Historical Events in 1961

Events 1 - 200 of 675

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


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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

Conference meetingConference of Interest

Jan 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

Jan 25th Walt Disney's "101 Dalmations" released

Animator Walt Disney
Walt Disney
  • Jan 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

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

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

Sport awardTennis Open

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

First Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion
First Israeli Prime Minister
David Ben-Gurion
  • Jan 31st Ham the chimpanzee is 1st primate in space (158 miles) aboard Mercury/Redstone 2
  • Jan 31st Houston voters approve bond to finance luxury domed stadium
  • Jan 31st Kanhai completes twin tons (117 & 115) v Aust at Adelaide
  • Jan 31st NATO secretary-general Paul-Henri Spaak says he'll resign
  • Jan 31st USAF launches Samos spy satellite to replace U-2 flights
  • Feb 1st 1st full-scale test of US Minuteman ICBM is successful
  • Feb 1st British minister Enoch Powell makes medical insurance more expensive
  • Feb 1st Mackay & Kline hang on for 100 mins for cricket draw vs West Indies
  • Feb 2nd Prince Bernhard opens new RAI building in Amsterdam
  • Feb 3rd 6th largest snowfall in NYC history (17.4" (44.2cm))
  • Feb 4th Sputnik 7 launches into Earth orbit; probable Venus probe failure
  • Feb 6th "Jail, No Bail" Jail-in movement starts in Rock Hill SC
  • Feb 6th KOAP TV channel 10 in Portland, OR (PBS) begins broadcasting

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 7th Jane Fonda made her acting debut in the NBC drama "A String of Beads"

Actress Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda
  • Feb 9th Joseph Ileo appointed premier of Congo
  • Feb 10th AFL's LA Chargers move to San Diego
  • Feb 10th Niagara Falls hydroelectric project begins producing power
  • Feb 10th Walter Piston's 7th Symphony premieres
  • Feb 11th Robert Weaver sworn in with then highest federal post by a black

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 12th Celtic Bill Russell grabs 40 rebounds to beat Warriors 136-125

Basketball Player Bill Russell
Basketball Player
Bill Russell

Music releaseMusic Recording

Feb 13th Frank Sinatra launches Reprise label under Warner Bros Records

Singer/Actor Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
  • Feb 13th Soviet Union fires a rocket from Sputnik V to Venus
  • Feb 14th Element 103, Lawrencium, 1st produced in Berkeley Calif
  • Feb 14th Louise Suggs wins LPGA Royal Poinciana Golf Invitational
  • Feb 15th Australia beat West Indies 2-1 in one of best Test Cricket series ever
  • Feb 15th Entire US figure skating team of 18, dies in Belgian Sabena 707 crash
  • Feb 16th 1st all-solid-propellant rocket put in orbit, Wallops Island, Va
  • Feb 16th China uses its 1st nuclear reactor
  • Feb 16th US satellite Explorer 9 is launched
  • Feb 18th Henk van der Grift becomes world champion skater
  • Feb 19th Albania disavows Chinese "Revisionism"
  • Feb 19th Henk van der Grift (Neth) becomes world champ all-round skater
  • Feb 21st Friedrich Durrenmatt's "Die Physiker" premieres in Zurich
  • Feb 21st Gabon adopts constitution
  • Feb 21st Mercury-Atlas 2 reentry Test reaches 172 km
  • Feb 24th Explorer (10) fails to reach Earth orbit
  • Feb 25th Niagara ends St Bonaventura's 99-game home basketball win streak
  • Feb 25th Paul Bikle in glider climbs from 1208 m at release to record 14,10
  • Feb 26th 3rd Daytona 500: Marvin Panch wins (149.601 MPH)
  • Feb 27th The first congress of the Spanish Trade Union Organisation is inaugurated.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 28th JFK names Henry Kissinger special advisor

Politician, statesman Henry Kissinger
Politician, statesman
Henry Kissinger
35th US President John F. Kennedy
35th US President
John F. Kennedy
  • Mar 1st Cellist Jacqueline du Prés debut in Wigmore Hall
  • Mar 1st US President JFK establishes the Peace Corp
  • Mar 2nd "13 Daughters" opens at 54th St Theater NYC for 28 performances
  • Mar 3rd King Hassan II ascends to throne of Morocco
  • Mar 4th Paul-Henri Spaak resigns as sec-gen of NATO
  • Mar 4th 8th ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: Wake Forest beats Duke, 96-81
  • Mar 6th 1st London minicabs introduced
  • Mar 6th Dutch Queen Juliana celebrates 12½ year jubilee
  • Mar 6th Dutch guilder revalued 4.74%
  • Mar 8th Jean Kerr's "Mary, Mary" premieres in NYC

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 8th US nuclear submarine Patrick Henry arrives at Scottish naval base of Holy Loch from SC in a record underseas journey of 66 days 22 hrs

American Revolutionary and Founding Father Patrick Henry
American Revolutionary and Founding Father
Patrick Henry
  • Mar 9th 1st animal returned from space, dog named Blackie aboard Sputnik 9
  • Mar 9th Mine cave-in in Japan, kills 72
  • Mar 9th Sputnik 9 carries Chernushka (dog) into orbit
  • Mar 9th Supremes release "I Want A Guy" & "Never Again"

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 9th Wilt Chamberlain of NBA Philadelphia Warriors scores 67 points vs NY Knicks

NBA Legend Wilt Chamberlain
NBA Legend
Wilt Chamberlain
  • Mar 11th Then NHL record 40 penalties, Black Hawks & Maple Leafs (20 each)
  • Mar 12th Mickey Wright wins LPGA Miami Golf Open
  • Mar 13th Elizabeth Gurley Finn (70) becomes President of US Communist Party

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Mar 13th Floyd Patterson KOs Ingemar Johansson in 6 for heavyweight boxing title

Boxer and Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Floyd Patterson
Boxer and Undisputed Heavyweight Champion
Floyd Patterson
  • Mar 13th JFK sets up the Alliance for Progress
  • Mar 13th Landslide in USSR, kills 145
  • Mar 13th Old type, black & white notes cease to be legal tender
  • Mar 14th George Weiss becomes President of NY Mets
  • Mar 15th South Africa withdrews from British Commonwealth
  • Mar 16th 18th Golden Globes: Spartacus, Burt Lancaster, & Greer Garson win
  • Mar 17th NY DA arrests professional gamblers who implicate Seton Hall players
  • Mar 17th South Africa leaves British Commonwealth
  • Mar 18th Poppin' Fresh Pillsbury Dough Boy introduced
  • Mar 18th 6th Eurovision Song Contest: Jean-Claude Pascal for Luxembourg wins "Nous les amoureux" in Cannes
  • Mar 21st Art Modell purchases Cleveland Browns for then record ($3,925,000)
  • Mar 21st The Beatles' first appearance at the Cavern Club in Liverpool
  • Mar 24th NY Senate approves $55M for a baseball stadium at Flushing Meadows
  • Mar 25th "13 Daughters" closes at 54th St Theater NYC after 28 performances
  • Mar 25th "Gypsy" closes at Broadway Theater NYC after 702 performances
  • Mar 25th 23rd NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Cin beats Ohio State 70-65 (OT)
  • Mar 25th Elvis Presley performs live on the USS Arizona
  • Mar 25th Explorer 10 launched into elongated Earth orbit (177/181,000 km)
  • Mar 25th Sputnik 10 carries a dog into Earth orbit; later recovered
  • Mar 25th 3rd place game is one of the wildest contests in NCAA Tournament history as St Joseph's defeats Utah 127-120 in 4 overtimes
  • Mar 25th 115th Grand National: Bobby Beasley aboard Nicolaus Silver wins
  • Mar 26th Louise Suggs wins LPGA Golden Circle of Golf Festival
  • Mar 27th Black demonstrators in Charleston staged ride-ins on street cars
  • Mar 27th Failed assassination attempt on King Saif al-Islam Achmad of Yemen
  • Mar 29th 23rd Amendment to the US Constitution ratified, allowing Washington, D.C. residents to vote in presidential elections

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 29th After a 4½ year trial Nelson Mandela is acquitted of treason in Pretoria

Anti-apartheid activist and South African President Nelson Mandela
Anti-apartheid activist and South African President
Nelson Mandela
  • Mar 29th KCPT TV channel 19 in Kansas City, MO (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Mar 30th NASA civilian pilot Joseph A Walker takes X-15 169,600' (51,690 m)
  • Mar 30th The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is signed at New York.
  • Mar 31st Aklilou Habtewold becomes 1st premier of Ethiopia
  • Mar 31st 8th National Film Awards (India): "Anuradha" wins the Golden Lotus
  • Apr 3rd "Happiest Girl in the World" opens at Martin Beck NYC for 97 performances
  • Apr 3rd Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia is sold to J Schleifer Properties

Appears on tv showTV Show Appearance

Apr 5th Barbra Streisand appears on "Jack Paar Show"

Singer-songwriter & Actress Barbra Streisand
Singer-songwriter & Actress
Barbra Streisand
  • Apr 5th Dutch governor Platteel installs New Guinea Council
  • Apr 8th "Show Girl" closes at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC after 100 performances
  • Apr 8th British liner "Dara" explodes in Persian Gulf, kills 236

Sport awardGolf Major

Apr 10th 25th Masters Golf Tournament: Gary Player wins, shooting a 280

Golfer Gary Player
Gary Player
  • Apr 10th Adolf Eichmann tried as a war criminal in Israel
  • Apr 10th Dutch foreign minister Luns talks to JFK about New Guinea
  • Apr 10th New Wash Senators loses 1st regular-season game 4-3 to White Sox
  • Apr 11th Trial of Adolf Eichmann begins in Jerusalem

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 11th Bob Dylan makes his 1st appearance at Folk City, Greenwich Village

Singer-Songwriter Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
  • Apr 11th 15th NBA Championship: Bos Celtics beat St Louis Hawks, 4 games to 1
  • Apr 11th Adolf Eichmann trial begins in Israel
  • Apr 11th Austrian 4th & last government of Raab resigns
  • Apr 11th Israel begins Adolf Eichmann WW II crimes trial

Music awardsMusic Awards

Apr 12th 3rd Grammy Awards: Theme From a Summer Place, Ray Charles wins 4

Musician Ray Charles
Ray Charles

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 12th Douglas MacArthur declines offer to become baseball commissioner

WW2 General Douglas MacArthur
WW2 General
Douglas MacArthur

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 12th Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first person to orbit Earth (Vostok 1)

Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin
Yuri Gagarin
  • Apr 13th "Carnival!" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 719 performances
  • Apr 13th UN General Assembly condemns South-Africa's apartheid
  • Apr 14th 1st live television broadcast from Soviet Union
  • Apr 14th Cuban-American invasion army departs Nicaragua
  • Apr 14th US element 103 (Lawrencium) discovered
  • Apr 15th "Music Man" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 1375 performances
  • Apr 16th 15th Tony Awards: Becket & Bye Bye Birdie win
  • Apr 16th Louise Suggs wins LPGA Dallas Civitan Golf Open
  • Apr 16th Stanley Cup: Chicago Blackhawks beat Detroit Red Wings, 4 games to 2

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 17th 1,400 Cuban exiles land in Bay of Pigs in a doomed attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro

Cuban Revolutionary and President Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolutionary and President
Fidel Castro

Film tv awardsFilm Awards

Apr 17th 33rd Academy Awards: "Apartment" wins best film, Burt Lancaster & Elizabeth Taylor win best actor/actress

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 17th Jimmy Stewart accepts an honorary Oscar on behalf of his friend Gary Cooper, who is too ill to attend

  • Apr 18th CONCP is founded in Casablanca as a united front of African movements opposing Portuguese colonial rule.
  • Apr 19th 65th Boston Marathon won by Eino Oksanen of Finland in 2:23:39
  • Apr 20th American Harold Graham makes 1st rocket belt flight
  • Apr 21st Dirk Stikker chosen as secretary general of NATO
  • Apr 21st French army revolts in Algeria
  • Apr 21st USAF Maj Robert M White takes X-15 to 32,000 m
  • Apr 22nd Uprising of French parachutist of Gen Salan/Challe in Algeria
  • Apr 23rd "Tenderloin" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 216 performances
  • Apr 23rd Mary Lena Faulk wins LPGA Babe Didrikson-Zaharias Golf Open
  • Apr 23rd Algiers putsch by French generals.
  • Apr 24th JFK accepts "sole responsibility" following Bay of Pigs

CommunicationThe Sinking of the Vasa

Apr 24th 17th century Swedish warship Vasa, which sunk on her maiden voyage in 1628, is salvaged

  • Apr 25th Belgium government of Gaston Eyskens falls over the Unitary Law
  • Apr 25th "Young Abe Lincoln" opens at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC for 27 performances