Historical Events in October 1961

  • Oct 1 A volcanco believed to be extinct erupts in Tristan da Cunha
  • Oct 1 East & West Cameroon merge as Federal Republic of Cameroon
  • Oct 1 KGIN TV channel 11 in Grand Island, NB (CBS) begins broadcasting

Baseball Record

Oct 1 NY Yankees right-fielder Roger Maris becomes MLB’s all-time home run leader when he passes Babe Ruth's mark with No. 61 off Boston rookie Tracy Stallard in 1-0 win at Yankee Stadium

Music Premiere

Oct 1 Premiere of Dmitri Shostakovich's 12nd Symphony

  • Oct 1 The Beach Boys record their debut single "Surfin", introducing a new musical style
  • Oct 1 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Oct 1 WOLO TV channel 25 in Columbia, SC (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 1 WYAH TV channel 27 in Portsmouth, VA (IND) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 2 American medical drama series "Ben Casey", starring Vince Edwards and Sam Jaffe, premieres on ABC-TV
  • Oct 2 USSR performs 250 kilo-ton nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya, USSR
  • Oct 2 WETA TV channel 26 in Washington, D.C. (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • Oct 2 WHRO TV channel 15 in Hampton-Norfolk, Vitginia (PBS) begins broadcasting

Television Premiere

Oct 3 "The Dick Van Dyke Show" created by Carl Reiner, starring Dick van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore premieres on CBS-TV

  • Oct 3 KMED (now KTVL) TV channel 10 in Medford, OR (CBS) begins broadcasting

Music Premiere

Oct 3 Noël Coward's musical "Sail Away", starring Elaine Stritch, opens at Broadhurst Theater, NYC; runs for 167 performances

  • Oct 3 TV sitcom "Mr Ed" premieres on CBS

Sports History

Oct 4 NY Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford records 3rd straight Baseball World Series shutout in Yankees 2-0 win v Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 at Yankee Stadium; NY wins series, 4-1

  • Oct 4 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

Film Premiere

Oct 5 "Breakfast at Tiffany's" film, based on the novella by Truman Capote, directed by Blake Edwards, and starring Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, and Buddy Ebsen, premieres

  • Oct 5 China & Nepal sign treaty

Historic Event

Oct 6 JFK advises Americans to build fallout shelters

  • Oct 6 USSR performs nuclear tests at Kapustin Yar & Novaya Zemlya USSR
  • Oct 7 15th NHL All-Star Game, Chicago Stadium, Chicago, IL: All-Stars beat Chicago Black Hawks, 3-1

Musical Finale

Oct 7 Charles Strouse and Lee Adams' musical "Bye Bye Birdie", starring Dick Van Dyke, Chita Rivera, and Dick Gautier, closes at Martin Beck Theater, NYC, after 607 performances and 4 Tony Awards

  • Oct 8 American Phil Hill's Ferrari team does not participate in season ending US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen having already clinched World Drivers Championship; English driver Innes Ireland wins Lotus' first ever Grand Prix
  • Oct 8 NY Yankee pitcher Whitey Ford breaks Babe Ruth's record of 29-2/3 consecutive scoreless innings in the World Series; he goes on to extend the streak to 33-2/3, which stands until 2000
  • Oct 8 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya, USSR
  • Oct 9 Baseball World Series: New York Yankees win 19th championship, 4-1; rout Cincinnati Reds, 13-5 at Crosley Field in Game 5; MVP: Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford
  • Oct 9 Tanganyika, in east Africa, becomes independent within British Commonwealth
  • Oct 9 US members of communist party obliged to report themselves to police
  • Oct 9 Volcanic eruptions on Tristan de Cunha (South Atlantic)
  • Oct 10 "Milk & Honey" opens at Martin Beck Theater NYC for 543 performances
  • Oct 10 Expansion draft to stock Houston Astros & NY Mets
  • Oct 10 Otis M Smith appointed to Michigan Supreme Court
  • Oct 10 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Television Premiere

Oct 10 Variety TV show "The Bob Newhart Show" premieres on NBC in the US

  • Oct 11 USAF Major Robert M White takes X-15 to 66,100m
  • Oct 11 USSR performs nuclear test
  • Oct 12 "Let It Ride" opens at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC for 68 performances
  • Oct 12 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • Oct 14 Frank Loesser's musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying", starring Robert Morse and Rudy Vallée, opens at 46th Street Theatre, NYC; runs for 1415 performances, winning 7 Tony Awards, and a Pulitzer Prize
  • Oct 14 Ryder Cup Golf, Royal Lytham & St Annes: Jerry Barber captains US to 14½-9½ win

LPGA Championship

Oct 15 LPGA Championship Women's Golf, Stardust CC: Mickey Wright convincingly wins her 3rd LPGA title by 9 strokes from Louise Suggs

  • Oct 17 22nd congress of CPSU opens in Moscow
  • Oct 17 Battle of Paris-police kill 210 Algerians

Historic Event

Oct 17 NY Museum of Modern Art hangs Henri Matisse's "Le Bateau" upside-down It wasn't corrected until December 3rd

  • Oct 18 Emergency crisis proclaimed in South Vietnam due to communist attack

Film Release

Oct 18 Film adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical "West Side Story", directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, and starring Natalie Wood, debuts (Academy Award - Best Picture, 1962)

Music History

Oct 21 Barbra Streisand opens in "Another Evening with Harry Stones"

  • Oct 21 USSR performs nuclear test at Sary Shagan USSR
  • Oct 22 75,000 Flemings demand equal rights & Flemish language in Belgium
  • Oct 23 "Kwamina" opens at 54th St Theater NYC for 32 performances
  • Oct 23 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
  • Oct 24 "Evening with Yves Montand" opens at John Golden Theatre, NYC for 55 performances
  • Oct 25 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
  • Oct 26 First test flight of Saturn launch vehicle
  • Oct 27 1st Saturn launch vehicle makes an unmanned flight test
  • Oct 27 American Basketball League starts play
  • Oct 27 Outer Mongolia & Mauritania become 102nd & 103rd members of United Nations
  • Oct 27 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya & Sary Shagan USSR
  • Oct 28 "Fiorello!" closes at Broadhurst Theater NYC starring Tom Bosley after 796 performances and a Pulitzer Prize
  • Oct 28 Ground broken for Municipal (Shea) Stadium for NY Mets
  • Oct 29 13th NASCAR Sprint Cup: Ned Jarrett wins
  • Oct 29 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Historic Event

Oct 30 Soviet Party Congress unanimously approves a resolution removing Stalin's body from Lenin's tomb in Red Square as part of de-Stalinization efforts

  • Oct 30 Soviet Union tests a 58 megaton hydrogen bomb named Tsar Bomba, the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated
  • Oct 31 Federal judge rules that laws in Birmingham, Alabama, against integrated playing fields are illegal
  • Oct 31 Hurricane Hattie kills 400 in British Honduras