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1957: Exploration and settlement; wars; government; civil rights; statistics.

On Oct. 4 the Soviet Union launched the first Earth satellite, Sputnik I. Americans were stunned by the Soviets' technological progress, and politicians, scientists, and educators called for a major U.S. initiative to regain superiority in missiles development and space technology. Thus 1957 was another year of world tension. Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower presented the Eisenhower Doctrine; its aim was to resist communist aggression in the Middle East. Despite the race against the U.S.S.R. in outer space, the president continued to release uranium-235 for peaceful purposes; by the end of the year a total of 100,000 kilograms of U-235 had been made available for research and energy. The Air Force, which celebrated its golden anniversary (dating from the founding of the Army Air Corps--the Air Force was officially established in 1947), became the largest enterprise in the U.S.; its total assets for the year were over $70,000,000,000. Notables who died included Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, Republican of Wisconsin, whose widely publicized charges of communist subversion in government earned him Senate censure and condemnation, on May 2, at age 48.

Jan. 5

The Eisenhower Doctrine was proposed by Pres. Eisenhower before a joint session of Congress. The plan offered protection to any Middle East nation seeking aid against communist aggression. Eisenhower requested authority to use U.S. forces to oppose communist or communist-backed attempts to overthrow any government in the region. He stated he would send such forces only under three conditions: first, only if requested by a Mideast nation under attack; second, only with hour-by-hour communication with Congress; third, only in accord with U.S. treaty obligations and the UN Charter.

Jan. 20

Pres. Eisenhower was inaugurated for his second term. Vice Pres. Richard M. Nixon was also sworn in for a second term in the three- minute ceremony at the White House. Because this inauguration day fell on a Sunday, the public inaugural ceremonies were held on the following day, Jan. 21.

Feb. 4

An explosion in a coal mine near Bishop, Va., killed 37 miners.

Feb. 8

The European Atomic Energy Community was pledged full U.S. support for establishment of an atomic energy industry in Europe within ten years.

Feb. 9-12

The U.S. Communist Party held a convention in New York City during which its members adopted a new party constitution. One of the new rules in the constitution specified that party members could be expelled for subversion of the U.S. government. FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover stated that the new rules were merely an attempt by the party to gain acceptance by U.S. citizens.

Feb. 17

A fire in a home for the aged in Warrenton, Mo., killed 72 persons.

Mar. 30

The United States' second atomic submarine, the Seawolf, was commissioned. On May 16, Skate, the third atomic submarine and the first designed for assembly-line production, was launched at Groton, Conn.

Apr. 30

Five members were elected to a new Senate Hall of Fame by a special committee of the U.S. Senate. They were Robert M. Taft, Robert M. La Follette, John C. Calhoun, Daniel Webster, and Henry Clay.

June 27-28

Hurricane Audrey and a subsequent tidal wave hit the Louisiana and Texas coasts, leaving 531 persons dead or missing.

July 16

A new transcontinental speed record (Long Beach, Calif., to Brooklyn, N.Y.) was set by Maj. John H. Glenn, Jr., USN, in a Navy F8U-1P jet. The time was 3 hrs., 23 min., 8.4 sec.

Aug. 30

A new filibuster record was set by Sen. Strom Thurmond, Democrat of South Carolina, who held the floor arguing against civil rights legislation for 24 hrs., 27 min.

Sept. 19

The first underground atomic explosion was set off at proving grounds near Las Vegas, Nev.

Sept. 24

Racial violence in Little Rock, Ark., prompted Pres. Eisenhower to send a force of some 1000 U.S. Army paratroopers to enforce the desegregation of Central High School. The president said that violence had caused the removal of nine black students in the newly integrated school. The students entered the guarded school on Sept. 25.

Oct. 8

Jack Soble, a confessed Soviet spy, was sentenced in New York to a seven-year imprisonment for espionage. Soble had pleaded guilty to obtaining national defense secrets with the knowledge that they would go to the U.S.S.R. His wife Myra Soble, and another member of the conspiracy, Jacob Albam, previously had been sentenced to seven years in jail, but their sentences were reduced to four and five years, respectively. Soble was sentenced to seven years in jail. Other charges against him were dropped, including one that carried the death penalty.

Nov. 25

At the opening of the Senate Preparedness Subcommittee hearings, Dr. Edward Teller urged that the U.S. strengthen its heavy bomber bases as a safeguard against Soviet missile attack.
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Author:Carruth, Gorton
Publication:Encyclopedia of American Facts & Dates, 9th ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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