On This Day

What Happened in March 1961

Historical Events

  • Mar 1 Cellist Jacqueline du Prés debut in Wigmore Hall

Historic Event

Mar 1 US President JFK establishes the Peace Corps

  • Mar 2 Eaton Magoon's musical "13 Daughters", starring Don Ameche and Sylvia Syms, opens at 54th St Theater, NYC; runs for 28 performances
  • Mar 3 King Hassan II ascends to throne of Morocco
  • Mar 4 Paul-Henri Spaak resigns as Secretary-General of NATO
  • Mar 4 8th ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: Wake Forest beats Duke, 96-81
  • Mar 6 1st London minicabs introduced
  • Mar 6 Dutch Queen Juliana celebrates 12½ year jubilee
  • Mar 6 Dutch guilder revalued 4.74%
  • Mar 8 Jean Kerr's "Mary, Mary" premieres in NYC

Historic Event

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

Space Dog Laika Launched to her Death

Mar 9 Soviet flight Sputnik 9 carries and returns from orbit a dog named Chernushka (Blackie), frogs and a guinea pig

  • Mar 9 Mine cave-in in Japan, kills 72

Music Single

Mar 9 The Supremes release singles "I Want A Guy" and "Never Again"

Sports History

Mar 9 Philadelphia Warriors center Wilt Chamberlain scores 67 points in 135-126 win over NY Knicks at Philadelphia Civic Center

  • Mar 11 Then NHL record 40 penalties, Black Hawks & Maple Leafs (20 each)
  • Mar 13 Elizabeth Gurley Finn (70) becomes President of US Communist Party

Boxing Title Fight

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

  • Mar 13 JFK sets up the Alliance for Progress
  • Mar 13 Landslide in USSR, kills 145
  • Mar 13 Old type, black & white notes cease to be legal tender
  • Mar 14 Former New York Yankees general manager George Weiss becomes first President of New York Mets after MLB expansion franchise formed
  • Mar 15 South Africa withdraws from British Commonwealth
  • Mar 17 NY DA arrests professional gamblers who implicate Seton Hall players
  • Mar 17 South Africa leaves British Commonwealth

Historic Event

Mar 17 Jaguar head William Lyons debuts the first E-Type model at the Geneva International Motor Show, creating a sensation

  • Mar 18 6th Eurovision Song Contest: Jean-Claude Pascal for Luxembourg wins "Nous les amoureux" in Cannes
  • Mar 21 Art Modell purchases Cleveland Browns for then record sum ($3,925,000)
  • Mar 21 The Beatles' first appearance at the Cavern Club in Liverpool
  • Mar 24 NY Senate approves $55M for a baseball stadium at Flushing Meadows
  • Mar 25 "13 Daughters" closes at 54th St Theater, NYC, after 28 performances
  • Mar 25 "Gypsy" closes at Broadway Theater NYC after 702 performances

Sports History

Mar 25 23rd NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Cincinnati beats Ohio State, 70-65 (OT); Buckeyes' future Hall of Fame forward Jerry Lucas is MOP for 2nd straight year

Music History

Mar 25 Elvis Presley performs live on the USS Arizona

  • Mar 25 Explorer 10 launched into elongated Earth orbit (177/181,000 km)
  • Mar 25 Sputnik 10 carries a dog into Earth orbit; later recovered
  • Mar 25 3rd place game is one of the wildest contests in NCAA Tournament history as St Joseph's defeats Utah, 127-120 in quadruple overtime
  • Mar 25 115th Grand National: Bobby Beasley wins aboard Nicolaus Silver, 5 lengths ahead of defending champion Merryman II; first grey winner for 90 years
  • Mar 27 Black demonstrators in Charleston staged ride-ins on street cars
  • Mar 27 Failed assassination attempt on King Saif al-Islam Achmad of Yemen
  • Mar 29 23rd Amendment to the US Constitution ratified, allowing Washington, D.C. residents to vote in presidential elections

Historic Event

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

  • Mar 29 KCPT TV channel 19 in Kansas City, MO (PBS) begins broadcasting

Appointment of Interest

Mar 29 Economist John Kenneth Galbraith is appointed US Ambassador to India

Historic Event

Mar 30 NASA civilian pilot Joseph A. Walker takes X-15 169,600' (51,690 m)

  • Mar 30 The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is signed at New York
  • Mar 31 Aklilou Habtewold becomes 1st premier of Ethiopia
  • Mar 31 8th National Film Awards (India): "Anuradha" wins the Golden Lotus

Famous Birthdays

  • Mar 1 Davis Daniel, American country singer, born in Arlington Heights, Illinois
  • Mar 1 Mike Rozier, American College Football Hall of Fame halfback (Heisman Trophy 1983, Nebraska; Pro Bowl 1987, 88, Houston Oilers), born in Camden, New Jersey
  • Mar 2 Simone Young, Australian conductor (Hamburg State Opera and Hamburg Philharmonic, 2005-15), born in Sydney, Australia
  • Mar 3 Mary Page Keller, actress (Ryan's Hope, Duet), born in Monterey Park, California
  • Mar 3 Perry McCarthy, English racing driver, born in Stepney, London
  • Mar 3 Knut Nærum, Norwegian comedian
  • Mar 4 David "Tinker" Juarez, American BMX and cross-country mountain bike racer, born in Los Angeles, California
  • Mar 4 Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, American boxer (WBA lightweight champion), born in Youngstown, Ohio
  • Mar 4 Steven Weber, American actor (Wings - "Brian Hackett"), born in Queens, New York
  • Mar 4 Sabine Everts, German track athlete, born in Düsseldorf,, West Germany
  • Mar 5 Dan Stuart, American singer/songwriter (Green on Red)
  • Mar 5 Zeke Mowatt, NFL tight end (NY Giants)
  • Mar 7 Mary Beth Evans, American actress (Katherine-General Hospital), born in Pasadena, California
  • Mar 7 Warrel Dane, American singer (Nevermore), born in Seattle, Washington (d. 2017)
  • Mar 8 Larry Murphy, Scarborough, NHL defenseman (Toronto Maple Leafs)
  • Mar 8 Camryn Manheim, American actress (The Practice), born in Caldwell, New Jersey
  • Mar 9 Mike Leach, American college football coach (Washington State University), born in Susanville, California
  • Mar 9 Rick Steiner [Robert Rechsteiner], American professional wrestler, born in Bay City, Michigan
  • Mar 10 Jesse Sapolu, Samoan NFL guard (SF 49ers), born in Apia, Samoa
  • Mar 10 Laurel Clark, American naval officer and NASA astronaut (died in Columbia space shuttle disaster), born in Ames, Iowa (d. 2003)
  • Mar 10 Mitch Gaylord, American gymnast (Olympics 1984), actor (American Anthem), born in Van Nuys, California
  • Mar 10 Bobby Petrino, American football coach
  • Mar 10 Pam Oliver, American sportscaster, born in Dallas, Texas
  • Mar 11 Ken [Kenneth Sean Carson], American model & boyfriend of Barbie, born in El Segundo, California
  • Mar 11 Bruce Watson, Canadian-Scottish rock guitarist, sitar and mandolin player (Big Country - "Wonderland"; "In A Big Country"), born in Timmons, Ontario
  • Mar 11 Mike Percy, rocker (Dead or Alive-Spin Me Round)
  • Mar 11 Elias Koteas, Canadian actor
  • Mar 12 Joseph Facal, Quebec politician
  • Mar 13 Cor Lems, Dutch soccer player (ADO The Hague/Dordrecht '90), born in Rotterdam, Netherlansds
  • Mar 14 Gary Dell'Abate 'Baba Booey', American producer (Howard Stern Show), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Mar 14 Grigoriy Kornev, Russian speed walker (world record 5 km)
  • Mar 14 Russell Todd, American actor (Jamie Frame-Another World)
  • Mar 14 Greg Anderson, American NHRA stock car driver, born in Duluth, Minnesota
  • Mar 14 Penny Johnson Jerald, American actress (The Larry Sanders Show), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Mar 15 Craig Ludwig, Rhinelander, NHL defenseman (Dallas Stars)
  • Mar 15 Fabio Lanzoni, romance novels model (Fabio After Dark), born in Milan, Italy
  • Mar 15 Terry Cummings, NBA forward (Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers)
  • Mar 16 Mel Gray, NFL wide receiver/kick returner (Houston/Tennessee Oilers)
  • Mar 17 Casey Siemaszko, American actor (Biloxi Blues, 3 O'Clock High), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Mar 17 Andrew Paul, English actor (The Bill), born in London, England
  • Mar 17 Dana Reeve, American actress, wife of Christopher Reeve and activist (Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation), born in Teaneck, New Jersey (d. 2006)
  • Mar 18 Mark Van Thillo, Wilrijk Belgium, co-capt (Biosphere 2)
  • Mar 18 Todd Nelson, Dalles Ore, tennis star
  • Mar 18 Kevan James, English cricket all-rounder (4 wickets/4 balls + 103 Hampshire v India 1996), born in Lambeth, England
  • Mar 18 Grant Hart, American punk rock drummer and songwriter (Hüsker Dü), born in South St. Paul, Minnesota (d. 2017)
  • Mar 18 Hanna Kulenty, Polish contemporary classical composer (Preludium, Postludium and Psalm), born in Białystok, Poland
  • Mar 19 Jos Lansink, Dutch-Belgian equestrian
  • Mar 20 John Clark Gable, American actor (Bad Jim), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Mar 20 Kathy Baker-Guadagnino, American golfer (US Open 1985), born in Albany, New York
  • Mar 20 Jesper Olsen, Danish footballer, born in Faxe, Denmark
  • Mar 21 Slim Jim Phantom [McDonnell], American rock drummer (Stray Cats - "Rock This Town"), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Mar 21 Kassie Wesley, American actress (Evil Dead 2; One Life to Live - "Blair"), born in Kentucky
  • Mar 21 Wei Wang, US table tennis player (Olympics 1996), born in Beijing, China
  • Mar 21 Shawn Lane, American guitar virtuoso (d. 2003)
  • Mar 21 Lothar Matthäus, German footballer
  • Mar 23 Helmi Johannes, Indonesian television newscaster
  • Mar 24 Dean Jones, Australian cricket batsman and broadcaster (52 Tests @ 46.55; 164 ODIs; Victoria), born in Coburg, Australia (d. 2020)
  • Mar 24 Jim Gallagher Jr, American golfer (PGA C'ship 1992 runner-up), born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania
  • Mar 25 John Stockwell, actor (Born to Ride, City Limits), born in Galveston, Texas
  • Mar 25 Mark Brooks, American golfer (PGA Championship 1996), born in Fort Worth, Texas
  • Mar 25 Fred Goss, American actor, comedian, and writer (Sons and Daughters), born in Orchard Lake Village, Michigan
  • Mar 26 Billy Warlock, American actor (Baywatch), born in Hawthorne, California
  • Mar 26 Leigh Bowery, Australian performance artist and designer, born in Sunshine, Australia (d. 1996)
  • Mar 26 William Hague, English politician, Secretary of State, Leader of the Opposition, born in Rotherham, England
  • Mar 27 Ellery Hanley, British rugby league player, born in Leeds
  • Mar 27 Tak Matsumoto, Japanese Grammy Award-winning guitarist (B'z), born in Toyonaka, Osaka, Japan
  • Mar 27 Tony Rominger, Swiss road racing cyclist, born in Vejle, Denmark
  • Mar 28 Byron Scott, American NBA guard (Vancouver Grizzlies), born in Ogden, Utah
  • Mar 28 José Feghali, Brazilian concert pianist (Van Cliburn Gold Medalist, 1985) (d. 2014)
  • Mar 29 Ane-Marie Sanches, newscaster (Suriname TV/Radio)
  • Mar 29 Mike Kingery, American baseball outfielder (Pittsburgh Pirates), born in St. James, Minnesota
  • Mar 29 Amy Sedaris, American actress and comedian, born in Endicott, New York
  • Mar 29 Gary Brabham, Australian auto racer, (British Formula 3000 C'ship 1989), born in London, England
  • Mar 30 Doug Wickenheiser, Canadian ice hockey player (d. 1999)
  • Mar 31 Ron Brown, American athlete (Olympic gold 4 x 100m 1984), born in Los Angeles, California

Famous Weddings

Pablo Picasso

Mar 13 Pablo Picasso (79) marries his model Jacqueline Rocque (37)

Christopher Lee

Mar 17 Actor Christopher Lee (38) weds actress Gitte Lee (25)

Samuel Beckett

Mar 25 Playwright Samuel Beckett (54) weds Suzanne Dechevaux-Dumesnil on a secret civil ceremony in England


Famous Deaths

  • Mar 3 Paul Wittgenstein, Austrian-born left-handed pianist, dies at 72
  • Mar 6 George Formby, British singer and comedian, dies at 56
  • Mar 6 Kjeld Abell, Danish playwright and director (Tivoli), dies at 59
  • Mar 7 Englebert van Anderlecht, Belgian painter, dies at 42
  • Mar 7 Max Hymans, French WW II resistance fighter and Head of Air France, dies at 60
  • Mar 8 Thomas Beecham, English conductor (co-founded and led London Philharmonic, 1932-39; Royal Philharmonic, 1946-60), dies of heart failure at 81
  • Mar 9 Wilbur Sweatman, American ragtime and dixieland jazz clarinetist, composer, and bandleader, dies at 79
  • Mar 10 Esperanza Baur, Mexican film actress, and John Wayne's second wife, dies of a heart attack at 40
  • Mar 12 Belinda Lee, English actress (Joseph & his Brethren), dies in car crash at 25
  • Mar 14 Akiba Rubinstein, Polish chess player (openings theorist), dies at 78
  • Mar 16 Chen Geng, Chinese military leader (b. 1903)
  • Mar 17 Susanna Salter, 1st US female mayor/temperance leader, dies at 101
  • Mar 19 Edric Cundell, British composer (Serbia; The Tragedy of Deirdre) conductor, and educator (Guildhall School of Music, 1938-56), dies at 68
  • Mar 23 A.C. "Jack" Russell, English cricket batsman (10 Tests, 5 x 100s; Essex CCC), dies at 73
  • Mar 23 James Edward Murray, (Sen-D-Montana) (1935-61), dies
  • Mar 23 Valentin Vasilyevich Bondarenko, Russian cosmonaut, dies in an accident during training at 24
  • Mar 27 Jack Kane, British-Canadian arrranger, composer, and orchestra leader (Steve & Eydie; Andy Williams Show), dies at 37
  • Mar 30 Philibert Melotte, British astronomer (discovered Jupiter's 8th satellite Pasiphae), dies at 81
  • Mar 31 Seerp Anema, Dutch poet and writer (Modern Art & Degenerating), dies at 85