What Happened in 1961

Historical Events

1961 in Film & TV

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 The 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

  • May 27 Fiorentina of Italy win 1st European Cup Winner's Cup against Glasgow Rangers 4-2 in Florence (2nd leg)
  • 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
  • Dec 18 For 2nd consecutive year, AP names Wilma Rudolph female athlete of year

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

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

Famous Divorces

  • Sep 1 American "Gilda" actress Rita Hayworth (42) divorces American film producer James Hill (45) after 3-1/2 years of marriage

More Weddings & Divorces