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1954 ( MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1954th year of the Common Era (CE) and (AD) designations, the 954th year of the Anno Domini 2nd millennium, the 54th year of the 20th century, and the 5th year of the 1950s decade.
January 1 – The Soviet Union ceases to demand war reparations from West Germany.
January 3 – The Italian broadcaster RAI officially begins transmitting.
January 7 – Georgetown-IBM experiment: The first public demonstration of a machine translation system is held in New York, at the head office of IBM.
January 10 – BOAC Flight 781, a de Havilland Comet jet plane, disintegrates in mid-air due to metal fatigue, and crashes in the Mediterranean near Elba; all 35 people on board are killed.
January 12 – Avalanches in Austria kill more than 200.
January 14 – Marilyn Monroe marries baseball player Joe DiMaggio, at San Francisco City Hall. January 14 – The
Hudson Motor Car Company merges with Nash-Kelvinator Corporation, forming the American Motors Corporation.
January 15 – Mau Mau leader Waruhiu Itote is captured in Kenya.
January 17 – In Yugoslavia, Milovan ?ilas, one of the leading members of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, is relieved of his duties.
January 20 – The US-based National Negro Network is established, with 46 member radio stations.
January 21 – The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS , is launched in Nautilus Groton, Connecticut, by First Lady of the United States Mamie Eisenhower. January 25 – The foreign ministers of the United States, Britain, France and the Soviet Union meet at the Berlin Conference.
April 3 – Petrov Affair: Diplomat Vladimir Petrov defects from the Soviet Union and asks for political asylum in Australia.
April 4 – Legendary symphony conductor Arturo Toscanini experiences a lapse of memory during a concert. At this concert's end, his retirement is announced, and he never conducts in public again.
April 7 – Dwight D. Eisenhower gives his " domino theory" speech, during a news conference.
April 8 – A Royal Canadian Air Force Canadair Harvard collides with a Trans-Canada Air Lines Canadair North Star over Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, killing 37 people.
This day is denoted as the most boring day in the 20th century by
True Knowledge, an answer engine developed by William Tunstall-Pedoe. No significant newsworthy events, births, or deaths are known to have happened on this day.  In a general election in Belgium, the dominant Christian Social Party wins 95 of the 212 seats in the Chamber of Representatives, and 49 of the 106 seats in the Senate. The government led by Jean Van Houtte loses their majority in parliament. The two other main parties, the Socialist and Liberal Party, subsequently form a rare "purple" government, with Achille Van Acker as Prime Minister.
April 12 – Bill Haley & His Comets record " Rock Around the Clock" in their first session for American Decca in New York City; it is released on May 20 as a B-side, but only in 1955 becomes a #1 hit, helping to initiate the rock and roll craze.
April 16 – Vice President Richard Nixon announces that the United States may be "putting our own boys in Indochina regardless of Allied support". 
April 28 – U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles accuses Communist China of sending combat troops to Indo-China to train Viet Minh guerrillas. 
May 1 – The Unification Church is founded in South Korea.
May 4 – General Alfredo Stroessner deposes Federico Chávez in a coup d'état in Paraguay; from August 15 he will hold the office of President until 1989.
May 6 – Roger Bannister runs the first sub-four minute mile, in Oxford, England.
May 7 – Vietnam War (run-up): The Battle of Dien Bien Phu ends in a French defeat (the battle began on March 13).
May 8 – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is formed in Manila, Philippines.
May 11 – U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles declares that Indochina is important but not essential to the security of Southeast Asia, thus ending any prospect of American intervention on the side of France.
May 15 – The Latin Union ( Unión Latina) is created by the Convention of Madrid. Its member countries use the five Romance languages: Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian. It will suspend operations in 2012.
May 20 – Chiang Kai-shek is re-elected as the president of the Republic of China, by the National Assembly.
May 22 – The common Nordic Labour Market act is signed.
May 26 – A fire on board the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS , off Bennington Narragansett Bay, Massachusetts, kills 103 sailors. May 29
June 6 – The grand opening of the sculpture of Yuriy Dolgorukiy takes place in Moscow (this statue is one of the main monuments of Moscow).
June 7 - British cryptanalyst, mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing, age 41, commits suicide by cyanide poisoning.
June 9 – McCarthyism: Joseph Welch, special counsel for the United States Army, lashes out at Senator Joseph McCarthy, during hearings on whether Communism has infiltrated the Army, saying, "Have you, at long last, no decency?" 
June 14 – The words "under God" are added to the United States Pledge of Allegiance.
June 15 – The UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) is formed in Basel, Switzerland.
June 17 – A CIA-engineered military coup occurs in Guatemala.
June 18 – Pierre Mendès France becomes prime minister of France.
Common Nordic Labor Market Act comes into effect. The United States officially begins using the international unit of the nautical mile, equal to 6,076.11549 ft. or 1,852 meters.
July 10 – Peter Thomson becomes the first Australian to win the British Open Golf Championship.
July 19 – Release of Elvis Presley's first single, " That's All Right", by Sun Records (recorded July 5 in Memphis, Tennessee).
July 21 – First Indochina War: The Geneva Conference sends French forces to the south, and Vietnamese forces to the north, of a ceasefire line, and calls for elections to decide the government for all of Vietnam by July 1956. Failure to abide by the terms of the agreement leads to the establishment of the de facto regimes of North Vietnam and South Vietnam, and the Vietnam War.
July 29 – , the first of three volumes in J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy novel, The Fellowship of the Ring , is published. The Lord of the Rings July 31 – 1954 Italian expedition to K2: Italian mountaineers Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni become the first to reach the summit of the second highest mountain in the world.
August 1 – The First Indochina War ends with the Vietnam People's Army in North Vietnam, the Vietnamese National Army in South Vietnam, the Kingdom of Cambodia in Cambodia, and the Kingdom of Laos in Laos, emerging victorious against the French Army.
August 6 – Emilie Dionne, one of the Dionne quintuplets, dies of asphyxiation following an epileptic seizure. She is the first of the five to perish, and three of them live into the 21st century.
August 16 – The first issue of magazine is published in the United States. Sports Illustrated
August 23 – A United States Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules makes its first flight at Burbank, California, manufactured by Lockheed Martin. August 24 – Brazilian president Getúlio Vargas commits suicide, after being accused of involvement in a conspiracy to murder his chief political opponent, Carlos Lacerda.
September 6 – The SEATO treaty is signed in Manila, Philippines.
September 8 – The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) is established in Bangkok, Thailand.
September 9 – A 6.7 Chlef earthquake shakes northern Algeria, with a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI ( Extreme). The shock destroys Orléansville, leaving 1,243-1,409 dead, and 5,000 injured.
September 11 – The Miss America Pageant is broadcast on television for the first time.
September 15 – Black Wednesday in air travel: severe delays to flights, due to bad weather, occur along the East Coast of the United States.
September 17 – William Golding's allegorical dystopian novel is published in London. Lord of the Flies
September 18 – Finnish president J. K. Paasikivi is the first the Western head of state to be awarded the highest honor of the Soviet Union, the Order of Lenin.  
September 20 – The first Moomins comic strip is published in the London newspaper . The Evening News 
September 25 – Footscray Football Club wins their first Australian Football League Grand Final.
September 26 – Japanese ferry sinks during a T?ya Maru typhoon in the Tsugaru Strait. More than 1,100 people are killed, 7 other ships are wrecked, and at least nine others seriously damaged.
September 27 – first airs on live television on The Tonight Show NBC in the United States being the first late night talk show. September 30 – The USS , the first nuclear-powered Nautilus submarine in the world, is commissioned into the U.S. Navy.
November 1 – The FLN attacks representative and public buildings of the French colonial power.
November 3 – The first film premieres in Tokyo. Godzilla
November 5 – Japan and Burma sign a peace treaty in Rangoon, to end their long-extinct state of war.
November 10 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicates the USMC War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial), at the Arlington National Cemetery.
November 12 – The main immigration port-of-entry in New York Harbor at Ellis Island closes permanently.
November 13 – Great Britain defeats France, to capture the first ever Rugby League World Cup in Paris in front of around 30,000 spectators
November 14 – Egyptian president Muhammad Naguib is deposed, and Gamal Abdel Nasser replaces him.
November 22 – (348 U.S. 26): The Berman v. Parker U.S. Supreme Court upholds the federal slum clearance and urban renewal programs.
November 23 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average rises 3.27 points, or 0.86 percent, closing at an all-time high of 382.74. More significantly, this is the first time the Dow has surpassed its peak level, reached just before the Wall Street Crash of 1929. November 30 – In Sylacauga, Alabama, a four-kilogram piece of the Hodges Meteorite crashes through the roof of a house and badly bruises a napping woman, in the first documented case of an object from outer space hitting a person.
January 2 – Henry Bonilla, American politician
January 3 – Ross the Boss, American heavy metal/punk guitarist
January 5 – Alex English, American basketball player
January 6 – Anthony Minghella, British film, theatre director (d. 2008)
January 8 – Julieta Castellanos, Honduran sociologist
January 11 - Kailash Satyarthi, Indian activist, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
January 12 – Howard Stern, American radio host
January 13 – Trevor Rabin, South African-American musician
January 14 – Masanobu Fuchi, Japanese professional wrestler
January 15 – Jose Dalisay, Jr., Filipino writer
January 21 – Thomas de Maizière, German politician
January 22 – Peter Pilz, Austrian politician
February 1 – Bill Mumy, American actor, musician ( ) Lost In Space 
February 2 – Christie Brinkley, American model 
February 4 – Andrei Karlov, Russian diplomat (d. 2016) < 
February 7 – Dieter Bohlen, German music producer and singer-songwriter ( ) Modern Talking, Blue System 
February 9 – Gina Rinehart, Australian mining tycoon
February 11 – Noriyuki Asakura, Japanese composer
February 13 – Donnie Moore, American baseball player (d. 1989)
February 15 – Matt Groening, American cartoonist ( ) The Simpsons
February 23 – Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine
February 24 – Sid Meier, Canadian programmer, game designer, notable for the series Civilization
February 25 – Gerardo Pelusso, Uruguayan football manager February 26 – Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, 12th President of Turkey
March 5 – João Lourenço, President of Angola
March 6 – Harald Schumacher, German football goalkeeper
March 11 – Nicolae Manea, Romanian football player, manager (d. 2014)
March 13 – The Baroness Amos, British politician
March 17 – Lesley-Anne Down, British actress
March 18 – James F. Reilly, American astronaut
March 19 – Indu Shahani, Indian educator, Sheriff of Mumbai
March 20 – Louis Sachar, American author
March 29 – Karen Ann Quinlan, American right-to-die cause célèbre (d. 1985)
May 2 – Elliot Goldenthal, American composer
May 5 – David Azulai, Israeli politician (d. 2018)
May 6 – Angela Hernández Nuñez, Dominican writer
May 8 – Pam Arciero, Hawaiian-born puppeteer ( ) Sesame Street
May 10 – Amos Guttman, Israeli film director (d. 1993)
May 13 – Johnny Logan, Australian-born Irish singer, composer and Eurovision Song Contest winner (1980, 1987) dubbed as "Mister Eurovision"
May 20 – David Paterson, American politician, 55th Governor of New York
May 22 – Shuji Nakamura, Japanese electronics engineer
May 23 – Marvelous Marvin Hagler, American middleweight boxer and film actor (d. 2021)
May 28 – John Tory, Canadian politician May 29 – Pankaj Kapur, Indian actor
June 4 – Kazuhiro Yamaji, Japanese actor, voice actor
June 6 – Harvey Fierstein, American actor
June 10 – Kurt Walker, American ice hockey player (d. 2018)
June 14 – Will Patton, American actor
June 16 – Sergey Kuryokhin, Russian pianist, composer, improvisor, performance artist and actor (d. 1996)
June 24 – Chang San-cheng, Taiwanese politician
June 26 – Steve Barton, American actor (d. 2001)
July 3 – Pennie Lane Trumbull, American socialite, philanthropist, businesswoman, and entrepreneur
July 4 – Anne Lambton, British actress
July 6 – Willie Randolph, American baseball player, coach, manager
July 9 – Kevin O'Leary, Canadian businessman, television personality, and political candidate
July 11 – Alejandro Camacho, Mexican actor and producer
July 13 – Sezen Aksu, Turkish singer
July 18 – Franziska Troegner, German actress
July 19 – Verica Kalanovi?, Serbian politician
July 21 – Otto Jespersen, Norwegian comedian, actor and television personality
July 22 – Pierre Lebeau, Canadian actor
July 25 – Walter Payton, African-American football player (d. 1999)
July 28 – Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela (d. 2013) July 29 – Mark Gersmehl, American Christian musician
September 1 – Dave Lumley, Canadian ice hockey player
September 5 – Danny Masterton, Scottish footballer (d. 2020)
September 6 – Carly Fiorina, American businesswoman, CEO of HP (1999-2005) and Senator Ted Cruz's running mate in the 2016 presidential election
September 9 – Mohsen Rezaee, Iranian politician
September 10 – Mark W. Everson, American businessman; 46th Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (2003-07)
September 13 – Steve Kilbey, Australian musician
September 14 – Buzz Schneider, American professional ice hockey player
September 15 – Nava Semel, Israeli author and playwright (d. 2017)
September 16 – Ashrita Furman, American record breaker
September 18 – Dennis Johnson, American basketball player (d. 2007)
September 23 – Cherie Blair, lawyer, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair
September 24 – Lilian Mercedes Letona, Salvadoran guerrilla (d. 1983)
September 26 – Kevin Kennedy, American baseball manager and television host
September 28 – Steve Largent, American football player and congressman
September 29 – Cindy Morgan, American actress September 30 – Barry Williams, American actor
October 1 – Martin Strel, Slovenian swimmer
October 2 – Wong Tien Fatt, Malaysian politician (d. 2019)
October 6 – Howard Hoffman, American voice actor
October 7 – Robert A. Schuller, American televangelist and the son of Robert Schuller
October 13 – Mordechai Vanunu, a former Israeli nuclear technician who revealed secrets of its nuclear weapons program
October 14 – Mohamad Sabu, Malaysian politician
October 18 – Y?ji Mitsuya, Japanese voice actor
October 21 – Brian Tobin, sixth Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.
October 22 – Ellen Gerstell, American voice actress
October 23 – Ang Lee, Taiwanese film director
November 2 – Angela Webber, Australian author, television writer, producer and comedian (d. 2007)
November 6 – Karin Fossum, Norwegian crime fiction writer
Robin Beck, American singer
Kamal Haasan, Indian actor, dancer, film director, screenwriter, producer and politician Jon Taffer, American bar consultant, television host and author
Michael D. Brown, first Undersecretary of Emergency Preparedness and Response, a division of the United States' Department of Homeland Security Kazuo Ishiguro, Japanese-born British author, Nobel Prize laureate
November 11 – Mary Gaitskill, American novelist
November 12 – Rhonda Shear, American television hostess, actress and comedian
November 13 – Chris Noth, American actor
November 16 – Bruce Edwards, American golf caddy (d. 2004)
November 19 – Kathleen Quinlan, American actress
November 22 – Paolo Gentiloni, Prime Minister of Italy
November 28 – Marty Grabstein, American actor and voice actor November 29 – Joel Coen, American film director, producer, screenwriter and editor
December 1 – Bob Goen, American television personality and game show host
December 3 – Grace Andreacchi, American author
December 4 – Tony Todd, American actor and producer
December 6 – Beat Furrer, Swiss-born Austrian composer and conductor
December 7 – Mark Hofmann, American forger and murderer
December 8 – Sumi Shimamoto, Japanese voice actress
December 9 – Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg politician
December 10 – Jack Hues, English singer and musician ( Wang Chung)
December 13 – John Anderson, American country music singer-songwriter
December 15 – Mark Warner, American politician
December 21 – Chris Evert, American tennis player
December 23 – Brian Teacher, American tennis player 
December 24 – José María Figueres, Costa Rican politician, President ( 1994- 1998)
December 27 – Teo Chee Hean, Singaporean politician and 5th Senior Minister of Singapore
December 31 – Alex Salmond, Scottish politician
April 7 – Sabur? Kurusu, Japanese diplomat (b. 1886)
April 8 – Fritzi Scheff, American actress and singer (b. 1879)
April 10 – Auguste Lumière, French film pioneer (b. 1862)
April 12 – Luis Cabrera Lobato, Mexican lawyer, politician and writer (b. 1876)
April 13 – Angus L. Macdonald, Nova Scotia Premier (b. 1890)
April 17 – Lucre?iu P?trcanu, Romanian communist activist and sociologist (b. 1900)
April 27 – Antoni Boles?aw Dobrowolski, Polish scientist and explorer who participated in the Belgian Antarctic expedition (b. 1872) 
April 28 – Léon Jouhaux, French labor leader, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1879) April 29 – Joe May, Austrian-born director (b. 1880)
May 1 – Tom Tyler, American actor (b. 1903)
May 3 – Józef Garbie?, Polish footballer and physician (b. 1896)
May 5 – Henri Laurens, French sculptor and illustrator (b. 1885)
May 6 – B. C. Forbes, Scottish-born publisher (b. 1880)
May 14 – Heinz Guderian, German World War II general (b. 1888)
May 15 – William March, American writer and soldier (b. 1893)
May 19 – Charles Ives, American composer (b. 1874)
May 22 – Chief Bender, Native-American baseball player ( Philadelphia Athletics) and a member of the MLB Hall of Fame (b. 1884)
May 25 – Robert Capa, Hungarian-born photojournalist (b. 1913) May 26 – Omer Nishani, former Chairman of the Presidium of the People's Assembly and head of State of Albania (b. 1887)
June 7 – Alan Turing, British mathematician, cryptanalyst, and pioneer computer scientist, father of computers (b. 1912)
June 9 – Alain LeRoy Locke, American writer, philosopher and educator (b. 1885)
June 21 – Harvey A. Carr, American psychologists (b. 1873)
June 22 – Don Hollenbeck, American newscaster (b. 1905)
June 24 – Thomas Denman, 3rd Baron Denman, 5th Governor-General of Australia (b. 1874)
June 27 – Alfredo Versoza, Filipino Roman Catholic bishop and Servant of God (b. 1877) June 30 – Andrass Samuelsen, 1st Prime Minister of Faroe Islands (b. 1873)
September 1 – Bert Acosta, American aviator (b. 1895)
September 2 – Franz Leopold Neumann, German- political activist and Marxist theorist (b. 1900)
September 3 – Eugene Pallette, American actor (b. 1889)
September 5 – Eugen Schiffer, German politician (b. 1860)
September 6 – Edward C. Kalbfus, American admiral (b. 1877)
September 8 – André Derain, French artist, painter and sculptor (b. 1880)
September 20 – Washington Phillips, American gospel singer and instrumentalist (b. 1880)
September 21 – Mikimoto K?kichi, Japanese pearl farm pioneer (b. 1858)
September 24 – Edward Pilgrim, British homeowner (suicide) (b. 1904)
September 25 – Eugenio d'Ors, Spanish writer (b. 1881)
September 26 – Ellen Roosevelt, American tennis player (b. 1868)
September 27 – Maximilian von Weichs, German field marshal (b. 1881)
September 28 – Bert Lytell, American actor (b. 1885) September 29 – Martin Wetzer, Finnish general (b. 1868)
November 3 – Henri Matisse, French painter (b. 1869)
November 10 – Édouard Le Roy, French philosopher and mathematician (b. 1870)
November 13 – Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist, German field marshal (b. 1881)
November 15 – Lionel Barrymore, American actor (b. 1878)
November 16 – Albert Francis Blakeslee, American botanist (b. 1874)
November 20 – Clyde Cessna, American aviator and aircraft designer and manufacturer, founder of the Cessna Aircraft Corporation (b. 1879)
November 28 – Enrico Fermi, Italian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1901)
November 29 – Dink Johnson, American musician (b. 1892) November 30 – Wilhelm Furtwängler, German conductor (b. 1886)
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