- Kenji Mizoguchi releases The Life of Oharu. Wins Venice Film Festival Prize.
- Camille Chamoun becomes first President of Lebanon after a corruption scandal forces his predecessor to resign.
- Future revolutionary icon Che Guevara takes 4,000-mile motorcycle trip alone through northern Argentina.
- Federal republic of Germany signs the Luxembourg Reparations Agreement, agreeing to pay Israel 3 billion Deutschmarks ($715 million) and 4.5 million to Jewish organizations represented by the Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference).
- China's population is 574.82 million.
- January 24: Vincent Massey becomes first Canadian Governor-General of Canada.
- February 13: Alfred Einstein dies at age 71.
- March 4: North Korea accused the U.N. of biological warfare.
- March 7: Batista signs on for the Cold War as the U.S. and Cuba sign a military aid agreement.
- March 29: U.S. President Harry S. Truman decides not to run for re-election.
- April 10: Grigorii Alekseevich Yavlinskii is born in Lviv.
- May 1: Bloody May Day. March from the Meiji Shrine to Hibiya Park in Tokyo organized by Zengakuren or National Federatio0n of Student Self-Government Association skips the park and surges into Imperial Palace Plaza chanting that the plaza belonged to the people. Clash with riot police results in one death and manmy injuries.
- June 6: Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn is born to the sound of the "God Bless America."
- June 10: U.S. President Harry S. Truman orders nationalization of the steel industry. Big Business proves more powerful than the White House.
- June 15: Royal coup d'etat by Norodom Sihanouk in Cambodia overthrows parliamentary democracy.
- August 13: Japan joins IMF.
- August 14: Federal Republic of Germany joins IMF.
- August 30: Finland pays its last war reparations to the Soviet Union.
- October: New York Yankees win the World Series.
- October 2: Britain conducts nuclear test off the western shore of the Australian island of Trimouille (Monte Bello Islands).
- October 10: The New York Times reports the existence of "'Technischer Dienst, a former Nazi dominated "stay-behind" network that had been established by the U.S. military for activiation in the event of a Soviet Red Army occupation. The group had drawn up blacklists of leftists to be eliminated or "liquidized."
- October 22: Conservative British Prime Minister Winston Churchill crows about the British success in testing a nuclear weapon, in Australia. Speaking in the British House of Commons he says the test was done "to investigate the effects of an atomic explosion in a harbour." The real reason for British nuclear proliferation generally and for this explosion was for Britain to re-claim a position as a great power.
- October 29: Der Speigel reports that anti-communist "stay-behind" networks exist all over Western Europe. Other Western news media sources ignore this.
- November 1: Operation Ivy; United States detonates the 1st thermonuclear device (H-bomb/fusion bomb) codenamed "Mike" on Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands with a yield of 10.4 megatons.
- November 4: Dwight D. Eisenhower is elected the 34th U.S. President, defeating liberal Democrat Adlai Stevenson. The Cold War becomes a permanent fixture of American life from which it has never recovered.
- November 4: John F. Kennedy is elected Senator from Massachusetts. He is re-elected to the office in 1958.
- December 5-8: London smog from coal smoke kills 4,703.