What Happened in 1961

Significant Events

  • Jan 4 Longest recorded strike ends-33 yrs-Danish barbers' assistants
  • Mar 9 Soviet flight Sputnik 9 carries and returns from orbit a dog named Chernushka (Blackie), frogs and a guinea pig
  • Mar 29 After a 4½ year trial Nelson Mandela is acquitted of treason in Pretoria
  • Apr 12 Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first person to orbit Earth (Vostok 1)
  • Apr 17 1,400 Cuban exiles land in Bay of Pigs in a doomed attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro
  • May 17 Fidel Castro offers to exchange Bay of Pigs prisoners for 500 bulldozers
  • Jul 31 Israel welcomes its one millionth immigrant
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Did You Know?

Ham the chimpanzee is 1st primate in space (158 miles) aboard Mercury/Redstone 2

On January 31, 1961


World Leaders in 1961

Famous People in 1961

Famous Weddings

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