colombian politician (d. 2013)
- Nancy Lynn, American aerobatic pilot (d. 2006)
- Ephraim Mirvis, South African-born Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of Great Britain and the Commonwealth
- Susan Solomon, American atmospheric chemist
- Chris Wilson, Australian musician (d. 2019)
- January 3
- January 5 – Mistinguett, French singer and actress (b. 1875)
- January 9 – Marion Leonard, American actress (b. 1881)
- January 10
- January 12 – Norman Kerry, American actor (b. 1894)
- January 13 – Lyonel Charles Feininger, German painter (b. 1871)
- January 14 – Sheila Kaye-Smith, English writer (b. 1887)
- January 18 – Konstantin Päts, 1st President of Estonia (b. 1874)
- January 21 – Sam Langford, Canadian boxer (b. 1883)
- January 23 – Sir Alexander Korda, Hungarian-born film director (b. 1893)
- January 27 – Erich Kleiber, German conductor (b. 1890)
- January 29 – H. L. Mencken, American writer (b. 1880)
- January 31 – A. A. Milne, English author (Winnie The Pooh) (b. 1882)
- February 2
- February 3 – Robert Yerkes, American psychologist and ethologist (b. 1876)
- February 8 – Connie Mack, American baseball executive and manager (Philadelphia Athletics) and a member of the MLB Hall of Fame (b. 1862)
- February 10 – Hugh Trenchard, 1st Viscount Trenchard, British marshal of the Royal Air Force (b. 1873)
- February 13 – Jan Łukasiewicz, Polish logician and philosopher (b. 1878)
- February 18 – Gustave Charpentier, French composer (b. 1860)
- February 20
- February 26 – Elsie Janis, American singer and actress (b. 1889)
- February 29 – Elpidio Quirino, 6th President of the Philippines (b. 1890)
- March 12 – Bolesław Bierut, Polish Communist politician and statesman, former Prime Minister and Presdident of Poland (b. 1892)
- March 14 – David Browning, American Olympic diver (b. 1931)
- March 17
- March 18
- March 20
- March 21 – Edwin Thanhouser, American actor, businessman, and film producer, founder of the Thanhouser Company (b. 1865)
- March 22
- March 25
- March 28 – Thomas de Hartmann, Russian composer (b. 1885)
- March 30 – Edmund Clerihew Bentley, English writer (b. 1875)
- March 31 – Ralph DePalma, Italian-born race car driver (b. 1884)
- April 6 – Pío Valenzuela, Filipino physician and one of the leaders of the Katipunan (b. 1869)
- April 13 – Emil Nolde, German-Danish painter (b. 1867)
- April 15 – Kathleen Howard, Canadian-born American actress and opera singer (b. 1884)
- April 19 – Ernst Robert Curtius, Alsatian philologist (b. 1886)
- April 21
- April 24 – Henry Stephenson, British character actor (b. 1871)
- April 26 – Edward Arnold, American actor (b. 1890)
- June 28 – Friedrich Schmidt-Ott, German lawyer, scientific organizer, and science policymaker (b. 1860)
- April 29
- April 30 – Alben W. Barkley, 35th Vice President of the United States (b. 1877)
- May 3
- May 6 – Fergus Anderson, British motorcycle racer (b. 1909)
- May 12 – Louis Calhern, American actor (b. 1895)
- May 15 – Austin Osman Spare, English artist and occultist (b. 1886)
- May 18 – Maurice Tate, English cricketer (b. 1895)
- May 20
- May 23 – Gustav Suits, Estonian poet (b. 1883)
- May 24
- May 26 – Al Simmons, American baseball player (Philadelphia Athletics) and a member of the MLB Hall of Fame (b. 1902)
- May 29 – Frank Beaurepaire, Australian Olympic swimmer (b. 1891)
- May 31 – Diedrich Hermann Westermann, German linguist (b. 1875)
- June 2
- June 4 – Katherine MacDonald, American silent film actress (b. 1891)
- June 6
- June 7 – Julien Benda, French philosopher and novelist (b. 1867)
- June 11
- June 17
- June 22 – Walter de la Mare, English poet, short story writer, and novelist (b. 1873)
- June 23 – Reinhold Glière, Russian composer (b. 1875)
- June 25
- June 26 – Clifford Brown, American jazz trumpeter (b. 1930)
- June 28 – Claud Schuster, 1st Baron Schuster, British civil servant (b. 1869)
- July 1 – Tawfik Abu Al-Huda, 4-Time Prime Minister of Jordan (b. 1894)
- July 7 – Gottfried Benn, German poet (b. 1886)
- July 8 – Giovanni Papini, Italian essayist, poet, novelist (b. 1881)
- July 10 – Joe Giard, American baseball player (b. 1898)
- July 11 – John T. Raulston, American Scopes Monkey Trial judge (b. 1868)
- July 12 – Sprague Cleghorn, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1890)
- July 20 – James Alexander Calder, Canadian politician (b. 1868)
- July 24 – Géza Zemplén, Hungarian chemist (b. 1883)
- July 29 – Ludwig Klages, German philosopher and psychologist (b. 1872)
- August 2 – Albert Woolson, last surviving Union veteran of the American Civil War (b. 1847)
- August 9 – Archie Cameron, Australian politician (b. 1895)
- August 11
- August 14
- August 16
- August 19 – Bernard Griffin, English Cardinal, Catholic Archbishop of Westminster (b. 1899)
- August 23 – Peaches Browning, American actress (b. 1910)
- August 24 – Kenji Mizoguchi, Japanese film director (b. 1898)
- August 25 – Alfred Kinsey, American sex researcher (b. 1894)
- September 6
- September 11
- September 20 – Flora Eldershaw, Australian novelist, critic, and historian (b. 1897)
- September 22 – Frederick Soddy, English chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1877)
- September 27
- September 29 – Anastasio Somoza García, President of Nicaragua (assassinated) (b. 1896)
- October 1 – Albert Von Tilzer, American songwriter (b. 1878)
- October 2 – George Bancroft, American actor (b. 1882)
- October 9 – Marie Doro, American stage & silent film actress (b. 1882)
- October 12 – Don Lorenzo Perosi, Italian composer (b. 1872)
- October 14 – Don Jules Richard, French mathematician (b. 1862)
- October 16 – Don Jules Rimet, French football administrator, 3rd president of FIFA (b. 1873)
- October 17 – Anne Crawford, British actress (b. 1920)
- October 19 – Isham Jones, American musician (b. 1894)
- October 22 – Hannah Mitchell, English socialist and suffragette (b. 1872)
- October 25 – Risto Ryti, 23rd Prime Minister of Finland and 5th President of Finland (b. 1889)
- October 26 – Walter Gieseking, French conductor (b. 1895)
- October 27 – Charles S. Johnson, American sociologist (b. 1893)
- October 30 – Pío Baroja, Spanish novelist (b. 1872)
- November 1
- November 2 – Leo Baeck, German rabbi, scholar and theologian (b. 1873)
- November 3 – Jean Metzinger, French painter, theorist and critic (b. 1883)
- November 5 – Art Tatum, American jazz pianist (b. 1909)
- November 6 – Paul Kelly, American stage and film actor (b. 1899)
- November 10
- November 12 – Juan Negrín, 67th Prime Minister of Spain (b. 1892)
- November 13 – Werner Haas, German motorcycle racer (b. 1927)
- November 19 – Francis L. Sullivan, English actor (b. 1903)
- November 22 – Theodore Kosloff, Russian-born ballet dancer, choreographer and actor (b. 1882)
- November 24
- November 26 – Tommy Dorsey, American trombonist and bandleader (b. 1905)
- November 27 – Hugo Ballin, American artist, film production designer, and director (b. 1879)
- December 2 – Dell Henderson, Canadian actor (b. 1883)
- December 3 – Alexander Rodchenko, Russian artist (b. 1891)
- December 6 – Dr B. R. Ambedkar, a founding father of modern India, the architect of its constitution and Indian dalit leader (b. 1891)
- December 7 – Huntley Gordon, Canadian actor (b. 1887)
- December 9 – Charles Joughin, English-born baker on RMS Titanic (b. 1878)
- December 10 – David Shimoni, Israeli poet and writer (b. 1891)
- December 12 – Ewald André Dupont, German film director (b. 1891)
- December 14 – Juho Kusti Paasikivi, twice Prime Minister of Finland and 7th President of Finland (b. 1870)
- December 16
- December 17 – Eddie Acuff, American actor (b. 1903)
- December 21 – Lewis Terman, American psychologist (b. 1877)
- December 23 – Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Spanish architect (b. 1867)
- December 26 – Holmes Herbert, English actor (b. 1882)
- December 30 – Ruth Draper, American actress (b. 1884)
- Physics – William Shockley, John Bardeen, Walter Houser Brattain
- Chemistry – Sir Cyril Norman Hinshelwood, Nikolay Semyonov
- Physiology or Medicine – André Frédéric Cournand, Werner Forssmann, Dickinson W. Richards
- Literature – Juan Ramón Jiménez
- Peace – Not Awarded
- ja:彌彦神社事件 (Japanese language) Retrieved January 7, 2017.
- Bessis, Sophie; Belhassen, Souhayr (2012). Bourguiba (in French). Tunis: Elyzad. ISBN 978-9973-58-044-3.
- "7H241 The Snooz-Alarm". www.telechron.net.
- "US Army Flag". World Flags 101. Archived from the original on April 8, 2009. Retrieved April 6, 2009.
- "Stadiums". Russian Football News. July 13, 2013. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
- "Domestic Grosses, Adjusted for Ticket Price Inflation". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
- "1956: Queen switches on nuclear power". On This Day. BBC. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
- "1956: Motorists panic as petrol rations loom". On This Day. BBC. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
- Probst, Ernst (2010). Angelika Machinek - Eine Segelfliegerin der Weltklasse [Angelika Machinek - A World Class Glider Pilot] (in German). Munich: Grin-Verl. p. 11. ISBN 978-3-6407-3630-0.
- London Institute of World Affairs, The Year Book of World Affairs 1957 (London 1957) full text online, comprehensive reference book covering 1956 in diplomacy, international affairs and politics for major nations and regions