Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century
Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s - 1950s - 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
1948 1949 1950 1951 - 1952 - 1953 - 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958
January 7 - President Harry S. Truman announces the United States has developed a hydrogen bomb.
January 13 - Marshal Josip Broz Tito chosen President of Yugoslavia.
January 20 - Change of US presidency from Harry S. Truman (1945-1953) to Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961).
January 22 - The Crucible, a drama by Arthur Miller, opens on Broadway.
January 31, February 1 - North Sea flood kills 1,835 people in the southwestern Netherlands and 307 in the United Kingdom.
February 5 - The movie Peter Pan premieres (Roxy Theatre, New York City).
February 11 - President Eisenhower refuses clemency appeal for Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.
February 11 - The Soviet Union breaks diplomatic relations with Israel.
February 18 - The first 3D film, Bwana Devil opens.
February 19 - Censorship: Georgia approves the first literature censorship board in the United States.
February 28 - James Watson and Francis Crick announce that they have determined the chemical structure of DNA.
March 5 - After 29 years of ruling the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin dies.
March 6 - Georgy Maksimilianovich Malenkov succeeds Josef Stalin as Premier and First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
March 18 - An earthquake hits western Turkey killing 250.
March 26 - Jonas Salk announces his polio vaccine.
April 7 - Dag Hammarskjöld is elected United Nations Secretary General.
April 25 - Francis Crick and James Watson publish Molecular structure of nucleic acids: a structure for deoxyribose nucleic acid describing the double helix structure of DNA.
May 18 - At Rogers Dry Lake, California Jacqueline Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier (she flew in a F-86 Sabrejet at an average speed of 652.337 miles-per-hour).
May 25 - Nuclear testing: At the Nevada Test Site, the United States conducts its first and only nuclear artillery test.
May 29 - Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay perform the first successful ascent to the summit of Mount Everest.
June 2 - Coronation of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom at Westminster Abbey.
June 17 - Workers Uprising in East Germany.
July 26 - Fidel Castro leads an unsuccessful attack on the Moncada Barracks sparking the Cuban Revolution.
July 27 - Korean War ends: The United States, People's Republic of China, North Korea, and South Korea sign an armistice agreement.
August 7 - Ohio admitted to the union, retroactive to 1803.
August 19 - Cold War: The CIA helps to overthrow the government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran and reinstate the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
September 7 - Nikita Khrushchev becomes head of the Soviet Central Committee.
October 12 - "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" opens at Plymouth Theatre, New York.
October 30 - Cold War: US President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally approves the top secret document National Security Council Paper No. 162/2, which states that the United States' arsenal of nuclear weapons must be maintained and expanded to counter the communist threat.
October - The UNIVAC 1103 is the first commercial computer to use random access memory.
November 9 - Cambodia becomes independent from France.
November 21 - Authorities at the British Natural History Museum announce that the skull of the "Piltdown Man", held to be one of the most famous fossil skulls in the world, was a hoax.
December 24 - 153 people die as a result of the Tangiwai disaster when the railway bridge collapses at Tangiwai, New Zealand sending a fully loaded passenger train into the Whangaehu River
December 30 - The first color television sets go on sale for about $1,175 (American dollars).
Year in topic
1953 in film
From Here to Eternity
1953 in literature
Casino Royale, the first James Bond novel published
1953 in music
Elvis Presley records for the first time
1953 in sports
April 16th - Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup, defeating Boston Bruins winning the series 4 games to 1, with a score of 1-0, in the first overtime at 1:22 (minutes:seconds)
1953 in television
January 19 - 68% of all United States television sets were tuned in to I Love Lucy to watch Lucy give birth
February 18 - Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz sign an $8,000,000 contract to continue the I Love Lucy television series through 1955.
March 25 - CBS concedes victory to RCA in the war over color television standards.
April 3 - TV Guide is published for the first time, with 10 editions and a circulation of 1,562,000
May 25 - KUHT in Houston, becomes the first non-commercial educational TV station
The Tonight Show begins as a local New York variety show.
August 30 - NBC's Kukla, Fran, and Ollie Show is broadcast in color
October 19 - Arthur Godfrey fires Julius La Rosa on the air.
November - RCA tests its compatible color TV system on the air for the first time with a telecast of the Colgate Comedy Hour.
December 24 - NBC's Dragnet becomes the first network-sponsored television program.
December 17 - The FCC reverses its 1951 decision and approves the RCA/NTSC color system
Japanese television goes on the air for the first time
1953 in theater
July 13 - First lines of the first play produced by the Stratford Shakespeare Festival (Richard III) are spoken.
January 10 - Pat Benatar, singer
January 10 - Bobby Rahal, automobile racer
January 19 - Desi Arnaz Jr, actor
January 21 - Paul Allen, entrepreneur
January 22 - Jim Jarmusch, director
January 26 - Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark
February 7 - Lige Curry, musician (P Funk)
February 8 - Mary Steenburgen, actress
February 11 - Philip Anglim, actor
February 11 - Stephen D. Thorne, astronaut
February 11 - Alan Rubin, music figure
February 17 - Norman Pace, actor, comic
February 21 - William Petersen, actor
February 25 - José María Aznar, Spanish politician
March 12 - Ron Jeremy, pornographic film actor
March 12 - Carl Hiaasen, author
March 16 - Richard Stallman, Free software proponent
March 16 - Isabelle Huppert, actress
March 23 - Chaka Khan, singer
March 26 - Elaine Chao, U.S. Secretary of Labor
April 1 - Barry Sonnenfeld, producer, director
April 11 - Guy Verhofstadt, Prime Minister of Belgium
April 22 - Frank Netzel, Political activist
May 6 - Tony Blair, Prime Minister of United Kingdom
May 15 - Mike Oldfield, composer
May 16 - Pierce Brosnan, actor
May 19 - Victoria Wood, British comic actress
May 26 - Michael Portillo, politician
May 29 - Danny Elfman, (composer)
May 30 - Colm Meaney, actor
June 8 - Bonnie Tyler, singer
June 13 - Tim Allen, actor
July 15 - Mila Pivnicki, First Lady of Canada
July 29 - Geddy Lee, musician with Rush
August 11 - Hulk Hogan, American professional wrestler
August 19 - Benoît Régent, French film actor
October 9 - Tony Shalhoub, actor
October 16 - Terrence John Mason, American violinist
October 22 - Jeff Goldblum, actor
November 18 - Alan Moore, comicbook writer, writer, performer, magician
December 8 - Kim Basinger, actress and Oscar winner
March 2 - Jim Lightbody, American middle-distance runner
March 5 - Joseph Stalin, Soviet leader
March 5 - Sergei Prokofiev, Soviet composer
March 5 - Herman J. Mankiewicz, writer, producer
March 24 - Queen Mary the Dowager Queen Mother, formerly Mary of Teck, widow of King George V of the United Kingdom
March 28 - Jim Thorpe, athlete.
July 29 - Richard William Pearse, New Zealander airplane pioneer.
September 2 - General Jonathan Wainwright, U.S Medal of Honor recipient
October 3 - Arnold Bax, composer
November 8 - John van Melle, South African author
November 9 - Dylan Thomas, poet and author
November 27 - Eugene O'Neill, playwright
November 29 - Sam De Grasse, pioneer Hollywood actor
November 30 - Francis Picabia, painter, poet
Physics - Frits (Frederik) Zernike
Chemistry - Hermann Staudinger
Medicine - Hans Adolf Krebs, Fritz Albert Lipmann
Literature - Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill
Peace - George Catlett Marshall