- Revolution in Hungary: The ordinary people of Hungary rise in an anti-Communist revolt against Soviet domination. The Red Star is replaced on Parliament buildings with the Hungarian national flag before the poorly-armed uprising is brutally suppressed by Soviet troops in November.
- Cuban civil war commences: Fidel Castro returns from exile and leads armed attacks against the government of Fulgencio Batista.
- Suez crisis July: President Nasser of Egypt nationalizes the Suez Canal.
- Extract from the preamble to the proposals of the London Conference on the Suez Canal, 16 August 1956:
" ... an adequate solution must, on the one hand, respect the sovereign rights of Egypt, including its rights to just and fair compensation for the use of the Canal, and, on the other hand, safeguard the Suez Canal as an international waterway in accordance with the Suez Canal Convention of 29 October 1888."
Sir Robert Menzies, Afternoon Light, 1967 p 153.
- October 29: War between Israel and Egypt - Britain and France intervene against Egypt on October 31 in an effort to restore international control of the Suez Canal. United Nations action on November 6 restores peace although the canal remains closed until March 1957.
† Olympic Games held in Melbourne - International Olympic Committee website