Historical Events in December 1961

  • Dec 1 The independent Republic of West Papua is proclaimed in modern-day Western New Guinea.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 2 Fidel Castro declares he's a Marxist & will lead Cuba to Communism

Cuban Revolutionary and President Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolutionary and President
Fidel Castro
  • Dec 2 Wind Bell, journal of San Francisco Zen Center, begins publishing
  • Dec 2 26th Iron Bowl: Alabama beats Auburn 34-0 in Birmingham
  • Dec 2 CFL Grey Cup, CNE Stadium, Toronto: A 6th title for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers; beat Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 21-14
  • Dec 3 Dutchman Anton Geesink becomes 1st non-Japanese judo world champion
  • Dec 3 The Beatles meet future manager Brian Epstein
  • Dec 3 George Blanda of Houston Oilers kicks 55-yard field goal
  • Dec 3 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Dec 4 Floyd Patterson KOs Tom McNeeley in 4 for heavyweight boxing title

Boxer and Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Floyd Patterson
Boxer and Undisputed Heavyweight Champion
Floyd Patterson

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 4 Museum of Modern Art hangs Matisse's Le Bateau upside down for 47 days

Impressionist Painter Henri Matisse
Impressionist Painter
Henri Matisse
  • Dec 4 Smallest NY Knick, 49th St Madison Square Garden crowd-1,300 (snowstorm)
  • Dec 4 Tanganyika becomes 104th member of UN
  • Dec 4 WXGA TV channel 8 in Waycross, GA (PBS) begins broadcasting

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 4 The female contraceptive 'pill' becomes available on the National Health Service in Britain

Chemist Carl Djerassi
Chemist
Carl Djerassi
  • Dec 4 1962 NFL Draft: Ernie Davis from University of Syracuse first pick by Washington Redskins

  • Dec 6 27th Heisman Trophy Award: Ernie Davis, Syracuse (HB) (1st African American to win)
  • Dec 8 Antwerp Belgium diocese forms
  • Dec 8 Larry Costello scores 32 consecutive pts without a miss (NBA rec)
  • Dec 8 South Africa v NZ, Durban debuts for Eddie Barlow & Peter Pollock

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 8 Wilt Chamberlain scores the 2nd highest total in the NBA - 78

NBA Legend Wilt Chamberlain
NBA Legend
Wilt Chamberlain
  • Dec 9 "From the Second City" closes at Royale Theater NYC after 87 performances
  • Dec 9 "Let It Ride" closes at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC after 68 performances
  • Dec 9 Tanganyika gains independence from Britain, takes name Tanzania
  • Dec 10 Houston Oiler Billy Cannon gains record 373 yards against Titans
  • Dec 10 US performs nuclear test at Carlsbad New Mexico (underground)
  • Dec 10 USSR & Albania break diplomatic relations

Nobel prizeNobel Prize

Dec 10 Robert Hofstadter and Rudolf Ludwig Mössbauer win the Nobel Prize in Physics for their pioneering studies of electron scattering in atomic nuclei and discoveries concerning the structure of the nucleon

  • Dec 11 "Please, Mr. Postman" by Marvelettes released

Music release#1 in the Charts

Dec 11 Elvis Presley's "Blue Hawaii" album goes #1 & stays #1 for 20 wks

Singer & Cultural Icon Elvis Presley
Singer & Cultural Icon
Elvis Presley

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 11 JFK provides US military helicopters & crews to South Vietnam

35th US President John F. Kennedy
35th US President
John F. Kennedy

Execution'The Banality of Evil'

Dec 12 Adolf Eichmann is found guilty of war crimes in Israel
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Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann sits in the dock at his 1961 trial in Jerusalem
Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann sits in the dock at his 1961 trial in Jerusalem
  • Dec 12 Amateur radio satellite Oscar 1 launched with military Discoverer 36

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 12 Martin Luther King Jr. & 700 demonstrators are arrested in Albany, Georgia

Civil Rights Activist Martin Luther King Jr.
Civil Rights Activist
Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Dec 12 Ballon d'Or: Juventus' Argentine forward Omar Sívori wins award for best football player in Europe ahead of Spanish midfielder Luis Suárez and English forward Johnny Haynes
  • Dec 13 The Beatles sign a formal agreement to be managed by Brian Epstein

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 13 Gideon Hausner in Jerusalem demands death penalty for Adolf Eichmann

Nazi SS Officer and War Criminal Adolf Eichmann
Nazi SS Officer and War Criminal
Adolf Eichmann
  • Dec 13 Jimmy Dean's Big Bad John album is country music 1st million $ seller

Film release premierFilm Premier

Dec 13 "The Young Ones" directed by Sidney J. Furie, starring Cliff Richard, Robert Morley and Carole Gray premieres in London

  • Dec 14 Jimmy Dean's "Big Bad John" is 1st country song to get a gold record
  • Dec 15 Adolf Eichmann is sentenced to death for war crimes in Israel

  • Dec 15 Equal access rule, political parties get TV broadcasting time
  • Dec 15 JFK visits Puerto Rico
  • Dec 15 L J Suenens appointed archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels
  • Dec 16 "Evening with Yves Montand" closes at John Golden Theatre, NYC after 55 performances
  • Dec 17 India seizes Goa & 2 other Portuguese colonies
  • Dec 17 Niteroi Circus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil catches fire; 323 die after disgruntled employee sets fire to the tent
  • Dec 18 Britain's EMI Records originally rejects the Beatles
  • Dec 18 For 2nd consecutive year, AP names Wilma Rudolph female athlete of year
  • Dec 18 India annexes Portuguese colonies of Goa, Damao & Diu
  • Dec 18 KAIL TV channel 53 in Fresno, CA (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 18 Wilt Chamberlain of NBA Philadelphia Warriors scores 78 points vs LA

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 19 Indonesian President Sukarno proclaims general mobilization

1st President of Indonesia Sukarno
1st President of Indonesia
Sukarno
  • Dec 21 Beatles record "Sweet Georgia Brown" & "Ready Teddy"
  • Dec 21 US President Kennedy & British PM MacMillan meet in Bermuda

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 21 Gangster Joe Gallo is sentenced to 7 to 14 years in state prison for extortion

Gangster Joe Gallo
Gangster
Joe Gallo
  • Dec 22 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Dec 23 KICU TV channel 43 in Visalia-Fresno, CA (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Dec 23 Train accident in Italy, 70 die
  • Dec 23 Fidel Castro announces Cuba will release 1,113 prisoners from failed 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion for $62M worth of food & medical supplies
  • Dec 24 AFL Championship, Balboa Stadium, San Diego: Houston Oilers beat San Diego Chargers 10-3; Billy Cannon scores game's only TD
  • Dec 27 Belgium & Congo resume diplomatic relations
  • Dec 27 Styne, Comden and Green's musical "Subways are for Sleeping" premieres at St James Theater NYC for 205 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 28 Tennessee Williams' "Night of the Iguana" premieres in NYC

Playwright Tennessee Williams
Playwright
Tennessee Williams
  • Dec 28 50th Davis Cup: Australia beats Italy in Melbourne (5-0)

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Dec 30 Premiere of Dmitri Shostakovich's 4th Symphony in Moscow (completed 1936)

  • Dec 31 "lrma La Douce" closes at Plymouth Theater NYC after 527 performances
  • Dec 31 The Beach Boys play their debut gig under that name
  • Dec 31 Failed coup by Syrian group in Lebanon

Sport awardNFL Championship

Dec 31 National Football League Championship, City Stadium, Green Bay: Green Bay Packers shutout NY Giants 37-0; first of 5 NFL titles won in 7-season span by Packers and head coach, Vince Lombardi

NFL Coach Vince Lombardi
NFL Coach
Vince Lombardi
  • Dec 31 Marshall Plan expires after distributing more than $12 billion