1949 1950 1951 – 1952 – 1953 1954 1955
| Decades: |
1920s 1930s 1940s – 1950s – 1960s 1970s 1980s
| Centuries: |
19th century – 20th century – 21st century
Lists of leaders:
1952 was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar).
Table of contents
- January 8 – West Germany has 8 million refugees inside its borders.
- January 24 – Sudden heavy snowfall in Algeria.
- January 24 – Vincent Massey sworn in as first Canada-born Governor-General of Canada.
- February 2 – A tropical storm forms just north of Cuba moving northeast. The storm makes landfall in southern Florida the next day. It is the earliest reported landfall from a tropical storm, and the earliest formation of a tropical storm on record in the Atlantic basin.
- February 6 – Elizabeth II becomes Queen upon the death of her father George VI.
- February 6 – In the United States, a mechanical heart is used for the first time in a human patient.
- February 14 to February 25 – Winter Olympics in Oslo
- February 15 – Funeral of King George VI
- February 20 – Emmett L. Ashford becomes the first African-American umpire in organized baseball by being authorized to be a substitute umpire in the Southwestern International League.
- February 21 – Winston Churchill scraps UK compulsory national Identity Cards
- February 26 – United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill announces that his nation has an atomic bomb.
- March 10 – General Fulgencio Batista takes power in Cuba – again
- March 15 to 16 – 73 inches (1,870mm) of rain falls in Cilaos, Réunion, the most rainfall ever in one day
- March 20 – The United States Senate ratifies a peace treaty with Japan.
- March 21 – The last two executions in the Netherlands take place.
- March 21 – Dr Kwame Nkrumah elected the Prime Minister of the Gold Coast
- March 27 – Failed assassination attempt against Konrad Adenauer
- April 4 – In Hague tribunal, Israel demands reparations worth 3 billion dollars from Germany.
- April 18 – Bolivia National Revolution: universal vote enables indigenous and women to vote, nationalisation of mines and agrarian reform.
- April 18 – West Germany and Japan form diplomatic relations.
- April 23 – Nuclear test in Nevada desert.
- April 28 – The Treaty of San Francisco goes into effect, formally ending the occupation of Japan.
- April 28 – Treaty of Taipei (Treaty of Peace between Japan and the Republic of China).
- April 29 – Japan regains official independence. This ends the period of Occupied Japan and marks the birth of Modern Japan.
- April 29 – Two Soviet fighters fire on French passenger plane over Germany
- April 29 – Australia, New Zealand, United States security treaty comes into force.
- May 1 – East Germany threatens to form its own army.
- May 2 – First passenger jet flight route between London and Johannesburg
- May 3 – U.S. lieutenant colonels Joseph O. Fletcher and William P. Benedict land a plane at the geographic North Pole.
- May 6 – Farouk of Egypt had himself announced as a descendant of prophet Muhammad.
- May 13 – Pandit Nehru forms his first government
- May 15 – diplomatic relations established between the governments of Israel and Japan at the level of Legations.
- June 1 – Catholic church bans books of André Gide.
- June 5 – Remains of a Viking ship found near Boston.
- June 14 – The keel is laid for the nuclear submarine USS Nautilus.
- June 15 – The Diary of Anne Frank published.
- June 21 – USA launches the first nuclear submarine USS Nautilus.
- June 29 – Finnish Armi Kuusela wins the title of Miss Universe.
- June 30 – Marshall Aid ends.
- July 13 – East Germany announces formation of its people's army.
- July 19 to August 3 – The Summer Olympic Games are held in Helsinki.
- July 23 – General Mohammed Naguib leads The Free Officers (formed by Gamal Abdel Nasser – the real power behind the coup) in the overthrow of King Farouk of Egypt.
- July 25 – Puerto Rico becomes a self-governing commonwealth of the United States.
- July 26 – Military coup in Egypt ousts King Farouk.
- August 10 – Establishment of the European Coal and Steel community.
- August 11 – Jordanian army forces king Talal to resign due to mental illness – his successor is his son Hussein of Jordan.
- August 13 – Japan joins IMF.
- August 14 – West Germany joins IMF.
- August 14 – West Germany joins World Bank.
- August 16 – Lynmouth in North Devon is devastated by floods, death toll of 34.
- August 26 – British passenger jet flies twice over Atlantic in the same day.
- August 27 – Reparation negotiations between West Germany and Israel end in Luxembourg – Germany will pay 3 billion Deutsche Marks.
- August 29 – Premiere of John Cage's 4' 33" in Woodstock, New York.
- August 30 – Last Finnish war reparations to Soviet Union.
- September 2 – Dr. C Walton Lillehei and Dr. Lewis perform first open-heart surgery in Minnesota, USA.
- September 4 – September 9 – Thick smog in London causes 4,000 fatalities.
- September 18 – Soviet Union vetoes Japan's application for membership of United Nations.
- October 8 – Negotiations of ceasefire in Korea are postponed.
- October 8 – Three-train crash in Harrow railway station in England – 110 dead.
- October 14 – United Nations begins work in the new United Nations building in New York City
- October 20 – Martial law in Kenya due to Mau Mau uprising.
- November 1 – Nuclear testing: Operation Ivy – The United States successfully detonates the first hydrogen bomb, codenamed "Mike" ["m" for megaton], at Eniwetok island in the Bikini atoll located in the Pacific Ocean.
- November 4 – 8.25 Richter scale earthquake in Kamchatka
- November 4 – U.S. presidential election, 1952: Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower defeats Democrat Adlai Stevenson (correctly predicted by UNIVAC computer).
- November 18 – Jomo Kenyatta is arrested in Kenya for alleged connection to Mau Mau uprising
- November 20 – Fireball crashes in a backyard in Havelock North, New Zealand
- November 20 – First official passenger flight over the North Pole from Los Angeles to Copenhagen
- November 21 – Show trial in Czechoslovakia sentences 11 ex-communist officials to death – all of them Jews.
- November 25 – Agatha Christie's murder-mystery play The Mousetrap opens at the Ambassadors Theatre in London; as of 2004, it continues, next door at the St. Martin's Theatre, and remains the longest continuously running production of a play in history.
- November 29 – Korean War: Newly-elected US President Dwight D. Eisenhower fulfills a campaign promise by traveling to Korea to find out what can be done to end the conflict.
- December 1 – The New York Daily News carries a front page story announcing that Christine Jorgensen, a transsexual woman in Denmark became the recipient of the first successful sexual reassignment operation.
- December 4 – Great Smog of 1952: A "killer fog" descends on London ("Smog" for "smoke" and "fog" becomes a word).
- December 14 – First successful surgical separation of Siamese twins in Mount Sinai hospital, Ohio.
- December 25 – Shooting incident in West Berlin – one West German soldier is killed
- December 26 – Joseph Ivor Linton, first Israeli Minister Plenipotentiary in Japan, presents his credentials to the Japanese Emperor.
- 3300 die of polio in USA, 57.000 children are paralyzed
- National Security Agency founded
- Winston Churchill scraps UK compulsory national Identity Cards
- Cold War over Germany's frontiers intensify
- Sister Theresa becomes Mother Theresa and begins her charity work in Calcutta
- Charles Chaplin expelled from USA
- Traffic lights in New York City
- Wernher von Braun talks about a manned flight to Mars.
Year in topic
- 1952 in film
- 1952 in literature
- 1952 in music
- "Hound Dog" – Big Mama Thornton
- 1952 in rail transport
- 1952 in sports
- 1952 in television
- January 14 – The Today show premieres on NBC.
- September – The first UHF television station, KLOR begins broadcasting in Portland, Oregon.
- The first political advertisements appear on U.S. television. Democrats buy a 30 minute slot for their candidate, Adlai Stevenson. Stevenson is bombarded with hate mail for interfering with a broadcast of I Love Lucy. Dwight Eisenhower buys 20 second commercial spots and wins the election.
- The Ernie Kovacs Show premieres. Kovacs pushes the limits of television technology with his use of camera tricks and special effects.
- The first telecast of an atomic bomb detonation (KTLA)
- 1952 in theater
- January 11 – Lee Ritenour, musician and composer
- January 11 – Ben Crenshaw, American golfer
- January 12 – Ricky Van Shelton, country musician
- January 20 – Paul Stanley, musician (KISS}
- January 22 – Teddy Gentry, musician (Alabama)
- January 29 – Tommy Ramone, Hungarian-American musician, drummer with The Ramones
- February 1 – Rick James, American musician
- March 1 – Steven Barnes, American science fiction author
- March 2 – Laraine Newman, American comedian
- March 11 – Douglas Adams, English science fiction author (d. 2001)
- March 13 – Wolfgang Rihm, German composer
- March 22 – Bob Costas, American sports announcer
- March 23 – Kim Stanley Robinson, American science fiction author
- March 25 – Antanas Mockus, Colombian mathematician and politician
- March 29 – Teofilo Stevenson, Cuban boxer
- April 4 – Rosemarie Ackermann, German athlete
- April 12 – Ralph Wiley, American sports journalist (d. 2004)
- April 22 – Marilyn Chambers, American actress
- April 25 – Ketil Bjørnstad, Norwegian pianist
- May 3 – Allan Wells, Scottish athlete
- May 3 – Leonid Khachiyan, Russian-born American mathematician
- May 11 – Renaud Séchan, French composer
- May 11 – Mike Lupica, American sports journalist
- May 14 – David Byrne, singer, songwriter, and guitarist
- May 14 – Robert Zemeckis, American director
- May 18 – George Strait, American country musician
- May 20 – Roger Milla, Cameroonian footballer
- May 21 – Mr. T, American actor
- May 21 – Zuzana Hloníková, Slovak painter
- June 7 – Liam Neeson, Irish actor
- June 16 – Georgios Papandreou, Greek politician
- June 28 – Pietro Mennea, Italian athlete
- July 9 – John Tesh, American composer, musician, and television host
- August 3 – Osvaldo Ardiles, Argentine footballer
- August 8 – Jostein Gaarder, Norwegian author
- August 9 – Vicki Morgan, model (d. 1983)
- August 13 – Herb Ritts, celebrity photographer
- August 14 – Carl Lumbly, actor
- August 19 – Jonathan Frakes, actor
- August 21 – Joe Strummer, British musician, guitarist/vocalist with The Clash (d. December 22, 2002)
- August 24 – Linton Kwesi Johnson, musician
- September 18 – Dee Dee Ramone, American musician, bassist with punk band The Ramones (d. June 5, 2002)
- September 22 – Bob Goodlatte, U.S. Congressman from Virginia
- September 29 – Max Sandlin, American politician
- October 7 – Vladimir Putin, Russian president
- October 9 – Sharon Osbourne, wife and manager of Ozzy Osbourne
- October 16 – Ron Taylor, American actor (died 2002)
- October 26 – Andrew Motion, English poet
- November 5 – Bill Walton, basketball player and commentator
- November 15 – Daniel Barenboim, Israeli pianist and conductor
- November 16 – Shigeru Miyamoto, game designer
- November 25 – Imran Khan, Pakistani cricketer
- December 9 – Michael Dorn, actor
- December 16 – Joel Garner, West Indian cricketer
- December 28 – Arun Jaitley, Indian politician
- January 18 – Curly Howard, actor, comedian, member of the Three Stooges
- February 6 – King George VI of the United Kingdom
- February 19 – Knut Hamsun, author
- February 22 – Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg, first president of Finland
- March 7 – Paramahansa Yogananda, Indian guru
- March 22 – Uncle Dave Macon, country music performer
- March 31 – Wallace H. White, Jr., U.S. Senator from Maine (b. 1877)
- April 3 – Miina Sillanpää, Finnish left-wing trade union activist
- April 21 – Sir Stafford Cripps, British politician, Chancellor of the Exchequer 1947–1950
- May 6 – Maria Montessori Italian educator and founder of the Montessori method (cerebral haemorrage) (b. 1870)
- May 8 – Walter Fox, American movie producer
- May 21 – John Garfield, actor
- June 17 – Krystyna Skarbek, SOE agent
- July 26 – Eva Peron, Argentine wife of Juan Peron
- September 29 – George Santayana, writer
- September 30 – Viscount Waldorf Astor, British businessman and politician
- October 28 – Billy Hughes, seventh Prime Minister of Australia
- November 9 – Chaim Weizmann, chemist, first President of Israel (b. 1874)
- November 18 – Paul Eluard, French poet (b. 1895)
- November 23 – Aaro Hellaakoski, Finnish poet
- December 12 – Bedřich Hrozný, Czech orientalist and linguist
- December 28 – Fletcher Henderson, jazz musician (b. 1897)