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President: Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
Vice-President: Richard M. Nixon (R)
House: 233 (D) 196 (R) 5 (Vacant)
Southern states: 99 (D) 7 (R)
Senate: 49 (D) 47 (R)
Southern states: 22 (D)
GDP growth: -2.0 % (Annual) Recovering from
0.7 % (Quarterly) recession.
-3.0 % (Since 2Q1957)
Fed discount rate: 2¾ %
Inflation: 3.3 %
Unemployment: 6.4 %

Feb 1: Egypt and Syria unite to form the United Arab Republic. The union will end in 1961, although Egypt will continue to be officially known as the United Arab Republic until 1971.

Feb 1: A military transport and a Navy patrol bomber collide in mid-air over Norwalk, California, outside of Los Angeles. Forty-seven are killed, including one person on the ground.

Feb 5: During a practice exercise, an F-86 fighter plane collides with the B-47 bomber carrying a 7,600-pound Mark 15 nuclear bomb over the waters off Tybee Island near Savannah, Georgia. To protect the aircrew from a possible detonation, the bomb is jettisoned into the water. It has never been recovered.

Feb 5: A second attempt to launch a U.S. satellite by the Navy’s Vanguard project ends in failure when the rocket breaks apart fifty-five seconds after lift-off.

Feb 6: Seven Manchester United footballers are among the twenty-one people killed in the Munich air disaster in West Germany. They were on a return flight from a European Cup game in Yugoslavia. The British European Airways flight had stopped in Munich for refueling. The Airspeed Ambassador 2 aircraft crashes during its third attempt to take off from Munich-Riem Airport’s slush-covered runway.

Feb 8: Phoenix police arrest 11 in a raid on a private party. Police Lt. Charles Hodges says his officers have been casing the house for two weeks after neighbors complain of “strange goings-on” there. There had been four parties at the home in the past two weeks. Mayor Jack Williams had asked Hodges to keep a close watch on a “reported influx of homosexuals” in the Phoenix area. “Something should be done about such orgies,” Hodges said. “Laws should be enacted to deal with such homosexuals.” At one point, there were 31 people in the home, 27 of them men. Several of the men arrested have “curled eyelashes and wore thick makeup.” The Arizona Republic reports that arresting officers found “Negroes, Spanish-Americans, and whites at the party, which was raided about 5 a.m.” Despite wild claims of orgies, Hodges admits that none of those guests were doing any “overt act which are illegal (sic).” Those arrested are charged only with minor liquor law violations. The home’s owner is charged with possession of marijuana. Mayor Williams laments that the law doesn’t even provide for running suspects out of town.

Feb 10: American television journalist John Yang is born in Chillicothe, Ohio.

Feb 19: The Federal Reserve Board reduces the reserve requirements for its member banks in what is described as the most substantial counter-recession move so far in the current slump. This action will potentially pump as much as $3 billion (about $26.5 billion today) into the economy.

Feb 20: Nathan Leopold is given parole after serving almost 33½ year is prison for murder. Leopold and Richard Loeb committed one of the most shocking murders in history when they killed 14-year-old Bobby Franks in Chicago in 1924. Loeb had been fatally stabbed in a prison shower in 1936.

Feb 23: Cuban rebels gain international attention when they kidnap five-time world driving champion Juan Manuel Fangio. His captors hope that the kidnapping would embarrass Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista and perhaps force hime to cancel that year’s Cuban Grand Prix in Havana. The race goes ahead, and the rebels release Fangio unharmed 28 hours later.

Feb 24: Fidel Castro’s Radio Rebelde begins broadcasting from Sierra Maestra, Cuba.