What Happened in January 1961

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 Briggs Stadium is renamed Tigers Stadium
  • Jan 1 Houston Oilers beat LA Chargers 24-16 in AFL championship game
  • Jan 1 Largest check issued, National Bank of Chicago to Sears ($960.242 billion)
  • Jan 1 Russia introduces a new ruble worth $1.11
  • Jan 2 1st AFL Championship Game, Houston Oilers beat LA Chargers 24-16
  • Jan 2 Hawaii's, then all time low temperature, 14°F recorded atop Haleakale
  • Jan 2 47th Rose Bowl: #6 Washington beats #1 Minnesota, 17-7
  • Jan 2 27th Sugar Bowl: #2 Mississippi beats Rice, 14-6
  • Jan 2 27th Orange Bowl: #5 Missouri beats #4 Navy, 21-14
  • Jan 3 Adam Clayton Powell elected Chairman of House Education & Labor
  • Jan 3 US breaks diplomatic relations with Cuba
  • Jan 4 Longest recorded strike ends-33 yrs-Danish barbers' assistants
  • Jan 7 1st NFL Playoff Bowl (runner-up bowl)-Detroit beats Cleveland 17-16
  • Jan 7 Trucial States (now UAE) issue their 1st postage stamps
  • Jan 8 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Yvor Winters
  • Jan 8 The French vote for Algerian independence from French rule in the wake of seven years of guerrilla war
  • Jan 9 Twins agree on $500,000 payment to AA for Minn/St Paul territory
  • Jan 11 Racial riot at University of Georgia
  • Jan 12 "Show Girl" opens at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC for 100 performances
  • Jan 12 UN genocide pact goes into effect
  • Jan 14 Chic Bear Willard Dewveall becomes 1st NFLer to join AFL
  • Jan 15 NFL Pro Bowl: West beats East 35-31
  • Jan 15 Suggs wins LPGA Sea Island Women's Golf Invitational Open
  • Jan 15 Supremes signed with Motown Records
  • Jan 16 "Conquering Hero" opens at ANTA Theater NYC for 8 performances
  • Jan 16 Russian espionage ring detected in Great Britain


Jan 17 Eisenhower allegedly orders assassination of Congo's Lumumba

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Jan 17 President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers a televised farewell address to the nation three days before leaving office, in which he warns against the accumulation of power by the "military-industrial complex".
  • Jan 17 11th NBA All-Star Game: West beats East 153-131 at Syracuse, New York
  • Jan 18 Zanzibar's Afro-Shirazi party wins 1 seat by a single vote & parliament by a single seat
  • Jan 19 1st episode of "Dick Van Dyke Show" is filmed
  • Jan 20 Francis Poulenc's "Gloria" premieres in Boston

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 20 Robert Frost recites "Gift Outright" at JFK's inauguration

Poet Robert Frost
Robert Frost
35th US President John F. Kennedy
35th US President
John F. Kennedy
  • Jan 20 Yugoslav ex-vice-president Milovan Djilas flees
  • Jan 20 The Democrat J.F. Kennedy is inaugurated as President of the United States, the youngest ever sworn in
  • Jan 21 "Conquering Hero" closes at ANTA Theater NYC after 8 performances
  • Jan 21 KIFI TV channel 8 in Idaho Falls, ID (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 21 Portuguese rebels seize cruise ship Santa Maria
  • Jan 23 Supreme Court rules cities & states have right to censor films
  • Jan 23 Venezuela adopts constitution

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 24 Edward Albee's "American Dream" premieres in NYC

Playwright Edward Albee
Edward Albee
  • Jan 24 Lazard Brothers Ltd draw a check for $334,867,807.68

Conference meetingConference of Interest

Jan 25 1st live, nationally televised presidential news conference (JFK)

35th US President John F. Kennedy
35th US President
John F. Kennedy

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 25 Walt Disney's "101 Dalmations" released

Animator Walt Disney
Walt Disney
  • Jan 25 Walt Disney's animated film "101 Dalmatians", based on the novel by Dodie Smith and directed by Clyde Geronimi and Hamilton Luske is released in the US

Music release#1 in the Charts

Jan 26 "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" by Elvis Presley hits #1

Singer & Cultural Icon Elvis Presley
Singer & Cultural Icon
Elvis Presley
  • Jan 26 1st woman "personal physician to president"-JG Travell
  • Jan 27 "Sing Along with Mitch" [Miller] premieres on NBC TV
  • Jan 27 49th Women's Australian Championships: Margaret Court beats Jan Lehane O'Neill (6-1, 6-4)

Sport awardTennis Open

Jan 27 49th Men's Australian Championships: Roy Emerson beats Rod Laver (1-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4)

Tennis Player Roy Emerson
Tennis Player
Roy Emerson
Tennis Player Rod Laver
Tennis Player
Rod Laver
  • Jan 28 Republic of Rwanda proclaimed
  • Jan 29 US female Figure Skating championship won by Laurence Owen
  • Jan 29 US male Figure Skating championship won by Bradley Lord
  • Jan 30 Bobby Darin is youngest performer to headline a TV special on NBC
  • Jan 30 JFK asks for an Alliance for Progress & Peace Corps
  • Jan 30 KAET TV channel 8 in Phoenix, AZ (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Jan 30 Lance Gibbs takes hat-trick (Mackay, Grout, Misson) at Adelaide

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 31 David Ben-Gurion resigns as Prime Minister of Israel

First Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion
First Israeli Prime Minister
David Ben-Gurion
  • Jan 31 Ham the chimpanzee is 1st primate in space (158 miles) aboard Mercury/Redstone 2
  • Jan 31 Houston voters approve bond to finance luxury domed stadium
  • Jan 31 Kanhai completes twin tons (117 & 115) v Aust at Adelaide
  • Jan 31 NATO secretary-general Paul-Henri Spaak says he'll resign
  • Jan 31 USAF launches Samos spy satellite to replace U-2 flights

Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 1 Irv Eatman, NFL tackle (Houston Oilers)
  • Jan 1 Fiona Phillips, British television presenter
  • Jan 1 Mark Wingett, British actor

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jan 2 Gabrielle Carteris, Phoenix Az, actress (Andrea-Beverly Hills 90210)

  • Jan 2 Todd Haynes, American film director
  • Jan 3 Erwin Blom, Dutch singer/guitarist (Eton Crop)
  • Jan 4 Lee Curreri, actor (Bruno Martelli-Fame), born in NYC, New York
  • Jan 5 Curt Bader, Bloomfield Iowa, sprint kayak (Olympics-96)
  • Jan 6 Dirk de Vries, Dutch pop bassist (Kong-Slauerhoff)
  • Jan 6 Howie Long, former NFL tackle/actor/broadcaster (Broken Arrow)
  • Jan 7 Andrew Thomson, Australian politician
  • Jan 7 Supriya Pathak, Indian actress
  • Jan 7 John Thune, American politician
  • Jan 8 Shoaib Mohammad, cricketer (son of Hanif Patient & prolific batsman)
  • Jan 8 Kazuki Takahashi, Japanese creator of Yu-Gi-Oh
  • Jan 8 Calvin Smith, American athlete
  • Jan 9 Oliver Goldstick, American screenwriter
  • Jan 10 Evan Handler, actor (Dear Mr Wonderful), born in NYC, New York
  • Jan 10 Janet Jones, Bridgeton MO, actress (American Anthem, Flamingo Kid)
  • Jan 10 Nadja Salerni-Sonnenberg, concert violinist, born in Rome, Italy
  • Jan 11 Paul Skansi, NFL wide receiver (Seattle Seahawk)
  • Jan 11 Jasper Fforde, British author
  • Jan 12 Andrea Carnevale, soccer player (Napoli)
  • Jan 13 Graham "Suggs" McPherson, Sussex, rock vocalist (Madness-Our House)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jan 13 Julia Louis-Dreyfus, comedienne (SNL, Seinfeld, Soul Man, Troll), born in NYC, New York

Seinfeld Comedienne Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Seinfeld Comedienne
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
  • Jan 13 Kelly Hrudey, Edmonton, NHL goalie (LA Kings)
  • Jan 13 Kent Hull, NFL center (Buffalo Bills)
  • Jan 13 Suggs [Graham McPherson], English singer-songwriter (Madness), born in Hastings
  • Jan 14 Robert Edwin Hall, mountaineer/businessman
  • Jan 14 Mike Tramp (Trempenau), Denmark, Copenhagen Denmark, heavy metal rocker (White Lion-Mane Attraction)
  • Jan 15 Iris DeMent, American country singer (Our Town), born in Paragould, Ar
  • Jan 15 Yves P. Pelletier, Canadian comedian and film director
  • Jan 16 Paul Raven, English musician (Killing Joke) (d. 2007)
  • Jan 16 Jill Sobule, American singer-songwriter
  • Jan 17 Maia Chiburdanidze, Kutaisi USSR, women's world chess champ
  • Jan 17 Brian Helgeland, American writer and film director

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jan 18 Mark Messier, NHL Center (Edmonton, NY Rangers), born in Edmonton, Alberta

NHL Legend Mark Messier
NHL Legend
Mark Messier
  • Jan 18 Peter Beardsley, English footballer
  • Jan 18 Jeff Yagher, American actor
  • Jan 19 Paul McCrane, actor (Hotel New Hampshire, We're Fighting Back)
  • Jan 19 William Ragsdale, AK, actor (Fright Night, Mannequin 2, Smooth Talk)
  • Jan 21 Sherry Ramsay, Stauton Va, actress (Trish Mason-As the World Turns)
  • Jan 22 Barb Thomas Whitehead, Sibley IA, LPGA golfer (1995 Hawaiian Open)
  • Jan 22 Daniel Johnston, American musician and artist ("Hi, How Are You"), born in Sacramento, California
  • Jan 23 Trey Junkin, tight end (Arizona Cardinals)
  • Jan 23 Mas Selamat bin Kastari, Singapore's most-wanted terror fugitive
  • Jan 24 Nastassja Kinski, actress (Tess, Cat People), born in Berlin, Germany
  • Jan 24 Krasimir Mikhailov Stoyanov, Bulgaria, cosmonaut
  • Jan 24 Vince Russo, American writer
  • Jan 24 William Van Dijck, Belgian athlete
  • Jan 25 Michele Tobin, actress (Fitzpatricks), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Jan 25 Vivian Balakrishnan, Singaporean politician

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jan 26 Wayne Gretzky, Brantford Ont, NHL great scorer (Oiler, King, Rangers)

Ice Hockey Great Wayne Gretzky
Ice Hockey Great
Wayne Gretzky
  • Jan 27 Charlotte Kemp, playmate (Dec, 1982), born in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Jan 27 Gillian Gilbert, rocker (New Order-Round & Round), born in Manchester, England
  • Jan 27 Jean-Paul Banos, Lavelanet France, Canada sabre (Oly-9/10-88, 92, 96)
  • Jan 27 Karen Velez, Rockville Ctr NY, playmate (December, 1984)
  • Jan 27 Margo Timmins, singer (Cowboy Junkies)
  • Jan 27 Martin Degville, rocker (Sigue Sigue Sputnik-Love Missile F-111)
  • Jan 27 Rudi Mauger, rocker (Crew Cuts)
  • Jan 27 Dina Bonnevie, Filipino actress
  • Jan 27 Narciso Rodriguez, American fashion designer
  • Jan 28 Luann L Lee, playmate (Jan, 1987), born in Santa Monica, California
  • Jan 29 Mike Aldrete, US baseball infielder (Oakland Athletics, NY Yankees)
  • Jan 30 Ranjit Madurasinghe, cricketer (3 Tests for Sri Lanka 1988-92)
  • Jan 31 Lloyd Cole, guitar/vocals (& the Commotions-Rattlesnakes)

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

Jan 28 NFL coach Mike Ditka (21) weds Marge Dougherty

NFL Head Coach Mike Ditka
NFL Head Coach
Mike Ditka

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 2 Bob Catterall, cricketer (1555 runs/24 Tests for South Africa 1922-31), dies
  • Jan 4 Barry Fitzgerald, actor (Going My Way), dies at 72

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jan 4 Erwin Schrodinger, Austrian physicist and Nobel Laureate, dies at 73

Physicist and Nobel Laureate Erwin Schrödinger
Physicist and Nobel Laureate
Erwin Schrödinger
  • Jan 6 Regina Ullmann, writer, dies at 76
  • Jan 7 Clarice Baright, 1st woman admitted to American Bar Association, dies at 74
  • Jan 9 Emily Greene Balch, American writer, Nobel Peace Prize laureate (b. 1867)
  • Jan 10 Dashiell Hammett, US detective writer (Thin Man, Maltese Falcon), dies at 66
  • Jan 11 Elena Gerhardt, German mezzo-soprano singer (b. 1883)
  • Jan 14 Ernest Thesiger, English actor (Brass Monkey, Ghoul), dies at 81
  • Jan 14 Henry Geehl, English composer, dies at 79
  • Jan 15 Francesco Maria Saraceni, composer, dies at 49
  • Jan 16 Janos Viski, Hungarian composer, dies at 54
  • Jan 17 Patrice Lumumba, African revolutionary, murdered at 36
  • Jan 21 John Joseph Becker, composer, dies a day before 75th birthday
  • Jan 24 Willem J M van Eysinga, people rights scholar, dies at 82
  • Jan 24 Alfred Carlton Gilbert, American swimmer and inventor (b. 1884)
  • Jan 26 Morris Nichols, cricketer (41 wkts in 14 Tests for Eng 1930-39), dies