11th December
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1956 Movie Censorship, The 'Hayes Code', Is Eased Slightly

By the mid 1950's, society's values were liberalizing and the Hayes Code (named after William H Hays, the former US postmaster general), in force since 1930, was seen as too restrictive.

The 1930 act aimed to prevent any film being made which was believed to:

"lower the standards of those who see it. Hence, the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil, or sin."

Following this change, actors would be able to mention abortion, drugs, kidnapping, and prostitution for the first time.

The original 1930 code was introduced in an attempt to avoid government censorship. It disallowed films showing the clergy in comic or villainous roles, or any form of interracial relationships.

Ten years later, 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf' became the first movie to use profanity on the big screen.

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1936 The king of England, Edward VIII, voluntarily abdicates the throne.

1941 Germany and Italy declare war on the USA, two days after the USA declares war on Japan following Pearl Harbor.

1946 UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) is founded.

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