On This Date- November 4th

Nov 4, 1956:

Soviets put brutal end to Hungarian revolution

A spontaneous national uprising that began 12 days before in Hungary is viciously crushed by Soviet tanks and troops on this day in 1956. Thousands were killed and wounded and nearly a quarter-million Hungarians fled the country.

Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Union of Sovi...

The problems in Hungary began in October 1956, when thousands of protesters took to the streets demanding a more democratic political system and freedom from Soviet oppression. In response, Communist Party officials appointed Imre Nagy, a former premier who had been dismissed from the party for his criticisms of Stalinist policies, as the new premier.  Nagy tried to restore peace and asked the Soviets to withdraw their troops. The Soviets did so, but Nagy then tried to push the Hungarian revolt forward by abolishing one-party rule. He also announced that Hungary was withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact (the Soviet bloc’s equivalent of NATO).

On November 4, 1956, Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest to crush, once and for all, the national uprising. Vicious street fighting broke out, but the Soviets’ great power ensured victory. At 5:20 a.m., Hungarian Prime Minister Imre Nagy announced the invasion to the nation in a grim, 35-second broadcast, declaring: “Our troops are fighting. The Government is in place.” Within hours, though, Nagy sought asylum at the Yugoslav Embassy in Budapest. He was captured shortly thereafter and executed two years later. Nagy’s former colleague and imminent replacement, János Kádár, who had been flown secretly from Moscow to the city of Szolnok, 60 miles southeast of the capital, prepared to take power with Moscow’s backing.

The Eastern Bloc - after the annexations and i...

The Soviet action stunned many people in the West. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had pledged a retreat from the Stalinist policies and repression of the past, but the violent actions in Budapest suggested otherwise. An estimated 2,500 Hungarians died and 200,000 more fled as refugees. Sporadic armed resistance, strikes and mass arrests continued for months thereafter, causing substantial economic disruption.  Inaction on the part of the United States angered and frustrated many Hungarians. Voice of America radio broadcasts and speeches by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had recently suggested that the United States supported the “liberation” of “captive peoples” in communist nations. Yet, as Soviet tanks bore down on the protesters, the United States did nothing beyond issuing public statements of sympathy for their plight.

Coat of arms of Hungary

Coat of arms of Hungary

 
American Revolution
Patriot, politician and physician William Shippen dies, 1801
Automotive
Iranian students storm U.S. embassy in Tehran, leading to oil embargo, 1979
Civil War
Rebels attack Yankee supply base at the Battle of Johnsonville, 1864
Cold War
Soviets crush Hungarian revolt, 1956
Crime
One of New York’s most notorious gamblers is shot to death, 1928
Disaster
Heavy rain leads to flooding in New England, 1927
General Interest
Entrance to King Tut’s tomb discovered, 1922
Iranians storm U.S. embassy, 1979
Yitzhak Rabin assassinated, 1995
Hollywood
Dances with Wolves debuts, 1990
Literary
T.S. Eliot wins Nobel Prize in literature, 1948
Music
Anne Murray earns a #1 pop hit with “You Needed Me”, 1978
Old West
Will Rogers is born in Oklahoma, 1879
Presidential
Abraham Lincoln marries Mary Todd, 1842
Sports
End of an era for the Yankees, 2001
Vietnam War
South Vietnamese battle communists along the Cambodian border, 1969
U.S. hands over air base to the Vietnamese Air Force, 1970
World War I
Poet Wilfred Owen killed in action , 1918
World War II
Gen. Sir John Dill dies, 1944
This Week in History, Nov 4 – Nov 10

Nov 04, 1956
Soviets put brutal end to Hungarian revolution
Nov 05, 1994
George Foreman becomes oldest heavyweight champ
Nov 06, 1962
U.N. condemns apartheid
Nov 07, 1991
Magic Johnson announces he is HIV positive
Nov 08, 1895
German scientist discovers X-rays
Nov 09, 1938
Nazis launch Kristallnacht
Nov 10, 1969
Sesame Street debuts
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s