A forgotten year that shook the world

A forgotten year that shook the world
Elvis Presley released Heartbreak Hotel in 1956, making him the first global superstar Picture: Getty

History/Politics; 1956: The Year in Revolt ; By Simon Hall; Faber & Faber, €27

Fuelled by an unprecedented post-war boom, the US was the wealthiest country on Earth in 1956. Yet the leader of the “free world” was home to an institutional system of white supremacy in its southern states.

The bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama – unleashed in December 1955, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger – culminated in 1956 when the US Supreme Court declared segregated seating on Montgomery’s buses unconstitutional....

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