January 14 – Marilyn Monroe marries baseball player Joe DiMaggio.
January 21 – The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, is launched in Groton, Connecticut, by First Lady of the United States Mamie Eisenhower.
January 29 – Birth of Oprah Winfrey, American actress, talk show hostess, producer, and publisher.
February 3 – Elizabeth II becomes the first reigning monarch to visit Australia.
February 15 – Birth of Matt Groening, American cartoonist (known for “The Simpsons”).
February 18 – Birth of John Travolta, American actor (Saturday Night Fever).
February 26 – Birth of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 12th President of Turkey.
March 25 – RCA manufactures the first color television set (12-inch screen; price: $1,000).
March 30 – The first operational subway line in Canada opens in Toronto.
April – Bill Haley & His Comets record “Rock Around the Clock”, thus starting the rock and roll craze.
April 7 – Birth of Jackie Chan, Hong Kong-born actor.
May 6 – Death of B. C. Forbes, Scottish-born publisher (b. 1880), founder of “Forbes Magazine”.
June 7 – Early computer scientist Alan Turing commits suicide.
June 27 – The world’s first atomic power station opens at Obninsk, near Moscow.
July 4 – “Miracle of Bern”: West Germany beats Hungary 3–2 to win the 1954 FIFA World Cup.
July 15 – The maiden flight of the Boeing 367-80 (or Dash 80), prototype of the Boeing 707 series.
July 17 – Birth of Angela Merkel, current Chancellor of Germany.
August 12 – Birth of François Hollande, current President of France.
August 16 – Birth of James Cameron, Canadian-born film director.
August 16 – The first issue of Sports Illustrated magazine is published in the United States.
October – Ernest Hemingway received the Nobel Prize in Literature.
October 18 – Texas Instruments announces the development of the first commercial transistor radio.
October 23 – West Germany joins NATO.
November 3 – The first Godzilla film premieres in Tokyo.
November 12 – The main immigration port-of-entry in New York Harbor at Ellis Island closes permanently.
December 4 – The first Burger King opens in Miami, Florida.