On This Day

February 1961 in History

Events in History

  • 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 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 9 Joseph Ileo appointed Premier of Congo
  • Feb 10 Niagara Falls hydroelectric project begins producing power
  • 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
  • Feb 12 USSR launches Venera 1 toward Venus
  • Feb 13 Soviet Union fires a rocket from Sputnik V to Venus
  • Feb 14 Element 103, Lawrencium, 1st produced in Berkeley Calif
  • Feb 15 Entire US figure skating team is killed in an air crash outside Brussels airport in Belgium whilst flying to World Championships in Prague from NYC; 72 passengers, including 34 American skaters, coaches, officials, and other members of extended team 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 US satellite Explorer 9 is launched
  • Feb 19 Albania disavows Chinese "Revisionism"
  • 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 Explorer (10) fails to reach Earth orbit
  • Feb 25 Paul Bikle in glider climbs from 1208 m at release to record 14,10
  • Feb 27 The first congress of the Spanish Trade Union Organisation is inaugurated

Birthdays in History

  • Feb 1 Daniel M. Tani, American astronaut, born in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania
  • Feb 4 Stewart O'Nan, American author (Snow Angels, The Names of the Dead), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Feb 6 Yuri Ivanovich Onufriyenko, Russian cosmonaut (Mir, Soyuz TM-23), born in Ryasne, Ukraine
  • Feb 10 George Stephanopoulos, American journalist, political commentator, and political advisor (Clinton), born in Fall River, Massachusetts
  • Feb 12 Jim Harris, Canadian author, environmentalist, and politician, born in Toronto, Ontario
  • Feb 14 Phillip Hamilton, American author, born in Albany, New York
  • Feb 18 Armin Laschet, German politician (CDU), born in Aachen, West Germany
  • Feb 20 Claudia Cummins, Clintwood Va, 4th of 5 siblings born on 2/20
  • Feb 21 Abhijit Banerjee, American economist, 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics, born in Mumbai, India

Deaths in History

  • Feb 3 Viscount Dunrossil, Gov-Gen of Australia (1959-61), dies at 67
  • Feb 4 Piet[er] L. Kramer, Influential Dutch architect (Amsterdam School), dies at 79
  • Feb 5 Anthony Gustav de Rothschild, British philanthropist, dies at 73
  • Feb 11 Patrice Lumumba, Congolese revolutionary, 1st prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, assassinated by the Belgian government at 34
  • Feb 11 Kate Carew [Mary Williams], American caricaturist, dies at 91
  • Feb 20 Otto Huiswoud, Suriname-born political activist and editor-in-chief (Negro Worker), dies at 67
  • Feb 21 Blaise Cendrars [Frederic Sauser-Hall], Swiss poet, dies at 73
  • Feb 21 Frederick McKinley Jones, American inventor (developments in refrigeration), dies of lung cancer at 67
  • Feb 22 George de Cuevas, Chilean-born ballet impresario and choreographer (Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas), dies at 75 or 76
  • Feb 26 Karl Albiker, German sculptor (Problem of the Plastic), dies at 83
  • Feb 26 Mohammed V, ibn Yusuf, sultan/King of Morocco, dies at 51