Claudette Colvin, a fifteen-year-old African-American girl, becomes the first person arrested for resisting bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama, when she refuses to give up her seat to a white woman as demanded by the driver. She is carried off the bus backwards while being kicked and handcuffed and harassed on the way to the police station. She becomes a plaintiff in Browder v. Gayle (1956) which rules bus segregation to be unconstitutional.
The Broadway musical version of Peter Pan, which had opened in 1954 starring Mary Martin, is presented on television for the first time by NBC-TV with its original cast, as an installment of Producers' Showcase. It is also the first time that a stage musical is presented in its entirety on TV almost exactly as it was performed on stage. This program gains the largest viewership of a TV special up to this time, and it becomes one of the first great TV family musical classics.
The Greek fishing vessel Iason capsizes and sinks in the Ionian Sea with the loss of eleven of her fifteen crew. SS Stratheden sends one of her lifeboat to the aid of Iason, but it also capsizes and all eight on board are drowned. Four survivors from Iason are rescued by Stratheden.
Richard Riot in Montreal: 6,000 people protest against the suspension of French Canadian ice hockey star Maurice Richard of the Montreal Canadiens by the National Hockey League following a violent incident during a match.
The movie adaptation of Evan Hunter's novel Blackboard Jungle is premièred in the United States, making a hit out of "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets. Teenagers jump from their cinema seats to dance to the song.
Spanish cargo ship Urola collides with Soviet ship Storaya Pyaltylotka off Setubal, Portugal, and sinks. Storaya Pyaltylotka is badly damaged, entering the Tagus still taking on water. All 33 crew from Urola are rescued.
Serial killer Leslie "Mad Dog" Irvin ends his killing spree with the murders of Goebel Duncan, 51, his son Raymond Duncan, 29, and Maple Elizabeth Duncan, 20 (Goebel's daughter-in-law), during a robbery in southwestern Indiana, USA.