8 December 1955

The Flag of Europe is adopted by Council of Europe.

The Flag of Europe, or European Flag is the flag of Europe. It consists of a circle of 12 golden stars on an azure background. It is an official symbol of two separate organizations — the Council of Europe and the European Union — both of which term it the “Flag of Europe” or the “European Flag”. It was first adopted in 1955 by the Council of Europe to represent the European continent as a whole. Due to the subsequent emergence of the EU, the flag is sometimes colloquially known as the “flag of the European Union”, but this term is not official.

The flag was designed in 1955, and officially launched later that year by the Council of Europe as a symbol for the whole of Europe. The Council of Europe urged it to be adopted by other European organisations, and in 1985 the European Economic Community adopted it as its own flag (having had no flag of its own before) at the initiative of the European Parliament.

The flag is not mentioned in the EU’s treaties, its incorporation being dropped along with the European Constitution, but it is formally adopted in law. The Council of Europe has a distinctive “Council of Europe Logo” to uniquely identify the organisation, which employs a lower-case “e” in the centre. The logo is not meant to be a substitute for the flag, which the Council flies in front of and in its headquarters, annexes and field office premises.

Since its adoption by the European Union, it has become broadly associated with the supranational organisation due to its high profile and heavy usage of the emblem. However, the flag is sometimes use in its wider denotation, for example representing Europe in sporting events and as a pro-democracy banner. It has partly inspired other flags, such as those of other European organisations and those of sovereign states where the EU has been heavily involved.

The search for a symbol began in 1950 when a committee was set up in order to look into the question of a European flag. There were numerous proposals but a clear theme for stars and circles emerged. Count Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove-Kalergi proposed that they adopt the flag of his International Paneuropean Union, which was a blue field, with a red cross inside an orange circle at the centre, which he had himself recently adopted for the European Parliamentary Union. Due to the cross symbolism, this was rejected by Turkey. Kalergi then suggested adding a crescent to the cross design, to overcome the Muslim objections. Another organisation’s flag was the European Movement, which had a large green E on a white background. A further design was one based on the Olympic rings: eight silver rings on a blue background. It was rejected due to the rings’ similarity with “dial”, “chain” and “zeros”. One proposal had a large yellow star on a blue background, but it was rejected due to its similarity with the so-called Burnet flag and the flag of the Belgian Congo.

The Consultative Assembly narrowed their choice to two designs. One was by Salvador de Madariaga, the founder of the College of Europe, who suggested a constellation of stars on a blue background. He had circulated his flag round many European capitals and the concept had found favour. The second was a variant by Arsène Heitz, who worked for the Council’s postal service and had submitted dozens of designs; the design of his that was accepted by the Assembly was similar to Salvador de Madariaga’s, but rather than a constellation, the stars were arranged in a circle. In 1987, Heitz claimed that his inspiration had been the crown of twelve stars of the Woman of the Apocalypse, often found in Marian iconography.

The Consultative Assembly favoured Heitz’s design. However, the flag the Assembly chose had fifteen stars, reflecting the number of states of the Council of Europe. The Consultative Assembly chose this flag and recommended the Council of Europe to adopt it. The Committee of Ministers agreed with the Assembly that the flag should be a circle of stars, but the number was a source of contention. The number twelve was chosen, and Paul M. G. Lévy drew up the exact design of the new flag as it is today. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe approved it on 25 October 1955. Adopted on 8 December 1955, the flag was unveiled at the Château de la Muette in Paris on 13 December 1955.

19 November 1955

The National Review publishes its first issue.

National Review is an American semi-monthly conservative editorial magazine focusing on news and commentary pieces on political, social, and cultural affairs. The magazine was founded by the author William F. Buckley Jr. in 1955. It is currently edited by Rich Lowry.

Since its founding, the magazine has played a significant role in the development of conservatism in the United States, helping to define its boundaries and promoting fusionism while establishing itself as a leading voice on the American right.

The online version, National Review Online, is edited by Charles C. W. Cooke and includes free content and articles separate from the print edition.

Before National Review’s founding in 1955, the American right was a largely unorganized collection of people who shared intertwining philosophies but had little opportunity for a united public voice. They also wanted to marginalize what they saw as the antiwar, noninterventionistic views of the Old Right.

In 1953 moderate Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, and many major magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post, Time, and Reader’s Digest were strongly conservative and anticommunist, as were many newspapers including the Chicago Tribune and St. Louis Globe-Democrat. A few small-circulation conservative magazines, such as Human Events and The Freeman, preceded National Review in developing Cold War Conservatism in the 1950s.

On November 19, 1955, Buckley’s magazine began to take shape. Buckley assembled an eclectic group of writers: traditionalists, Catholic intellectuals, libertarians and ex-Communists. The group included: Russell Kirk, James Burnham, Frank Meyer, and Willmoore Kendall, Catholics L. Brent Bozell and Garry Wills. The former Time editor Whittaker Chambers, who had been a Communist spy in the 1930s, eventually became a senior editor. In the magazine’s founding statement Buckley wrote:

Let’s Face it: Unlike Vienna, it seems altogether possible that did National Review not exist, no one would have invented it. The launching of a conservative weekly journal of opinion in a country widely assumed to be a bastion of conservatism at first glance looks like a work of supererogation, rather like publishing a royalist weekly within the walls of Buckingham Palace. It is not that of course; if National Review is superfluous, it is so for very different reasons: It stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no other is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.

As editors and contributors, Buckley especially sought out intellectuals who were ex-Communists or had once worked on the far Left, including Whittaker Chambers, William Schlamm, John Dos Passos, Frank Meyer and James Burnham. When James Burnham became one of the original senior editors, he urged the adoption of a more pragmatic editorial position that would extend the influence of the magazine toward the political center. Smant finds that Burnham overcame sometimes heated opposition from other members of the editorial board, and had a significant effect on both the editorial policy of the magazine and on the thinking of Buckley himself

1 November 1955

The Vietnam War starts

The Vietnam War was a long, costly and divisive conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. The conflict was intensified by the ongoing Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. More than 3 million people  were killed in the Vietnam War, and more than half of the dead were Vietnamese civilians. Opposition to the war in the United States bitterly divided Americans, even after President Richard Nixon ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1973. Communist forces ended the war by seizing control of South Vietnam in 1975, and the country was unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam the following year.

Vietnam, a nation in Southeast Asia on the eastern edge of the Indochinese peninsula, had been under French colonial rule since the 19th century.

During World War II, Japanese forces invaded Vietnam. To fight off both Japanese occupiers and the French colonial administration, political leader Ho Chi Minh—inspired by Chinese and Soviet communism—formed the Viet Minh, or the League for the Independence of Vietnam.

13 February 1955

Israel gets four of the seven Dead Sea Scrolls.

On February 13, 1955, Israels prime minister, Moshe Sharett, held a press conference to announce that the country had acquired four more of the fabled Dead Sea Scrolls, an acquisition of sterling importance to scholars of ancient Judaism and early Christianity and a real coup for the fledgling states national pride.

The initial discovery of what came to be known collectively as the Dead Sea Scrolls — referring to whole documents and fragments of some 950 parchment scrolls, dating to the period between the 3rd century B.C.E. and the 1st century C.E. — was in 1946. Thats when three Bedouin of the Taamra tribe happened upon the first part of a cache of seven rolled-up pieces of parchment, stored for over 2,000 years in clay jars in a cave in the hills overlooking the western shore of the Dead Sea, adjacent to the site known as Qumran, north of Ein Gedi.

The Bedouin quickly recognized that these artifacts might be of significant historical value. One of the antiquities dealers with whom they consulted was in touch with an archaeologist at the American School of Oriental Research, today the Albright Institute, in Jerusalem. This contact soon led to a scientific expedition which surveyed a number of the caves in the area, in search of additional documents and information about the finds.

Unknown apocalyptic text

In December 1947, as the clouds of war were gathering over the region, Eliezer Lipa Sukenik, professor of archaeology at the Hebrew University, succeeded in purchasing three of those seven scrolls from a dealer in Bethlehem. They included a partial manuscript of the biblical Book of Isaiah, and two scrolls that were dubbed the Thanksgiving Scroll, and the War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness.

8 December 1955

The Flag of Europe is adopted by Council of Europe.

The Flag of Europe, or European Flag is an official symbol of two separate organisations—the Council of Europe and the European Union . It consists of a circle of twelve five-pointed yellow (or) stars on a blue (azure) field.

The flag was designed in 1955, and officially launched later that year by the Council of Europe as a symbol for the whole of Europe. The Council of Europe urged it to be adopted by other European organisations, and in 1985 the European Communities adopted it.

The EU inherited the flag’s use when it was formed in 1993, being the successor organisation to the EC. It has been in wide official use by the EU since the 1990s, but it has never been given official status in any of the EU’s treaties. Its adoption as an official symbol of the EU was planned as part of the proposed European Constitution, which failed to be ratified in 2005. Alternatively, it is sometimes called the Flag of the European Union when representing the EU.

Since its adoption by the European Union, it has become broadly associated with the supranational organisation, due to its high profile and heavy usage of the emblem. It has also been used by pro-EU protestors in the colour revolutions of the 2000s, e.g., in Belarus(2004) or Moldova. There are also a number of derivative designs used as logos or flags of other European organisations, and in the flags of the Republic of Kosovo (2008) and of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1998).

15 November 1955

The first part of Saint Petersburg Metro system is opened.

St-Petersburg-Metro-Tour-with-Fotostrasse-Kirovsky-Zavod_04

The Saint Petersburg Metro is the underground railway system in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast, Russia. It has been open since 15 November 1955. Formerly known as the V.I. Lenin Order of Lenin Leningrad Metropoliten, the system exhibits many typical Soviet designs and features exquisite decorations and artwork making it one of the most attractive and elegant metros in the world. Due to the city’s unique geology, the Saint Petersburg Metro is one of the deepest metro systems in the world and the deepest by the average depth of all the stations. The system’s deepest station, Admiralteyskaya, is 86 metres below ground. Serving about 2 million passengers daily, it is also the 19th busiest metro system in the world.

In 1994 it was planned, over 10 years, to massively extend the metro and almost “double” its size, building three new lines and 61 new stations. However, in reality, over this period until 2004, just 6 stations were opened. At this point the metro considered funding construction through a system of individual stage and station sponsorship. Saint Petersburg’s unforgiving geology has frequently hampered attempts by Metro builders. The most notable case took place on the Kirovsko-Vyborgskaya Line. While constructing the line in the 1970s, the tunnelers entered an underground cavity of the Neva River. They managed to complete the tunnel, but in 1995 the tunnel had to be closed and a section of it between Lesnaya and Ploschad Muzhestva flooded. For more than nine years, the northern segment of the line was physically cut off from the rest of the system. A new set of tunnels was built and in June 2004 normal service was restored.

1 November 1955

The Vietnam War starts.

VNWarMontage

The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, and known in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or simply the American War, was a war that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and the government of South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese army was supported by the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies and the South Vietnamese army was supported by the United States, South Korea, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies. The war is therefore considered a Cold War-era proxy war.

The Viet Cong also known as the National Liberation Front, a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region, while the People’s Army of Vietnam, also known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), engaged in more conventional warfare, at times committing large units to battle. As the war continued, the military actions of the Viet Cong decreased as the role and engagement of the NVA grew. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery, and airstrikes. In the course of the war, the U.S. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam.