On This Day

What Happened in August 1961

Historical Events

Sports History

Aug 1 Australian cricket captain Richie Benaud takes 6 for 70 in England's 2nd innings for a 54 run 4th Test win at Old Trafford

  • Aug 1 German DR limits traffic to West Berlin
  • Aug 1 New San Francisco Hall of Justice opens
  • Aug 1 Whitney Young Jr named executive director of National Urban League
  • Aug 2 The Beatles 1st gig as house band of Liverpool's Cavern Club
  • Aug 2 Cyrille Adula becomes premier of Congo
  • Aug 2 St Louis Cardinals (NFL) beat Toronto Argonauts (CFL) 36-7 in an exhibition game in Toronto, Canada
  • Aug 3 Pittsburgh Pirates rout the St. Louis Cardinals, 19-0, the largest lopsided shutout in NL history
  • Aug 4 Spokane, Washington reaches August record 108°F
  • Aug 4 28th NFL Chicago College All-Star Game: Philadelphia 28, All-Stars 14, 66,000 at Soldier Field
  • Aug 5 118°F (48°C), Ice Harbor Dam, Washington (state record)
  • Aug 5 Chicago Bears (NFL) beat Montreal Alouettes (CFL), 34-16 in a pre-season exhibition at Molson Stadium in Montreal
  • Aug 6 British auto racer Sterling Moss scores his 16th and final Formula 1 victory in the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring
  • Aug 6 Gherman S. Titov is the 2nd Russian in space aboard Vostok 2 (17 orbits)
  • Aug 6 1st case of motion sickness in space reported
  • Aug 7 Cosmonaut Gherman Titov circles Earth for a full day in Vostok 2

Historic Event

Aug 7 Soviet premier Khrushchev predicts USSR economy will surpass US

  • Aug 8 Ham Tigercats (CFL) beat Buff Bills (NFL) 38-21 in Hamilton, Ontario
  • Aug 8 Verne Gagne beats Gene Kiniski in Minneapolis, to become NWA champ
  • Aug 9 James Benton Parsons is 1st African American to be nominated to a US Federal District Court
  • Aug 10 UK applies for membership of the European Common Market

Sports History

Aug 11 Milwaukee Braves future Baseball HOF pitcher Warren Spahn records career victory #300; beats Cubs, 2-1 at County Stadium, Milwaukee

  • Aug 13 Construction of the Berlin Wall begins in East Germany
  • Aug 14 Philadelphia Phillies crash, 9-2 to Chicago Cubs for 17th straight defeat; 11th straight time opposing pitcher throws complete game against Phillies
  • Aug 15 Keiyo Road is specified as the first driveway in Japan
  • Aug 16 250,000 West Berliners demonstrate against the division of East Berlin

Historic Event

Aug 16 Martin Luther King Jr. protests for black voting rights in Miami, Florida

  • Aug 17 Kennedy administration establishes Alliance for Progress

Historic Event

Aug 19 US vice-president Lyndon B. Johnson visits West Berlin

  • Aug 20 Philadelphia Phillies beat Milwaukee Braves, 7-4 at County Stadium; end losing streak with dubious MLB record of 23 straight loses
  • Aug 20 East Germany begins erecting 5' high wall along the border with the west to replace the barbed wire put up Aug 13
  • Aug 20 22nd Venice Film Festival: "Last Year at Marienbad" directed by Alain Resnais wins Golden Lion

Historic Event

Aug 21 Kenyan political activist Jomo Kenyatta released from jail after 9 years. Imprisoned during 1952 Mau Mau rebellion with other nationalist leaders by British authorities

Music Recording

Aug 21 American country singer Patsy Cline records then-struggling songwriter Willie Neslon's song "Crazy", in Nashville, Tennessee

Baseball Record

Aug 22 New York Yankee Roger Maris hits his 50th of 61 homers

  • Aug 23 Belgium sends troops to Rwanda-Urundi
  • Aug 23 East Germany imposed new curbs on travel between West & East Berlin
  • Aug 23 US lunar probe Ranger 1 reaches 190 km from Earth, falls back
  • Aug 24 Windward Islands' Airways International (Winair) forms
  • Aug 24 Former South African nazi leader Johannes Vorster becomes South Africa's minister of justice
  • Aug 25 Brazilian president Janio Quadros, resigns
  • Aug 26 Official International Hockey Hall of Fame opens in Toronto
  • Aug 27 Francis the Talking Mule is mystery guest on "What's My Line"
  • Aug 30 James Benton Parsons is confirmed as 1st African American judge of a US District Court
  • Aug 30 Last Spanish troops leave Morocco

Baseball Record

Aug 30 Oriole Jack Fisher walks 12 LA Angels in a 9 inning game

  • Aug 30 USSR says it will resume nuclear testing
  • Aug 31 Amsterdam National Ballet forms

Famous Birthdays

  • Aug 1 Andrew Nicholson, New Zealand equestrian 3 day event (Olympics 1996), born in Te Awamutu, New Zealand
  • Aug 1 Brad Faxon Jr, American golfer (8 PGA Tour titles), born in Oceanport, New Jersey
  • Aug 1 Danny Blind, Dutch soccer star (Sparta/Ajax), born in Vlissingen, Netherlands
  • Aug 1 Mark "Red" Mitchell, American actor (JFK; 8 Seconds; I Want to Live), born in Houston, Texas (d. 1994)
  • Aug 1 Mike Watkinson, English cricketer (England off-spinner all-rounder v WI 1995), born in Westhoughton, Lancashire
  • Aug 1 Ed Gillespie, American White House counsel to George W. Bush, born in Mount Holly, New Jersey
  • Aug 1 Imad Khamis, Syrian politician and 67th Prime Minister of Syria (2016-present), born in Saqba, Syria
  • Aug 2 Ed West, American NFL tight end (Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons), born in Colbert County, Alabama
  • Aug 2 Pete de Freitas, English rock drummer (Echo & the Bunnyman), born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (d. 1989)
  • Aug 2 Cold 187um [Gregory Fernan Hutchison], American rapper (Above the Law), born in Pomona, California
  • Aug 3 Ken Wark, Australian field hockey fullback (Olympic 4th/silver-88, 92, 96), born in Sydney, Australia
  • Aug 3 Lee Rocker [Leon Drucker], American rock bassist (Stray Cats - ""Rock This Town"), born in Massapequa, Long Island, New York
  • Aug 3 Molly Hagan, American actress (Code of Silence), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Barack Obama

Aug 4 Barack Obama, 44th United States President (Democrat: 2009-17) and first African-American president, born in Honolulu, Hawaii

  • Aug 4 Lauren Tom, American actress
  • Aug 5 Athula Samarasekera, Sri Lankan cricketer and coach (Sri Lankan batsman), born in Galle, Sri Lanka
  • Aug 5 [Julie] Tawny Kitaen, American actress (Bachelor Party; Whitesnake videos; Witchboard), born in San Diego, California (d. 2021)
  • Aug 5 Mark O'Connor, American violinist and composer of classical, jazz and bluegrass music (Appalachian Journey), born in Seattle, Washington
  • Aug 5 Pat Smear [Georg Ruthenberg], American rock guitarist (Foo Fighters - "Everlong"; "My Hero"), born in West Los Angeles, California
  • Aug 6 Carol Norman, Ardmore Oklahoma, bowler (LPBT Rookie of Year 1982)
  • Aug 6 Earl Winfield, CFL receiver (Hamilton Tiger Cats)
  • Aug 6 Mary Lou, Daniels Chicago lL, tennis star
  • Aug 7 Walter Swinburn, English jockey (Epsom Derby 1981, 86, 95; Irish Derby 1983, 86; Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe 1983), born in Oxford, England (d. 2016)
  • Aug 7 Yelena Davydova, Russian gymnast (Olympic gold USSR All-round, Team 1980), coach (Canadian Women's Artistic Team 2012) and international judge (Rio Olympics 2016), born in Voronezh, Russia
  • Aug 8 Bruce Matthews, American NFL guard/center (Houston/Tennessee Oilers/Titans), born in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Aug 8 The Edge [David Evans], British rock guitarist (U2 - "I Will Follow"; "Desire"; "Where The Streets Have No Name"), born in London, England
  • Aug 8 Daniel House, American music executive
  • Aug 8 Rikki Rockett {Richard Ream], American drummer (Poison - "Every Rose Has A Thorn"), born in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
  • Aug 8 Ron Klain, American attorney, White House Chief of Staff to Joe Biden (2021-), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Aug 9 Brad Gilbert, American tennis player and coach, born in Oakland, California

John Key

Aug 9 John Key, New Zealand politician, Prime Minister (2008-2016), born in Auckland, New Zealand

  • Aug 9 Amy Stiller, American actress (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), born in New York City
  • Aug 10 Beatrice Alda, American actress (Lisa-Four Seasons), daughter of Alan Alda
  • Aug 10 Jon Farriss, Australian rock drummer (INXS - "The Devil Inside"; "New Sensation"), born in Perth, Australia
  • Aug 11 Craig Ehlo, NBA guard (Atlanta Hawks)
  • Aug 11 Frederick W Sturckow, USMC capt/astronaut (sk: STS 88), born in La Mesa, California
  • Aug 12 Roy Hay, British guitarist (Culture Club - "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me")
  • Aug 12 Lawrence Hayward, English musician (Felt, Denim, Go Kart Mozart)
  • Aug 12 Mark Priest, New Zealand cricketer
  • Aug 13 Bettine Vriesekoop, Dutch table tennis star (European Championships gold 1982, 92), born in Hazerswoude, Netherlands
  • Aug 13 Dawnn Lewis, American actress (Jaleesa-Different World), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Aug 13 Neil Mallender, English cricketer (England pace bowler in two Tests 1992), born in Kirk Sandall, Yorkshire
  • Aug 13 Stuart Maconie, English music writer and broadcaster, born in Whiston, Lancashire, England
  • Aug 13 Tom Perrotta, American novelist (Little Children), born in Newark, New Jersey
  • Aug 13 Sunil Shetty, Indian actor and producer (Khel – No Ordinary Game), born in Mulki, Mysore State, India
  • Aug 14 Susan Olson, American actress (Cindy-Brady Bunch), born in Santa Monica, California
  • Aug 14 Eddie Gilbert, American wrestler, born in Lexington, Tennessee (d. 1995)
  • Aug 15 Matt Johnson, English singer-songwriter (The The), born in London, England
  • Aug 15 Gary Kubiak, American football coach
  • Aug 16 Christian Okoye, Nigerian-American football player known as the "Nigerian Nightmare" (Kansas City Chiefs), born in Enugu, Nigeria
  • Aug 17 Jamie Macoun, Canadian NHL defenceman (Toronto Maple Leafs), born in Newmarket, Ontario
  • Aug 18 John Viscardi, American actor (Father Tony-One Life to Live), born in New York City, New York
  • Aug 18 Bob Woodruff, American television journalist, born in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
  • Aug 19 Danuta Bartoszek, Canadian marathoner (Olympics 1996), born in Pyrzyce, Poland
  • Aug 20 Linda Mantz, American actress (Frankie-Dorothy), born in NYC, New York
  • Aug 20 Rick Rael, heavy metal rocker
  • Aug 20 Greg Egan, Australian science fiction and hard science author, born in Perth, Australia
  • Aug 20 Joe Pasquale, English comedian (King of the Jungle - I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! 2004 4th series), born in Grays, Essex, England
  • Aug 21 Danny Sheaffer, American MLB catcher (St Louis Cardinals), born in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Aug 21 Lance Earl Deal, American hammer thrower (Olympic silver 1996), born in Riverton, Wyoming

Stephen Hillenburg

Aug 21 Stephen Hillenburg, American animator and cartoonist (SpongeBob SquarePants), born in Lawton, Oklahoma (d. 2018)

  • Aug 21 V. B. Chandrasekhar, Indian cricketer, born in Chennai, India
  • Aug 22 Debbi Peterson, rock drummer (Bangles - "Manic Monday"; "Walk Like An Egyptian", born in Los Angeles, California
  • Aug 22 Roland Orzabal, English musician and rock vocalist (Tears for Fears - "Shout", "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"), born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
  • Aug 23 Dean DeLeo, American guitarist (Stone Temple Pilots), born in Montclair, New Jersey
  • Aug 23 Alexandre Desplat, French film composer (The Grand Budapest Hotel), born in Paris, France
  • Aug 24 Colin Angus, Scottish pop musician (The Shamen - "Ebeneezer Goode"), born in Aberdeen, Scotland
  • Aug 24 Mark "Bedders" Bedford, English rock-ska bassist (Madness - "House Of Fun"), born in Islington, London
  • Aug 24 Ingrid Berghmans, Belgian judoka (8 times Belgian Sportswoman of the Year), born in Beringen, Belgium
  • Aug 24 Jared Harris, Irish-British actor (Valery Legasov-Chernobyl), born in Hammersmith, London

Billy Ray Cyrus

Aug 25 Billy Ray Cyrus, American country singer (Achy Breaky Heart), born in Flatwoods, Kentucky

  • Aug 25 Joanne Whalley, actress (Scandal), born in Manchester, England
  • Aug 26 Jeff Parrett, American pitcher (St Louis Cardinals), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Aug 26 Jimmy Olander, American country guitarist and banjo player (Diamond Rio - "Meet in Middle"), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Aug 27 Tom Ford, American fashion designer
  • Aug 27 Mark Curry, British stage and screen actor, and television and radio presenter, born in Stafford, England
  • Aug 28 Kim Appleby, English singer (Mel & Kim-Coming to America), born in Stoke Newington, London
  • Aug 28 Jennifer Coolidge, American actress and comedian (Legally Blonde film series, Christopher Guest films), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Aug 29 Tony MacAlpine, American heavy metal rocker ("Edge of Insanity"), born in Springfield, Massachusetts
  • Aug 31 David Chastain, American heavy metal guitarist (Chastain - Rule of Wasteland), born in Atlanta, Georgia

Famous Deaths

  • Aug 2 Giovanni Battista Angioletti, Italian author (Il giorno del giudizio), dies at 64
  • Aug 5 Eva JC Beck, Dutch actress (Elckerlyc, Resurrection), dies at 63
  • Aug 5 Sidney Holland, Prime Minister of New Zealand (National: 1949-57), dies at 67
  • Aug 6 Jozef E Van Roey, Flemish cardinal/archbishop of Mechelen, dies at 87
  • Aug 7 Frank Buchman, American theologist (Moral Re-Armament), dies at 83
  • Aug 8 Charlie Gemora, actor (who portrayed King Kong), dies at 58
  • Aug 8 Franc N D Buchman, US theology (Moral Rearms), dies at 83
  • Aug 8 Méi Lánfāng, Chinese opera performer (b. 1894)
  • Aug 9 Walter Bedell Smith, U.S. Army general (WWII) and head of CIA (1950-52), dies at 75
  • Aug 11 Antanas Škėma, Lithuanian writer actor and director (b. 1910)
  • Aug 13 Adeline De Walt Reynolds, American actress (Son of Dracula), dies at 78
  • Aug 14 Clarke Ashton Smith, sci-fi author (Lost Worlds), dies at 68
  • Aug 14 Guido Alberto Fano, Italian composer and pianist, dies at 86
  • Aug 14 Henri-Edouard-Prosper Breuil, priest/archaeologist, dies
  • Aug 15 Willie Macfarlane, Scottish golfer (US Open 1925), dies at 72
  • Aug 15 (Granville) "Stick" McGhee, American blues guitarist, singer and songwriter ("Drinkin' Wine. Spo-Dee-O-Dee"), dies of lung cancer at 43
  • Aug 16 Maulvi Abdul Haq, Pakistani scholar and father of Modern Urdu, dies at 91
  • Aug 17 Carlos Salzedo, French-American piano prodigy, harpist, composer, educator (Curtis Institue; Juilliard), and new music advocate (co-founder of International Composers' Guild), dies at 76
  • Aug 18 Learned Hand, Chief judge of US court of Appeals, dies at 89
  • Aug 18 Leonhard Frank, writer, dies at 78
  • Aug 20 Vilhjalmur Stefansson, Canadian-American Arctic explorer and ethnologist, dies at 82
  • Aug 20 Percy Williams Bridgman, American physicist (Nobel 1946 - physics of high pressure), dies at 79
  • Aug 23 Beals Wright, American tennis player (US Nat C'ship 1905; doubles 1904-06), dies at 81
  • Aug 27 Gail Russell, American actress (The Uninvited, Moonrise, Unseen), dies from complications of alcohol abuse at 36 [1]
  • Aug 28 Tom Connolly, American Baseball HOF umpire (AL-record 8 x World Series), dies at 90
  • Aug 30 Charles Coburn, American actor (Around the World in 80 Days, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), dies at 84