On This Day

Historical Events in February 1961

  • Feb 1 1st full-scale test of US Minuteman ICBM is successful

Historic Event

Feb 1 British minister Enoch Powell makes medical insurance more expensive

  • Feb 1 Australian cricket tail-enders Ken Mackay (62no) and Lindsay Kline (15no) hang on for 100 minutes to earn a famous draw on the final day vs West Indies in 4th Test in Adelaide
  • Feb 2 Dutch Prince Bernhard opens new RAI building in Amsterdam
  • Feb 3 6th largest snowfall in NYC history (17.4" (44.2cm))
  • Feb 4 Sputnik 7 launches into Earth orbit; probable Venus probe failure

Historic Event

Feb 4 "Angolan War of Independence" begins

  • Feb 6 "Jail, No Bail" Jail-in movement starts in Rock Hill, South Carolina
  • Feb 6 KOAP TV channel 10 in Portland, OR (PBS) begins broadcasting

Film & TV History

Feb 7 Jane Fonda made her acting debut in the NBC drama "A String of Beads"

  • Feb 9 Joseph Ileo appointed Premier of Congo
  • Feb 9 The Beatles first gig at Liverpool's Cavern Club; they would play there nearly 300 times over the next two years
  • Feb 10 AFL's LA Chargers move to San Diego
  • Feb 10 Niagara Falls hydroelectric project begins producing power

Music Premiere

Feb 10 Walter Piston's 7th Symphony, commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra premieres under direction of Eugene Ormandy; wins 1961 Pulitzer Prize

  • Feb 11 Robert Weaver sworn in as Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency, the 1st African American to be appointed to a US cabinet-level position

Sports History

Feb 12 Boston Celtic Bill Russell grabs 40 rebounds to beat Warriors 136-125

  • Feb 12 Pakistani cricketer Mushtaq Mohammad scores his 1st test cricket century for Pakistan at 17 years of age
  • Feb 12 USSR launches Venera 1 toward Venus

Music Recording

Feb 13 Frank Sinatra launches Reprise label under Warner Bros Records

  • Feb 13 Soviet Union fires a rocket from Sputnik V to Venus
  • Feb 14 Element 103, Lawrencium, 1st produced in Berkeley Calif
  • Feb 15 Australia beat West Indies 2-1 in one of best Test Cricket series ever
  • Feb 15 Plane crash kills entire US figure skating team outside Brussels airport in Belgium enroute to World Championships in Prague from NYC; 73 crew and passengers (including 34 American skaters, coaches, officials, and other team members), and a farmer on the ground are lost
  • Feb 16 1st all-solid-propellant rocket put in orbit, Wallops Island, Virginia
  • Feb 16 China uses its 1st nuclear reactor
  • Feb 16 NASA Explorer 9 mission launches satellite for the 1st time from Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia; this was also the 1st all-solid-propellant rocket put into orbit
  • Feb 18 Henk van der Grift becomes world champion skater
  • Feb 19 Albania disavows Chinese "Revisionism"
  • Feb 19 Henk van der Grift (Neth) becomes world champ all-round skater
  • Feb 21 Friedrich Durrenmatt's "Die Physiker" premieres in Zurich
  • Feb 21 Gabon adopts constitution
  • Feb 21 Mercury-Atlas 2 reentry Test reaches 172 km
  • Feb 24 NASA Explorer S-45 mission; ionosphere beacon satellite fails to reach Earth orbit
  • Feb 25 Niagara ends St Bonaventura's 99-game home basketball win streak
  • Feb 25 Paul Bikle in glider climbs from 1208 m at release to record 14,10
  • Feb 26 3rd Daytona 500: Marvin Panch wins in a 1960 Pontiac owned by Smokey Yunick when race leader Fireball Roberts' car suffered a blown engine with 13 laps remaining
  • Feb 27 The first congress of the Spanish Trade Union Organisation is inaugurated