Historical Events in April 1961

  • Apr 3 Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia is sold to J Schleifer Properties
  • Apr 3 Jacques Offenbach and Yip Harburg's musical "The Happiest Girl in the World", starring Cyril Ritchard and Justine Rule, opens at Martin Beck Theatre, NYC; runs for 97 performances
  • Apr 5 Dutch governor Platteel installs New Guinea Council
  • Apr 8 "Show Girl" closes at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC after 100 performances
  • Apr 8 British liner "Dara" explodes in Persian Gulf, kills 236

US Masters Golf

Apr 10 25th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: South African Gary Player beats defending champion Arnold Palmer and amateur Charles Coe by 1 stroke to become first international champion; Monday finish because of rain

Historic Event

Apr 10 Dutch foreign minister Luns talks to JFK about New Guinea

  • Apr 10 Washington Senators play first game in franchise history with President John F. Kennedy in attendance; lose a 4-3 decision to the Chicago White Sox
  • Apr 11 15th NBA Championship: Bos Celtics beat St Louis Hawks, 4 games to 1
  • Apr 11 Austrian 4th & last government of Raab resigns

Music History

Apr 11 Bob Dylan makes his 1st appearance at Folk City, Greenwich Village, New York City

Grammy Awards

Apr 12 3rd Grammy Awards: Theme From a Summer Place, Ray Charles wins 4

Sports History

Apr 12 Douglas MacArthur declines offer to become baseball commissioner

Historic Event

Apr 12 Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first person to orbit Earth (Vostok 1)

  • Apr 13 "Carnival!" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 719 performances
  • Apr 13 UN General Assembly condemns South-Africa's apartheid
  • Apr 14 1st live television broadcast from Soviet Union
  • Apr 14 Cuban-American invasion army departs Nicaragua
  • Apr 14 US element 103 (Lawrencium) discovered
  • Apr 15 France wins it’s 2nd outright Five Nations Rugby Championship with an 15-3 victory over Ireland at Lansdowne Road, Dublin
  • Apr 15 Meredith Willson's musical "The Music Man", starring Robert Preston and Barbara Cook, closes at Majestic Theater, NYC. after 1375 performances, 5 Tony Awards, and a Grammy
  • Apr 16 15th Tony Awards: Becket & Bye Bye Birdie win
  • Apr 16 Stanley Cup Final, Olympia Stadium, Detroit, MI: Chicago Blackhawks beat Detroit Red Wings, 4-1 for a 4-2 series victory

Historic Event

Apr 17 1,400 Cuban exiles land in Bay of Pigs in a doomed attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro

Academy Awards

Apr 17 33rd Academy Awards: "Apartment" wins best film, Burt Lancaster & Elizabeth Taylor win best actor, actress

  • Apr 17 65th Boston Marathon won by Eino Oksanen of Finland in 2:23:39; his 2nd event title

Film & TV History

Apr 17 Jimmy Stewart accepts an honorary Oscar on behalf of his friend Gary Cooper, who is too ill to attend

  • Apr 18 CONCP is founded in Casablanca as a united front of African movements opposing Portuguese colonial rule
  • Apr 20 American Harold Graham makes 1st rocket belt flight
  • Apr 21 Dirk Stikker chosen as secretary general of NATO
  • Apr 21 French army revolts in Algeria
  • Apr 21 USAF Maj Robert M White takes X-15 to 32,000 m
  • Apr 22 Uprising of French parachutist of General Salan and Challe in Algeria
  • Apr 23 Algiers putsch by French generals
  • Apr 23 Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick's musical comedy "Tenderloin" closes at 46th St Theater, NYC, after 216 performances

Music History

Apr 23 Singer Judy Garland appears in concert at Carnegie Hall, NYC; event is recorded for a double live album, wins Grammy Award for Album of the Year (the first such win by a female artist)

The Sinking of the Vasa

Apr 24 17th century Swedish warship Vasa, which sunk on her maiden voyage in 1628, is salvaged

  • Apr 24 JFK accepts "sole responsibility" following Bay of Pigs
  • Apr 25 "Young Abe Lincoln" opens at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC for 27 performances

Historic Event

Apr 25 Belgium government of Gaston Eyskens falls over the Unitary Law

  • Apr 25 France performs nuclear test at Reggane Proving Grounds Algeria
  • Apr 25 Mercury/Atlas rocket lifted off with an electronic mannequin
  • Apr 25 Premier Moise Tsjombe of Katanga arrested in Congo
  • Apr 25 Robert Noyce patents integrated circuit
  • Apr 25 Unmanned Mercury test explodes on launch pad
  • Apr 26 French paratroopers' revolt suppressed in Algeria

Baseball Record

Apr 26 Roger Maris hits 1st of 61 homers in 1961

  • Apr 27 NASA launches Explorer 11 into Earth orbit to study gamma rays
  • Apr 27 NFL officially recognizes Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio
  • Apr 27 Sierra Leone declares independence from UK
  • Apr 28 Lt Col Gueorgui Mossolov takes E-66A to 34,714 m altitude

Sports History

Apr 28 Milwaukee Braves' future HOF pitcher Warren Spahn throws his second career no hitter at 41; beats SF Giants, 1-0 at County Stadium

  • Apr 29 ABC's "Wide World of Sports" debuts
  • Apr 30 "Tossin' and Turnin'" single released by Bobby Lewis (Billboard Song of the Year, 1961)
  • Apr 30 1st shuttle flights between Washington, D.C., Boston & NYC begin (Eastern)
  • Apr 30 LPGA Titleholders Championship Women's Golf, Augusta CC: Mickey Wright wins her 5th major title by 1 stroke from Patty Berg & Louise Suggs
  • Apr 30 Premier Fidel Castro of Cuba receives Lenin-Peace Prize

Baseball Record

Apr 30 SF outfielder Willie Mays becomes just the 9th player in MLB history to hit 4 homers in one game in the Giants 14-4 win against the Braves in Milwaukee