Rock & Roll took over the music charts, with number one songs like That'll Be The Day by the Crickets (with Buddy Holly), Honeycomb by Jimmie Rodgers, You Send Me by Sam Cooke and Party Doll by Buddy Knox. Elvis Presley's #1 hits included Too Much, All Shook Up, Teddy Bear, Jailhouse Rock, and Treat Me Nice.
Seven earthquakes and dozens of aftershocks rocked the San Francisco area.
America watched nervously as Fidel Castro led an uprising against the government of Cuba's Fulgencio Batista.
In a major technological bruise to the U.S., Russia successfully launched the first man-made orbiting satellite, the Sputnik. The announcement was made - in English - on Radio Moscow. The "Space Race" had begun.
In January, TV game show Truth Or Consequences, starring Bob Barker, became the first regular program produced on video tape. The recording medium was employed in March to delay CBS News With Douglas Edwards on the west coast.
Meredith Willson's The Music Man, starring Robert Preston & Barbara Cook, opened on Broadway.
Leonard Bernstein was appointed director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.