- March 11 - Douglas Adams, science-fiction author
- May 21 - Mr. T, American actor, is born Laurence Tureaud, in Chicago
- April 29 - Australia, New Zealand, United States security treaty comes into force.
- The Summer Olympic Games are held in Helsinki.
- Eisenhower is elected president of the United States.
- Queen Elizabeth II comes to the throne in the United Kingdom.
- The first hydrogen bomb is exploded.
- Physics - Felix Bloch, - Edward Mills Purcell
- Chemistry - Archer John Porter Martin, Richard Laurence Millington Synge
- Medicine - Selman Abraham Waksman
- Literature - François Mauriac
- Peace - Albert Schweitzer