January 25 - The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union announces end of the war between the USSR and Germany, which began during World War II in 1937. Until then, despite the end of World War II, the USSR was formally at war with Germany.
February 12 - US President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends the first U.S. advisors to South Vietnam.
March 7 - The 1954 Broadway musical version of Peter Pan, starring Mary Martin, is presented on television for the first time by NBC - also the first time that a stage musical is presented in its entirety on TV exactly as performed on stage. The program gains the largest viewership of a TV special up to that time, and becomes one of the first great television classics.
April 12 - The Salk polio vaccine is introduced.
May 14 - Eight communist bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, sign a mutual defence treaty called the Warsaw Pact.
June 16 - Lady and the Tramp, Walt Disney's fifteenth animated feature film, debuts in U.S. movie theaters.
June 7 - The $64,000 Question premieres on CBS television, with Hal Marks as the host.
July 17 - Disneyland opens, in Anaheim, California.
The first atomic-generated electrical power is sold commercially.
August 19 - Hurricane Diane hits the northeast United States, killing 200 and causing over $1 billion in damage.
September 30 - Actor James Dean is killed when his Porsche 550 Spyder collides with another automobile near Cholame, California.
October 3 - The Mickey Mouse Club premiers on TV.
November 5 - Racial segregation is forbidden on trains and buses in US interstate commerce.
December 1 - Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white person, and the national civil rights movement begins.