University of Alabama admits Autherine Lucy as its first African-American student, February 3, after prolonged litigation in federal court. White students and Tuscaloosa residents riot on February 6, and Lucy is suspended, allegedly for her own safety; she is later expelled for criticizing the university.
Special session of the Virginia legislature in August adopts program of "massive resistance" to school desegregation that calls for the closing of schools under desegregation orders.
Governor Frank Clement orders the National Guard to restore order in Clinton, Tennessee, on September 2 after white mobs attempt to block the desegregation of the high school.
Eisenhower is reelected on November 6.
Supreme Court affirms ruling of lower federal court in Browder v. Gayle declaring segregation on Alabama intrastate buses to be unconstitutional, November 13.
Montgomery boycott ends on December 21 as municipal buses begin operating on a desegregated basis. (Read Ted Poston in The New York Post, June 19, 1956 reporting on the boycott.)
Chicago Defender begins publishing daily.