What Happened in January 1961

Historical Events

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


17th Eisenhower allegedly orders assassination of Congo's Lumumba

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • 17th 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".
  • 17th 11th NBA All-Star Game: West beats East 153-131 at Syracuse, New York
  • 18th Zanzibar's Afro-Shirazi party wins 1 seat by a single vote & parliament by a single seat
  • 19th 1st episode of "Dick Van Dyke Show" is filmed
  • 20th Francis Poulenc's "Gloria" premieres in Boston

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

Conference meetingConference of Interest

25th 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

25th Walt Disney's "101 Dalmations" released

Animator Walt Disney
Walt Disney
  • 25th 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

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

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

Sport awardTennis Open

27th 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
  • 28th Republic of Rwanda proclaimed
  • 29th US female Figure Skating championship won by Laurence Owen
  • 29th US male Figure Skating championship won by Bradley Lord
  • 30th Bobby Darin is youngest performer to headline a TV special on NBC
  • 30th JFK asks for an Alliance for Progress & Peace Corps
  • 30th KAET TV channel 8 in Phoenix, AZ (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 30th Lance Gibbs takes hat-trick (Mackay, Grout, Misson) at Adelaide

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

Famous Birthdays

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

Person of interestPerson of Interest

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

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

Person of interestPerson of Interest

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

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

Person of interestPerson of Interest

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

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

Person of interestPerson of Interest

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

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

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

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

NFL Head Coach Mike Ditka
NFL Head Coach
Mike Ditka

Famous Deaths

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

Person of interestPerson of Interest

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

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