Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine approved by the FDA, allowing mass production of the drug, resulting in a great reduction in the cases of polio, for the first time in history.

The national civil rights movement began when Rosa Parks refused to give up her  bus seat to a white person in Montgomery, Alabama and is arrested.

The U.S. Seventh Fleet helped the Nationalist Chinese army flee to safety on Formosa as the Communist Chinese army led by Chairman Mao defeated the Nationalist army of Chang Kai Chek.

President Eisenhower sends the first military advisors to South Vietnam.