Dwight D. Eisenhower stepped down as NATO Supreme Commander and, running as the Republican nominee, was elected to be the 34th United States President.
March 4, 1952
Ernest Hemingway finished one of his most acclaimed literary works, The Old Man and the Sea, which will earn him a Pulitzer Prize.
July 25, 1952
Puerto Rico became a commonwealth of the United States.
September 2, 1952
Dr. F. John Lewis and Dr. C. Walton Lillehei performed the first open-heart surgery using hypothermia. Lillehei, the 'Father of Open-Heart Surgery', would later use cross-circulation and other methods, greatly advancing surgical procedures for the heart.
December 1, 1952
New York, New York
George Lerner invented Mr. Potato Head; the facial plastic pieces were given away as prizes in cereal boxes.
December 4, 1952
Extremely dense smog brooded over London for several days, so thick that 4,000 people died.
December 24, 1952
The McCarran-Walter Act went into effect, loosening immigration restrictions yet maintaining the same quotas and implementing a stricter screening process.