1957 Events & Facts

What Happened in 1957?


  • Soviet Union inaugurates the "Space Age" by launching Sputnik I, the world’s first artificial satellite. A month later Sputnik II carries a dog into orbit, making that dog the first living being to enter space.
  • President Eisenhower announces "Eisenhower Doctrine," pledging defense of Miulle Eastern nations against communism
  • Federal troops ordered to enforce integration of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Israel withdraws from Sinai Peninsula
  • European Common Market created
  • Britain detonates hydrogen bomb; U.S. conducts first underground nuclear test
  • Despite record-setting filibuster by Sen. Strom Thurmond, Congress approves the first significant civil rights legislation since the Civil War


  • Teamsters union expelled from the AFL-CIO for failing to deal with organized crime
  • Toyota starts selling cars in the US


  • Successful Sputnik satellites mark the beginning of the "Space Race," with intensive efforts by both the U.S. and Soviet Union to achieve space milestones.
  • 67 nations participate in International Geophysical Year of earth science research
  • Growth-producing hormone discovered
  • Interferon discovered
  • Ultrasound scanning pioneered in Scotland


  • World Series: Milwaukee over New York Yankees, 4-3
  • At age 13, Bobby Fischer becomes a chess champion
  • New York Giants move to San Francisco; Brooklyn Dodgers move to Los Angeles


  • Movies: The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Prince and the Showgirl, Twelve Angry Men, Love in the Afternoon
  • Songs: Young Love, Tonight, Wake Up Little Susie, That’ll Be the Day, Jailhouse Rock
  • TV Shows: Phil Silvers Show, Father Knows Best, Price is Right, American Bandstand, Twenty-One, Leave it to Beaver, Nat "King" Cole Show
  • Books: On the Road, Jack Kerouac; Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand; The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss
  • West Side Story and The Music Man open in New York
  • And God Created Woman, a film starring Bridgette Bardot, becomes a controversial sensation; many communities ban the film based on its supposed sexual content
  • Humphrey Bogart dies
  • Elvis Presley purchases Graceland


  • "Beatnik" enters the vernacular as a description of the emerging "Beat Generation" counterculture movement


  • 71 cities have populations of one million or more in 1957; 40 years earlier such cities numbered only 16
  • Frisbees are released and become wildly popular


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