January 1, 1956. The Sudan becomes an independent republic, gaining its independence from Egypt and Britain.
January 8, 1956. Operation Auca: Five U.S. missionaries Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, Jim Elliot and Pete Fleming are killed by the Waodani of Ecuador shortly after making contact with them.
March 2, 1956. Morocco declares its independence from France.
July 26, 1956. Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser, president of Egypt, seizes control of the Suez Canal. His plan is to build a dam on the Nile at Aswan with the money the canal generates. In October Anglo-French forces bomb the canal, and in November they take the canal back from the Egyptians. The United Nations sends troops to take control of the canal.
September 13, 1956. The hard disk drive is invented by an IBM team led by Reynold B. Johnson.
September 21, 1956. Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza García is assassinated. His sons, Luis Somoza and Anastasio Somoza Debayle, rule the country of Nicaragua for the next twenty-three years.
October 26, 1956. Rebels against the Communist government and the Soviet presence in Hungary destroy a huge bronze statue of Stalin in Budapest and face off with Soviet troops stationed in Hungary. Prime Minister Imre Nagy sympathizes with the rebels, but more Soviet troops are being sent to quell the uprising.