9 May 1955

Cold War: West Germany joins NATO.

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is a military alliance formed by 30 North American and European countries with the primary purpose of ensuring the collective defense of its member states against potential security threats.

NATO’s main role is to provide a framework for consultation and cooperation between its members on matters of common interest and to develop and maintain the military capabilities necessary for collective defense. This includes deterring potential adversaries, conducting crisis management and conflict resolution, and supporting stability and security in the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond.

NATO also promotes political dialogue and cooperation with non-member countries and organizations, such as the European Union and the United Nations, and provides a platform for sharing expertise and best practices on a wide range of defense and security-related issues.

In addition to its core mission of collective defense, NATO has been involved in a range of other activities, including humanitarian and disaster relief operations, counterterrorism, and support for international peacekeeping efforts.

12 April 1955

The polio vaccine, developed by Dr. Jonas Salk, is declared safe and effective.

Jonas Salk was an American medical researcher and virologist who is best known for developing the first effective and safe polio vaccine. He was born in New York City in 1914 and graduated from the City College of New York before earning his medical degree at New York University.

In the early 1950s, Salk led a team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh to develop a vaccine for polio, a debilitating and often deadly disease that was a major public health concern at the time. In 1955, Salk’s team announced that they had successfully developed a vaccine that was safe and effective in preventing polio.

Salk’s polio vaccine was a major breakthrough in the fight against the disease and helped to significantly reduce the number of polio cases in the United States and around the world. He became a national hero and was awarded numerous honors and awards for his work, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

After his success with the polio vaccine, Salk continued to work on medical research and became a leading figure in the field of immunology. He died in 1995 at the age of 80.