World History 1955-1956

1955 Germany becomes Member of NATO In October 1955, a NATO meeting voted to terminate the occupation of West Germany. The vote also called for the continued presence of NATO troops in West Germany. At the meeting, it was further decided to admit West Germany to the alliance as a member.
1955 Vienna Treaty Restores Austrian Independence At the end of World War II, Austria was occupied by the four powers. In 1946, the four powers officially recognized Austria within its 1937 frontiers. The Austrians were granted a large degree of autonomy. On May 15, 1955, a four-power Foreign Ministers' conference in Vienna agreed on a peace treaty with Austria. It called for withdrawal of all foreign troops from Austrian soil. The agreement was designed to insure Austrian neutrality.
1955 Geneva Summit The fact that a summit meeting was finally taking place after 10 years– the last one had been at Potsdam– seemed to indicate a significant relaxation of East-West tensions. However, very little of real substance occurred at the conference. The major surprise was Eisenhower's proposal for "open skies," which entailed allowing each side to send intelligence-gathering aircraft over the other's territories, virtually unhindered. The summit ended without any major agreements.
1955 First McDonalds restuarant opens In Des Plains, Illinois, the first McDonald's restaurant was opened. Ray Kroc owned the restaurant.
1955 Military Cooup Ousts Peron President Juan Peron of Argentina was ousted by the military. Since the death of his wife, Eva, Peron had lost much of his support. Economic problems, as well as Peron's excommunication by the Catholic church, further harmed his position.
1955 Mirage Unveiled Marcel Dassault unveiled its swept wing fighter, the "Mirage." The "Mirage" can fly at speeds in excess of Mach 2 and can climb to 57,000 feet. The "Mirage" is possibly best known for its success as an air superiority fighter during the Arab-Israeli War of 1967.
1955 U-2 is Tested Lockheed presented the C.I.A. with a proposal for a high altitude spy craft. The C.I.A. accepted the proposal and, in eight months, Lockheed produced the "U-2." In its first flight, the lightly-loaded U-2 refused to land. Test pilot Tony LeVier made five attempts before succeeding. A U-2 was downed over the Soviet Union in 1960, and its pilot, Francis Gary Powers, was captured. The plane was key in discovering Russian missiles in Cuba. A new version of the U-2, known as the "TR-1," is still being flown by the US Airforce.


1956 Soviet troops march into Hungary Rioting against the Russians erupted throughout Hungary. Imry Nagy became Premier and demanded the withdrawal of Soviet troops. The Soviets initially complied, but changed course and returned to Budapest to put down the revolt. Thirty thousand revolutionaries were killed. Two years later, Imry Nagy was executed for his part in the uprising.
1956 Tunisia and Morocco Become Independent Large-scale opposition to French rule forced the French to grant independence to Morocco, where M'barek Bekkai became Premier, and Tunisia, where Habib Bourguiba became Prime Minister.
1956 Sudan Becomes Independent Sudan had been under joint Egyptian-British rule. A referendum was held to determine whether Sudan would become part of Egypt or be totally independent. The Sudanese voted for independence and, on January 1, independence was declared.
1956Suez War Following the Israeli War of Independence, the British, Americans and French, by mutual agreement, did not supply either the Israelis or the Arabs with significant quantities of armaments. In October 1955, Egypt signed an arms deal with Czechoslovakia, which provided Egypt with very significant quantities of weaponry. The arms deal, combined with continued fedayeen (armed terrorist) raids in southern Israel, convinced Israeli leaders that steps would have to be taken to alleviate the situation and that this would have to be done before Egyptian forces were able to achieve strategic predominance in the area.

On July 26, 1956, Egyptian President Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal. This gave the British and French -- who had already been selling Israel advanced weapons -- a significant motive for cooperating with an Israeli attack on Nasser.

On October 29, 1956, the Israeli Defense Forces attacked Egyptian forces in the Sinai. Israel rapidly defeated the Egyptians, with a loss of just 180 men. The Egyptians suffered over 1,000 fatalities, and more than 6,000 Egyptians were captured as prisoners of war. The Israeli forces halted 10 miles short of the canal, allowing the British and French troops to intervene to protect the canal. The British and French forces then attacked and occupied the canal zone.
1956 US Condemns Britain, Fance, and Israel The United States condemned Great Britain, France and Israel for their collective attack on Egypt. Israel, responding to terrorist attacks, seized the Sinai, while Britain and France colluded to seize the Suez Canal, which had earlier been seized by the Egyptians. All sides were forced to withdraw due to US pressure.
1956 Tupelov TU- 104 Introduced When the "Tupelov-104" began flying, it was the first Soviet passenger jet. It was, in fact, a modified Soviet Badger Bomber.
1956 First Trans- Atlantic Telephone Cable The first transatlantic telephone cable between Newfoundland and Scotland was completed in 1956. The cable ran 2,250 miles.
1956 Caravelle Aerospatiale introduced the twin jet Caravelle. This plane was the first jet created for the short-haul market. The first Caravelle entered service for Air France on May 9, 1959. The Caravelle was designed to carry 60 - 99 passengers, depending on the configuration.