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 25 JFK announces US goal of putting a man on Moon before the end of decade
  • Jul 31 Israel welcomes its one millionth immigrant
More Historical Events

1961 in Film & TV

  • Jan 25 1st live, nationally televised presidential news conference with JFK

1961 in Music

  • Jan 30 "I Fall to Pieces" single released by Patsy Cline (Billboard Song of the Year 1961)
  • Mar 21 The Beatles' first appearance at the Cavern Club in Liverpool
  • Aug 2 Beatles 1st gig as house band of Liverpool's Cavern Club
  • Oct 28 "Fiorello!" closes at Broadhurst Theater NYC starring Tom Bosley after 796 performances and a Pulitzer Prize
  • Dec 13 The Beatles sign a formal agreement to be managed by Brian Epstein

1961 in Sport

  • Nov 6 US government issues a stamp honoring 100th birthday of James Naismith (invented game of basketball - actually Canadian)
  • Nov 27 Gordie Howe becomes 1st to play in 1,000 NHL games
  • Dec 3 Dutchman Anton Geesink becomes 1st non-Japanese judo world champion

Did You Know?

Soviet Union tests a 58 megaton hydrogen bomb named Tsar Bomba, the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated

On October 30, 1961


World Leaders in 1961

Famous People in 1961

Would You Believe?

American opera singer Grace Bumbry becomes the first black singer to perform at the Bayreuth Festival, Germany, she earns 42 curtain calls

On July 23, 1961

Famous Weddings

More Weddings & Divorces