May 1961 in History

Events in History

  • May 1 1st US airplane hijacked to Cuba

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 1 Fidel Castro announces there will be no more elections in Cuba

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 1 Pulitzer prize awarded to Harper Lee for her novel "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Author Harper Lee
Harper Lee
  • May 1 Tanganyika granted full internal self-government by Britain
  • May 3 Warren Spahn pitches a 2 hitter after pitching a no hitter
  • May 4 1st on-the-road Spacemobile lecture given.
  • May 4 CORE begins freedom rides from Washington, D.C.
  • May 4 Malcolm Ross & Victor Prather reach 34,668 m (record) in balloon
  • May 4 South-Africa ANC-leader John Nkadimeng arrested
  • May 5 Alan Shepard becomes 1st American in space (aboard Freedom 7)
  • May 6 Omer Vanaudenhove chosen chairman of Belgium Liberal Party
  • May 8 1st practical sea water conversion plant-Freeport, Texas
  • May 8 Alan Shepard receives NASA Distinguished Service Medal, Washington
  • May 9 FCC Chairman Newton N Minow criticizes TV as a "vast wasteland"
  • May 9 Jim Gentile is 4th to hit grand slams in consecutive innings
  • May 10 "Beyond the Fringe" premieres in London
  • May 12 Mikhail Botvinnik wins world chess championship for 3rd time
  • May 14 Bus with 1st group of Freedom Riders bombed & burned in Alabama
  • May 14 Stirling Moss wins the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix
  • May 15 36 Unification church couples wed in Korea

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 15 Pope John XXIII publishes encyclical Mater et Magistra

  • May 17 Castro offers to exchange Bay of Pigs prisoners for 500 bulldozers
  • May 19 New pier opens in Scheveningen
  • May 20 Mauritania adopts constitution
  • May 20 White mob attacks "Freedom Riders" in Montgomery, Alabama
  • May 21 Governor Patterson declares martial law in Montgomery
  • May 22 1st revolving restaurant (Top Of The Needle in Seattle) opens
  • May 24 27 Freedom Riders arrested in Jackson, Mississippi
  • May 24 NASA Explorer Ionosphere research mission fails to reach Earth orbit
  • May 24 Cyprus joins the Council of Europe.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 25 JFK announces US goal of putting a man on Moon before the end of decade

35th US President John F. Kennedy
35th US President
John F. Kennedy
  • May 25 NASA civilian pilot Joseph A Walker takes X-15 to 32,770 m
  • May 26 Freedom Ride Coordinating Committee establishes in Atlanta
  • May 26 USAF bomber flies Atlantic in a record of just over 3 hours
  • May 27 1st black light is sold
  • May 28 Amnesty Intl founded (Nobel Peace Prize 1977)
  • May 28 Last trip (Paris to Bucharest) on Orient Express (after 78 years)
  • May 28 Record 27 HRs hit in 7 AL games
  • May 30 Dutch DC-8 crashes after takeoff at Lisbon, 62 die
  • May 30 Maris hits his 10th & 11th of 61 HRs
  • May 30 Long time Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo is assassinated in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
  • May 31 Arthur Michael Ramsey appointed the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury
  • May 31 Chuck Berry's amusement park, Berryland in St Louis, opens

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 31 JFK visits Charles de Gaulle in Paris

French President Charles de Gaulle
French President
Charles de Gaulle
  • May 31 Judge Irving Kaufman orders Board of Ed of New Rochelle, to integrate
  • May 31 Union of South Africa becomes a republic, leaves Commonwealth

Birthdays in History

  • May 1 Marilyn Milian, current judge on The People's Court
  • May 2 Phil Vickery, English celebrity chef
  • May 3 Joe Murray, American cartoonist
  • May 3 David Vitter American politician
  • May 4 Ishita Bhaduri, Indian (Bengali) Poet
  • May 8 Bill de Blasio, American politician New York City Mayor (2013-), born in Manhattan, New York
  • May 19 Lisa Rathgber Wagner, bowler (3-time LPBT Player of Year, Bowler of Decade), born in Hillsboro Illinois
  • May 20 Nick Heyward, guitar/vocals (Haircut 100-Favourite Shirts)
  • May 21 Tim Lever, keyboard/sax (Dead or Alive-You Spin Me Round)

Weddings in History

  • May 25 King Hussein of Jordan marries Princess Muna al-Hussein (Antoinette Gardiner).

Deaths in History

  • May 3 Maurice [Jean Jacques] Merleau-Ponty, French philosopher, dies at 53
  • May 4 Anita Stewart, dies of heart attack at 66
  • May 6 Lucian Blaga, philosopher/poet (Transcendental censor), dies at 65
  • May 16 George A. Malcolm, American jurist & educator (b. 1881)
  • May 17 Frans van Cauwelaert, Flemish minister/mayor of Antwerp, dies at 81
  • May 20 Josef "Pips" Priller, German fighter ace (b. 1915)
  • May 30 Rafael L Trujillo Molina, dictator Dom Rep (1930-61), murdered at 69
  • May 31 Walter Little, Canadian politician (b. 1877)