- The arrest of Rosa Parks in Montgomery Alabama starts the American Civil Rights Movement in Motion.
- Bill Haley and His Comets record "Rock Around the Clock" in New York City for Decca Records.
- Popular films include: "On the Waterfront", "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", "0,000 Leagues Under the Sea".
- Famous Births ... Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Elvis Costello, Denzel Washington
- Deaths ... Henri Matisse, Enrico Fermi
- Former Yankees great Joe DiMaggio marries legendary actress Marilyn Monroe. First sub 4 minute mile run by Roger Bannister.
- Life Magazine cost 20 cents.
- Three Hurricanes strike in the US, including Hurricane Hazel one of the worst hurricanes of the 20th century.
- First commercial nuclear power station goes online at Obninsk, Russia.
- The first mass vaccination of children against polio begins.
Historical Highlights of 1954 ...
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