1956 Facts: The Suez Canal Crisis And Other Crucial Events | Kidadl


1956 Facts: The Suez Canal Crisis And Other Crucial Events

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Every year in the history of the world, plenty of notable events occur, and the year 1956 was no exception.

From major political events to evolving genres of music, 1956 was certainly filled with a lot of fascinating occurrences. Hence, it is quite interesting to learn about the special events of 1956.

In pop culture history, 1956 witnessed the release of a number of amazing movies. Some of the most well-known films of that year were 'The Ten Commandments', 'Seven Wonders Of The World', 'High Society', and 'The Searchers'. John Wayne received tons of critical acclaim for his role in 'The Searchers'. The iconic film 'The Wizard Of Oz' premiered for the first time on television in 1956.

Did you know that 'The Wizard Of Oz' is known for being the first major Hollywood film that ran for more than an hour and a half uncut on television? TV personality Ed Sullivan continued to rule the ratings with his 'The Ed Sullivan Show' on CBS in America. Did you know that pop icon Elvis Presley appeared on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' for the first time this year? CBS also ran the other hit show 'General Electric Theatre' in 1956.

Apart from movies and television, in the world of fashion, some of the most popular fashion icons were Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and Jane Russell. In politics, several notable events took place. For instance, in the United States, the Refrigerator Safety Act and the Federal Highway Act were passed. While the former dealt with how refrigerator doors should be shut, the latter was signed into effect to provide better road and traffic conditions.

In 1956, the president of the United States was Dwight D. Eisenhower, while his vice president was Richard Nixon. Their government was accused of trying to influence the national elections of Vietnam in 1956 by supporting Ngo Dinh Diem's candidacy for the presidency in South Vietnam.

In the World Series of 1956, the New York Yankees came out as the winner against the Brooklyn Dodgers. This World Series was basically a rematch of the World Series of 1955. Interestingly, the iconic musical 'West Side Story' first came out in the following year of 1957!

While a lot of positive and good things happened in 1956, negative situations like the Murray River Flood of Australia and the death of the famous painter Jackon Pollock due to a car accident also shook the world.

To learn more about 1956 facts, keep reading! You can also check out '50s entertainment facts and 1910 facts.

The Top 40 Songs of 1956

The '50s were one of the most remarkable years in terms of pop culture history, and the biggest proof of that was the amazing songs that were released in 1956.

With artists like Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, Pat Boone, and Doris Day dominating the music charts, it was quite a marvelous year, to say the least! Let us now take a quick look at the top 40 songs belonging to 1956, as reported by Billboard Magazine.

Unsurprisingly, Elvis Presley not only held the first and second positions in the chart for his songs titled, 'Heartbreak Hotel' and 'Don't Be Cruel', respectively, his songs 'Hound Dog', 'I Want You, I Need You, I Love You', and 'Love Me Tender' was placed in eighth, 14th, and 15th positions, respectively. Even though Elvis Presley had just started his career in 1953, within three years with songs like this, he rose to the top, not just in the United States but all over the world.

Pat Boone, one of the most famous singers of the '50s and considered second only to Elvis Presley, also made his presence known with his hit songs, 'I Almost Lost My Mind' and 'I'll Be Home', which featured in the 13th and 34th positions, respectively. However, interestingly, the single 'I Almost Lost My Mind' was not Boone's original work but rather a cover.

The African American group by the name of 'The Platters' was also quite famous during this time. Apart from The Platters and Elvis Presley, Nelson Riddle and Gogi Grant were also among the top five in the chart, with their songs 'Lisbon Antigua' and 'The Wayward Wind' holding third and fifth positions, respectively.

Doris Day's signature song titled 'Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)' was also released this year and won an Academy Award. 'My Fair Lady', the legendary musical based on G.B. Shaw's 'Pygmalion' was also first published in 1956. Eight years later, 'My Fair Lady' was turned into a film starring Audrey Hepburn. Even almost 70 years since its publication, 'My Fair Lady' remains a favorite worldwide.

Dean Martin, who was already a well-established artist by then, had his song 'Memories Are Made Of This' placed in the ninth position. Other songs that were in the top 40 of the year were 'The Poor People of Paris', 'The Green Door', 'Rock And Roll Waltz', 'Ivory Tower', and 'Singing The Blues' in the sixth, 10th, 19th, 32nd, and 40th positions, respectively. Did you know that Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose was born in 1965 and not in 1956? There are many who confuse these two years!

Suez Canal Crisis

In 1956, the Suez Canal Crisis was one of the most notable events to have taken place. The Suez Canal crisis involved Britain, Israel, and France on one side, with Egypt on the other. The United States, United Nations, and the Soviet Union also played crucial roles in this famous battle.

The Suez Canal was an important route that shortened the journey from Europe to Asia and vice versa significantly. Hence, it was an essential factor that contributed to the growth in trade and economics. The Suez Canal was built under the leadership of a French Diplomat by the name of Ferdinand de Lesseps and was owned by the Suez Canal Company. This company had members who had a vested interest in the countries of Britain and France.

Hence, when the Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser declared the nationalization of the Suez Canal, the company, along with the governments of France and Britain, decided to retaliate. Israel also became a part of the retaliation, as Israeli forces did engage in clashes with the Egyptian troops from time to time regarding border issues. Subsequently, on October 29, 1956, Israel attacked the areas adjoining the Suez Canal, with France and Britain following suit a few days later.

Soon enough, Port Fuad and Port Said fell into the hands of the British and French forces, while Israel was able to occupy the Sinai peninsula. While both the United States and United Nations threatened economic sanctions on all three countries, the Soviet government actively provided Soviet troops and arms to the Egyptian government in order to counter the attacks. Ultimately, the French and British forces had no other choice but to withdraw in December.

Israeli forces held on to the Sinai peninsula till March of 1957 before withdrawing from there as well, effectively ending the crisis. This whole incident resulted in a lot of political shifts, one of which was the resignation of the prime minister of Britain, Anthony Eden. It also established stronger ties between the Soviets and the Middle East while reducing Britain's authority as a global power.

Soviet Union

For the Soviet Union, the year 1956 was quite eventful.

Apart from engaging in a Cold War with the United States that led to the Soviet Union accelerating its space research program and completing its preliminary designs for its artificial satellite, 1956 also witnessed the Hungarian Revolution or the Hungarian Uprising, in which the citizens of the Hungarian People's Republic viciously protested against the policies laid out by the Soviet.

Right after the end of World War II, the political landscape in Hungary was constantly changing and evolving. Even though Hungary had its own elected government, much of Hungary was under the control of the Soviet military. In addition, the Soviet military also resorted to replacing the freely elected government with the Hungary Communist Party, making Hungary a satellite state. All this, along with an economic model based on Soviet policies, led the common people to live in dire conditions.

On October 23, 1956, university students of Hungary staged a political demonstration in front of the Hungarian Parliament against the injustices the country had to face at the hands of the Soviet. This protest escalated quite horribly, as a number of students were shot and killed by the armed officers of the state. Thus, a revolt that was started by the students spread throughout the country, and consequently, the Hungarian government fell.

The local people formed armed militias and regularly resorted to capturing and killing officers of the state and communists favoring the Soviet regime. Amidst all this, a new government was formed, with Imre Nagy becoming the head of the government. These developments made the leaders in the Soviet offer to negotiate. However, they changed their initial decision and prepared to stop the revolutionary activities completely.

Subsequently, on November 4, Soviet troops marched into Budapest and killed thousands of civilians. In addition to the killing, a large number of arrests were also made. As a result of all this, nearly 200,000 Hungarians had to flee their country.

Interestingly, in 1956, Time Magazine's 'Man of the Year' title went to the 'Hungarian Freedom Fighter' as a way to honor the struggles of the common people of Hungary against the atrocities and oppression they had to face.

1956 facts are interesting to read.

World Rock And Roll

Even though rock and roll originally evolved from several genres of music, including jazz, gospel, and rhythm and blues, in no time, it developed into one of the most popular genres in the United States and eventually, throughout many parts of the world.

Though Elvis Presley began his career in 1953, in no time, he rose to the top, becoming one of the leading rock stars of his time. In 1956, his first hit single, 'Heartbreak Hotel', established a standard for this genre of music throughout the world. In the United States, apart from Presely, songs like 'Blue Suede Shoes' and 'Folsom Prison Blues' by Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash, respectively, also left a mark with the audience. Interestingly, the song 'Blue Suede Shoes' was also performed by Elvis Presley and other artists like Eddie Cochran and Buddy Holly.

Soon enough, from the United States, rock n roll spread to the United Kingdom. The British artist Tommy Steele was often referred to as the 'British Elvis' for being the leading rock star of British origin at the time. His hit single 'Singing The Blues' was a chart-topper, further strengthening this genre of music. The British band named The Goons also recorded and released a rock n roll song this year titled 'Bloodnok's Rock and Roll Call'.

Around the same time, even Australia was being introduced to the world of rock n roll, which originated in the United States. Australia had three waves of this genre, with the first wave occurring between 1955-1963. During this time, Australians became acquainted with the genre through radio and television. Additionally, in 1956, the famous Australian artist Frankie Davidson covered a rock and roll number titled 'Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie', which even though it was a minor hit, did make it to the charts.

Technological Advances In 1956

The year 1956 witnessed a number of advances in the field of technology. Let us now dive into how technologies were revolutionized this year.

One of the most noteworthy advances was the invention of the first computer hard disk, which was developed and manufactured by IBM. This hard disk was designed under the direction of Reynold Johnson, a famous American inventor who is rightfully known as the 'Father of Hard Disk Drive'. This particular hard disk was known as IBM 350 RAMAC and weighed more than 1 ton (1000 kg). However, it was capable of storing just five MB of data. The hard disk came along with a computer that was named IBM 305 RAMAC, and this model continued to be in stores till 1961.

The first videotape recorder was also released in 1956. The company behind this advancement was Ampex. This development brought a major change in the broadcast and television industry. However, the videotape recorder was exceptionally costly and sold at a price of 50,000 dollars. Needless to say, this was the kind of technology that most common people could not afford, and hence, it was mostly limited to movie and television sets.

Another invention that is used on a daily basis now was also made in 1956. The company General Electic/Techron first released the 'snooze' alarm, which was basically an alarm clock with the snooze button. This clock model was named 'The Snooz Alarm' and let its users catch some sleep in between alarms!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 1956 facts then why not take a look at 1978 facts, or '50s fashion facts.

<p>With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature.&nbsp;</p>

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