By hanr.c
  • Polio Vaccine

    Salk polio vaccine
  • Geneva Summit

    Conference between Soviet and America, France, and Britain to start easing Cold War tensions
  • Rosa Parks Arrested

    In Montgomery, Alabama, the Black seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man and is arrested. The ensuing boycott, coordinated by a young Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., will mark an important turning point in the African-American freedom struggle.
  • Interstate Highway System

    Eisenhower signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, which will create the Interstate Highway system, one of the biggest public works projects in U.S. history.
  • Sputnik

    The Soviets launch Sputnik, the first manmade satellite.
  • First Nuclear Power Plant

    The first full-scale nuclear power plant begins operation in Shippingport, Pennsylvania, supplying electricity to Pittsburgh.
  • US Launches Satellite

    Explorer 1 is the first satellite launched by US
  • John F. Kennedy

    John F. Kennedy becomes the youngest elected president.
  • U-2 Shoot down

    An American U-2 spy plane is shot down over the Soviet Union. Pilot Gary Powers survives the crash and admits spying. The incident sours U.S.-Soviet relations and dooms the Paris summit conference later in the month.
  • Bay of Pigs

    A force of 1,500 Cuban exiles, trained and financed by the United States, lands at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba in an attempt to overthrow the Castro regime. The operation, initiated and planned during the Eisenhower administration but launched under Kennedy, is a fiasco that badly damages U.S. prestige.
  • Vietnam War

    An American serviceman dies in Vietnam, the first combat death reported. For many Americans, the death will mark the beginning of the Vietnam War.
  • Diem Overthrown

    With U.S. encouragement, South Vietnamese General Duong Van Minh overthrows the Diem regime, and the following day, he orders the execution of Diem and his brother. General Duong's military rule is recognized by the United States.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson

    While riding in a motorcade through Dallas, Texas, President John F. Kennedy is shot and killed. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson assumes the presidency.
  • King against Vietnam War

    Martin Luther King, Jr. leads thousands of demonstrators to the United Nations building in New York, where he delivers a speech attacking U.S. foreign policy in Vietnam
  • Richard Nixon

    Republican Richard Nixon is elected President of the United States.
  • MLK Assassinated

    Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. His assassin, James Earl Ray, pleads guilty and is sentenced to 99 years in prison.
  • Withdraw of Troops

    The House and the Senate vote to withdraw all U.S. troops in Vietnam by year's end.
  • 26th Amendment

    The 26th Amendment is ratified, lowering the national voting age from 21 to 18.
  • Watergate

    Five men are caught burglarizing the headquarters for the Democratic National Committee, located at the Watergate hotel in Washington, D.C. Their arrests will set into motion the events that will eventually result in President Nixon's resignation.
  • Vietnam Ceasefire

    Representatives from South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the United States sign a peace agreement in which a ceasefire is declared, the U.S. agrees to withdraw combat troops, and the government of South Vietnam promises to hold free elections to allow its people to decide their future.
  • Official End to Vietnam War

    The last U.S. combat soldier leaves Vietnam, but military advisors and some Marines remain
  • Nixon Resigns

    President Nixon resigns amidst the Watergate scandal; his vice president Gerald Ford takes office.