1961 Calendar Year - Print Calendar

January 1961

February 1961

March 1961

April 1961

May 1961

June 1961

July 1961

August 1961

September 1961

October 1961

November 1961

December 1961


Historical Events for the Year 1961

  • 3rd January » A core explosion and meltdown at the SL-1, a government-run reactor near Idaho Falls, Idaho, kills three workers.
  • 17th January » Former Republic of the Congo (Léopoldville) called Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba is murdered in circumstances suggesting the support and complicity of the governments of Belgium and the United States.
  • 21st January » 435 workers are buried alive when a mine in Coalbrook, Free State collapses.
  • 23rd January » The Portugal Portuguese luxury cruise ship 'Santa Maria' is Santa Maria hijacking hijacked by opponents of the Estado Novo (Portugal) Estado Novo regime with the intention of waging war until dictator António de Oliveira Salazar is overthrown.
  • 24th January » 1961 Goldsboro B-52 crash: A bomber carrying two H-bombs breaks up in mid-air over North Carolina. The uranium core of one weapon remains lost.
  • 25th January » In Washington, D.C. John F. Kennedy delivers the first live President of the United States e.g presidential television news conference.
  • 26th January » John F. Kennedy appoints Janet G. Travell to be his physician. This is the first time a woman holds the appointment of Physician to the President.
  • 27th January » Soviet Union called Soviet submarine 'Soviet submarine S-80 e.g S-80' sinks with all hands lost.
  • 31st January » Project Mercury: Mercury-Redstone 2 Ham the Chimp travels into space science named outer space.
  • 3rd February » A protest by agricultural workers in Baixa de Cassanje, Portuguese Angola, Baixa de Cassanje revolt e.g turns into a revolt, opening the Angolan War of Independence, the first of the Portuguese Colonial Wars.
  • 12th February » Soviet Union launches 'Venera 1' towards Venus.
  • 13th February » An allegedly Coso artifact e.g 500,000-year-old rock is discovered near Olancha, California, United States or US, that appears to anachronistically encase a spark plug.
  • 14th February » Discovery of the chemical elements: Element 103, Lawrencium, is first synthesized at the University of California, Berkeley e.g University of California.
  • 15th February » Sabena Flight 548 crashes in Belgium, killing 73, including the entire United States figure skating team, several coaches and family members.
  • 16th February » Explorer program: Explorer 9 (S-56a) is launched.
  • 16th February » The DuSable Museum of African American History is chartered.
  • 27th February » The first congress of the Spanish Trade Union Organisation is inaugurated.
  • 1st March » President of the United States known as American President John F. Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps.
  • 1st March » Uganda becomes self-governing and holds its first elections.
  • 9th March » Sputnik 9 successfully launches, carrying a human dummy nicknamed Ivan Ivanovich (Vostok programme) e.g Ivan Ivanovich, and demonstrating that Soviet Union was ready to begin human spaceflight.
  • 12th March » First Winter Ascent of the Eiger north face 1960s or Eiger north face.
  • 15th March » South Africa withdraws from the Commonwealth of Nations.
  • 29th March » The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, allowing residents of Washington, D.C., to vote in presidential elections.
  • 30th March » The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is signed in New York City.
  • 8th April » A large explosion on board the MV known as Dara in the Persian Gulf kills 238.
  • 9th April » The Pacific Electric Railway in Los Angeles, once the largest electric railway in the world, ends operations.
  • 11th April » The trial of Adolf Eichmann begins in Jerusalem.
  • 12th April » The Soviet Union known as Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human to travel into outer space and perform the first manned orbital flight, in Vostok spacecraft known as Vostok 3KA-2 (Vostok 1).
  • 17th April » Bay of Pigs Invasion: A group of Cuban exiles financed and trained by the Central Intelligence Agency called CIA lands at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba with the aim of ousting Fidel Castro.
  • 18th April » The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, a cornerstone of modern international relations, is adopted.
  • 18th April » Conferência das Organizações Nacionalistas das Colónias Portuguesas e.g CONCP is founded in Casablanca as a united front of African movements opposing Portugal named Portuguese colonial rule.
  • 20th April » Failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion of US-backed Cuban exiles against Cuba.
  • 23rd April » Algiers putsch by French generals.
  • 25th April » Robert Noyce is granted a patent for an integrated circuit.
  • 27th April » Sierra Leone is granted its independence from the United Kingdom, with Milton Margai as the first Heads of Government of Sierra Leone called Prime Minister.
  • 30th April » 'Soviet submarine K-19 K-19', the first Soviet Union Soviet nuclear submarine equipped with Submarine-launched ballistic missile nuclear missiles, is ship commissioning commissioned.
  • 1st May » The Prime Minister of Cuba, Fidel Castro, proclaims Cuba a socialist nation and abolishes elections.
  • 4th May » American civil rights movement: The "Freedom Riders" begin a bus trip through the Southern United States known as South.
  • 5th May » Project Mercury called The Mercury program: Mercury-Redstone 3 Alan Shepard becomes the first American to travel into outer space, on a sub-orbital flight.
  • 9th May » FCC Chairman Newton N. Minow gives his Wasteland Speech.
  • 14th May » American civil rights movement: The Freedom Riders bus is fire-bombed near Anniston, Alabama, and the civil rights protesters are beaten by an angry mob.
  • 19th May » Venera program: 'Venera 1' becomes the first man-made object to fly-by another planet by passing Venus (the probe had lost contact with Earth a month earlier and did not send back any data).
  • 19th May » At Silchar Railway Station, Assam, 11 Bengalis die when police open fire on protesters demanding state recognition of Bengali language in the Bengali Language Movement Legacy e.g Bengali Language Movement.
  • 21st May » African-American Civil Rights Movement (1954–68) e.g American civil rights movement: Alabama Governor John Malcolm Patterson declares martial law in an attempt to restore order after race riots break out.
  • 22nd May » An 1961 New South Wales earthquake e.g earthquake rocks New South Wales.
  • 24th May » American civil rights movement: Freedom Riders are arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, for "disturbing the peace" after disembarking from their bus.
  • 24th May » Cyprus joins the Council of Europe.
  • 25th May » Apollo program: The President of the United States named U.S. President John F. Kennedy announces before a special joint session of the United States Congress called Congress his goal to initiate a project to put a "man on the Moon" before the end of the
  • 25th May » The Bukit Ho Swee Fire, the biggest fire in Singapore history.
  • 30th May » The long-time Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo is assassinated in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
  • 31st May » The Union of South Africa becomes the South Africa named Republic of South Africa.
  • 31st May » In Moscow City Court, the Rokotov–Faibishenko case known as Rokotov–Faibishenko show trial begins, despite the Khrushchev Thaw to reverse Stalinism or Stalinist elements in Soviet society.
  • 4th June » In the Vienna summit, the Soviet Union or Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev sparks the Berlin Crisis of 1961 e.g Berlin Crisis by threatening to sign a separate peace treaty with East Germany and ending American, British and French access to East Berlin.
  • 16th June » Rudolf Nureyev defects from the Soviet Union.
  • 19th June » Kuwait declares independence from the United Kingdom.
  • 23rd June » Cold War: the Antarctic Treaty, which sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and bans military activity on the continent, comes into force after the opening date for signature set for the December 1, 1959.
  • 9th July » Turkish voters approve the Turkish Constitution of 1961 in a referendum.
  • 12th July » Pune floods due to failure of the Khadakwasla Dam e.g Khadakwasla and Panshet Dam named Panshet dams. Half of Pune is submerged, more than 100,000 families need to be relocated and the death toll exceeds 2,000.
  • 19th July » Tunisia Bizerte crisis or imposes a blockade on the French naval base at Bizerte; the French would capture the entire town four days later.
  • 20th July » Military of France called French military forces break the Tunisian Bizerte crisis named siege of Bizerte.
  • 21st July » Project Mercury or Mercury program: Mercury-Redstone 4 Mission Gus Grissom piloting' Mercury-Redstone 4 e.g Liberty Bell 7' becomes the second American to go into space (in a suborbital mission).
  • 23rd July » The Sandinista National Liberation Front is founded in Nicaragua.
  • 25th July » In a speech John F. Kennedy emphasizes that any attack on Berlin is an attack on NATO.
  • 31st July » At Fenway Park in Boston known as Boston, Massachusetts, the first Major League Baseball All-Star Game or All-Star Game tie in Major League Baseball history occurs when the game is stopped in the 9th inning because of rain.
  • 3rd August » The New Democratic Party (Canada) known as New Democratic Party of Canada is founded by the merger of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and the Canadian Labour Congress.
  • 10th August » First use in Vietnam War of the Agent Orange by the United States Army or U.S. Army.
  • 11th August » The former Portuguese territories in India of Dadra DNH e.g Dadra and Nagar Haveli DNH called Nagar Haveli are merged to create the Union Territory Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
  • 15th August » Border guard Conrad Schumann flees from East Germany while on duty guarding the construction of the Berlin Wall.
  • 21st August » Motown releases what would be its first 1 hit, "Please Mr. Postman" by The Marvelettes.
  • 22nd August » Ida Siekmann dies attempting to cross the Berlin Wall.
  • 1st September » The Eritrean War of Independence officially begins with the shooting of the Ethiopian police by Hamid Idris Awate.
  • 5th September » The first conference of the Non-Aligned Movement called Non Aligned Countries is held in Belgrade.
  • 7th September » João Goulart becomes President of Brazil.
  • 10th September » 1961 Italian Grand Prix called Italian Grand Prix, a crash causes the death of German Formula One driver Wolfgang von Trips and 13 spectators who are hit by his Scuderia Ferrari known as Ferrari.
  • 11th September » Hurricane Carla strikes the Texas coast as a Category 4 hurricane, the second strongest storm ever to hit the state.
  • 12th September » The African and Malagasy Union is founded.
  • 15th September » Hurricane Carla strikes Texas with winds of 175 miles per hour.
  • 16th September » The United States National Hurricane Research Project drops eight cylinders of silver iodide into the eyewall of Hurricane Esther. Wind speed reduces by 10%, giving rise to Project Stormfury.
  • 16th September » Typhoon Nancy (1961) or Typhoon Nancy, with possibly the strongest winds ever measured in a tropical cyclone, makes landfall in Osaka, Japan, killing 173 people.
  • 18th September » U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld dies in a plane crash while attempting to negotiate peace in the war-torn Katanga Province or Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • 20th September » Greek general Konstantinos Dovas becomes List of Prime Ministers of Greece called Prime Minister of Greece.
  • 21st September » Maiden flight of the CH-47 Chinook transportation helicopter.
  • 27th September » Sierra Leone joins the United Nations.
  • 28th September » A military coup in Damascus effectively ends the United Arab Republic, the union between Egypt and Syria.
  • 1st October » East and West Cameroon merge to form the Cameroon or Federal Republic of Cameroon.
  • 3rd October » 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' premieres on CBS known as CBS-TV in the United States.
  • 17th October » Scores of Algerian protesters (some claim up to 400) are Paris massacre of 1961 known as massacred by the Paris police at the instigation of former Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon, then chief of the Prefecture of Police.
  • 20th October » The Soviet Union performs the first armed test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, launching an R-13 (missile) called R-13 from a Golf-class submarine.
  • 27th October » NASA tests the first Saturn I rocket in SA-1 (Apollo) named Mission Saturn-Apollo 1.
  • 27th October » Mauritania and Mongolia join the United Nations.
  • 29th October » Syria exits from the United Arab Republic.
  • 30th October » Nuclear testing: The Soviet Union detonates the hydrogen bomb Tsar Bomba over Novaya Zemlya; at 50 megatons of yield, it is still the largest explosive device ever detonated, nuclear or otherwise.
  • 1st November » 50,000 women in 60 cities participate in the inaugural Women Strike for Peace (WSP) against nuclear proliferation.
  • 11th November » Thirteen Italian Air Force servicemen, deployed to Republic of the Congo (Léopoldville) or the Congo as a part of the United Nations Operation in the Congo named UN peacekeeping force are massacred by a mob in the course of the Kindu atrocity.
  • 18th November » United States President John F. Kennedy sends 18,000 military advisors to South Vietnam.
  • 29th November » Project Mercury: Mercury-Atlas 5 Mission Enos (chimpanzee) known as Enos, a chimpanzee, is launched into space. The spacecraft orbits the Earth twice and splashes down off the coast of Puerto Rico.
  • 2nd December » In a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declares that he is a Marxism–Leninism or Marxist–Leninist and that Cuba is going to adopt Communism.
  • 9th December » Tanganyika becomes independent from Britain.
  • 14th December » Tanganyika joins the United Nations.
  • 15th December » Adolf Eichmann is sentenced to death after being found guilty by an Judicial system of Israel or Israeli court of 15 criminal charges, including charges of crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people, and membership of an outlawed organizati
  • 17th December » Niterói circus fire: Fire breaks out during a performance by the Gran Circus Norte-Americano in the city of Niterói known as Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, killing more than 500.
  • 19th December » India 1961 Indian annexation of Goa known as annexes Daman and Diu, part of Portuguese India.