Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century
Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s - 1950s - 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
Years: 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 - 1951 - 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956
- January 4 - Korean War: Chinese and North Korean forces capture Seoul.
- January 9 - United Nations headquarters officially opens (New York City).
- January 15 - Ilse Koch[?], The "Witch of Buchenwald", wife of the commandant of the Buchenwald concentration camp, is sentenced to life imprisonment in a court in West Germany .
- January 27 - Nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site begins with a one-kiloton bomb dropped on Frenchman Flats.
- February 27 - The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, is ratified.
- March 6 - The trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg begins.
- March 7 - Korean War: Operation Ripper[?] - In Korea, United Nations troops led by General Matthew Ridgeway[?] begin an assault against Chinese forces.
- March 12 - The Dennis the Menace comic strip appears in newspapers across the country for the first time.
- March 14 - Korean War: For the second time, United Nations troops recapture Seoul.
- March 29 - Red Scare: Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. On April 5 they are sentenced to receive the death penalty.
- March 30 - Remington Rand[?] delivers the first UNIVAC I computer to the United States Census Bureau.
- April 1 - Australia, New Zealand, United States security treaty signed in San Francisco.
- April 18 - Treaty of Paris (1951) adopted, establishing European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC); see EU.
- July 5 - William Shockley invents the junction transistor.
- September 8 - Signing of the Treaty of San Francisco.
- September 10 - Great Britain begins an economic boycott of Iran
- December 24 - Libya becomes independent from Italy
- A fourth, and final, forest fire starts in the Tillamook Burn[?]; but unlike earlier fires this one only burns 32,700 acres, and within acreage already affected by the earlier fires.
Art, Culture & Fashion
- January 6 - Kim Wilson[?], rock musician
- January 12 - Rush Limbaugh, radio personality
- January 30 - Phil Collins, musician
- February 6 - Princess Daphné of Belgium[?]
- February 15 - Melissa Manchester, singer
- February 15 - Jane Seymour, actress
- February 20 - Gordon Brown, British politician
- March 4 - Kenny Dalglish footballer and football manager
- March 4 - Chris Rea[?], British singer and musician
- March 17 - Kurt Russell, actor
- March 24 - Tommy Hilfiger[?], fashion designer
- April 7 - Janis Ian, singer and songwriter
- April 29 - Dale Earnhardt, stock car racer (NASCAR)
- May 15 - Jonathan Richman, musician
- May 23 - Anatoly Karpov, chess world champion
- May 26 - Sally Ride, astronaut
- May 30 - Stephen Tobolowsky[?], actor
- August 20 - Greg Bear, science fiction author
- August 24 - Orson Scott Card, science fiction author
- October 6 - Manfred Winkelhock, auto racing driver
- November 19 - Lord Falconer, British lawyer and politician
- January 10 - Sinclair Lewis, writer
- February 9 - Eddy Duchin, musician
- February 13 - Lloyd C. Douglas[?], author
- February 19 - André Gide, author
- March 6 - Ivor Novello, actor, musician, composer
- March 25 - Oscar Micheaux, pioneer African-American, filmmaker/author
- April 4 - Al Christie, early Hollywood director/producer
- May 7 - Warner Baxter, actor
- June 13 - Ben Chifley, Australian Prime Minister
- July 13 - Arnold Schoenberg, Austrian composer
- July 29 - Hozumi Shigeto, Japanese author
- August 15 - Artur Schnabel, pianist
- Robert Broom, paleontologist