What the sky looked like on 1955
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1955 was a full decade removed from World War Two, and one of the great Allied commanders of the war, General Dwight D. Eisenhower had become President Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States. In 1955, President Eisenhower made a fateful decision that would affect American foreign policy and millions of lives for many years: he sent the first American soldiers as advisors to Vietnam.
This was also a year of notable developments in the Cold War between the West and the East, led by the United States and the Soviet Union, respectively. In the East, the Warsaw Pact was signed in May. This was a mutual defense treaty among the Soviet countries and Soviet satellite nations as an equivalent to the Western powers’ formation of NATO. In the West, the United States made significant commitments to defense technology. In January, the USS Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine, went out to sea for the first time. During the same month, the Pentagon formally announced a plan to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads attached to them.
1955 was also a landmark year for the Civil Rights Movement in America. In December of this year, Rosa Parks famously refused to obey a bus drivers’ order to get out of her seat to make room for a white passenger. This sparked several significant protests in her city of Montgomery, Alabama.
There were also some notable developments for popular culture this year, as Jim Henson created an early version of Kermit the Frog. In July of 1955, Walt Disneyopened his world-famous theme park – Disneyland – in Anaheim, California.
Finally, the world lost one of its brightest minds this year – Albert Einstein passed away at the age of 76. However, the world gained two more brilliant people, as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were born this year.
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