1961 in History – What happened in year 1961

✅ Published on April 9th, 2009 in 20th Century in History

In history, year 1961 has its own importance and known for many memorable events like famous birthdays, inventions, natural disaster, treaties, change of rulers, special days etc. Find below a list of important historical events which happened during the year 1961.

Top Historical Events of the Year 1961 ⚡:

Date/MonthEvent / Incidence / Incident
03 januaryTwenty-five people died in Finland's worst civilian airaccident when Aero Flight 311 crashed near Kvevlax.
17 januaryFormer Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba was murdered in circumstances suggesting the support and complicity of the government of Belgium and the United States.
24 januaryA Boeing B-52 Stratofortress carrying two Mark 39 nuclear weapons broke up in mid-air near Goldsboro, North Carolina; one bomb was recovered intact, the other disintegrated.
31 januaryAboard NASA's Mercury-Redstone 2, Ham the Chimp became the first hominid launched into outer space.
13 februaryAmerican geode prospectors discovered what they claimed was a500,000-year-old rock with a spark plug encased inside it.
14 februaryLawrencium, the metallic radioactive synthetic element withatomic number 103, was first made at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratoryon the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.
16 februaryThe DuSable Museum, the first museum dedicated to the study andconservation of African American history, culture, and art, waschartered.
03 aprilAn individual Leadbeater's possum, thought to have been extinctfor over 50 years, was discovered in New South Wales, Australia.
12 aprilAboard Vostok 3KA-3, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to enter outer space, completing one orbit in a time of 108 minutes.
17 aprilArmed Cuban exiles backed by the CIA invaded Cuba, landing in the Bay of Pigs, with the aim of overthrowing the Cuban government under Fidel Castro.
23 aprilIn the midst of the Algerian War, French President Charles de Gaulle delivered a televised speech calling on military personnel and civilians to oppose a coup d'état attempt against him.
27 aprilMilton Margai took office as the first Prime Minister of Sierra Leone upon the nation's independence from the United Kingdom.
04 mayCivil right activist of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) organized first Freedom Ride of interstates buses into the segregated southern United States on May 4, 1961 to challenge local laws and customs that enforced segregation in seating.
05 mayProject Mercury-Aboard the American spacecraft Freedom 7, Alan Shepard made a sub-orbital flight, becoming the second person to travel into outer space.
09 mayIn a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters, FCCchairman Newton N. Minow described commercial television programming as'a vast wasteland'.
14 mayIn Anniston, Alabama, US, a mob of Ku Klux Klansmen attackedthe buses of the Freedom Riders, who were riding interstate buses in theSouth in mixed racial groups to challenge local segregation laws.
16 mayThe Military Revolution Committee, led by Park Chung-hee,carried out a bloodless coup against the government of Yun Bo-seon,ending the Second Republic of South Korea.
21 mayJohn Malcolm Patterson, Governor of Alabama in United States, declared martial law on May 21, 1961 in an attempt to restore the order following rae riots outbreak during American civil rights movement.
25 mayDuring a speech to a joint session of the United States Congress, U.S. President John F. Kennedy announced his support for theApollo space program, with 'the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth'.
30 mayDominican strongman Rafael Trujillo was ambushed by a group ofgenerals and assassinated.
31 mayThe Union of South Africa became the Republic of South Africa. It came into being with the unification of four previously separate British colonies: Cape Colony, Natal Colony, Transvaal Colony and Orange River Colony.
04 juneU.S. President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier NikitaKhrushchev unsuccessfully met in Vienna to discuss numerous issues inthe relationship between their countries.
16 junePioneering Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defected fromthe Soviet Union at Paris–Le Bourget Airport with the help of Frenchpolice and a Parisian socialite friend.
17 juneThe HF-24 Marut supersonic fighter, designed by German engineer Kurt Tank, made its maiden flight. The Hindustan Aeronautics HF-24 Marut was an Indian fighter-bomber aircraft of the 1960s. It was India's first jet aircraft.
19 juneKuwait declared independence from the United Kingdom. It was a British Protectorate between 1899 and 1961. After the independence, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah became the king.
19 juneKuwait declared independence from the United Kingdom.
30 july43rd PGA Championship has been completed. Jerry Barber shoots a 277 at Olympia Fields IL. This was a grand achievement made by him.
10 septemberAt the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, German driver Wolfgang vonTrips's car collided with another, causing it to become airborne andcrash into a side barrier, killing him and 15 spectators.
13 septemberFollowing more nuclear tests by the Russians the United States will resume underground testing of Nuclear weapons within the next ten days.
16 septemberThe United States' National Hurricane Research Project soughtto weaken Hurricane Esther by seeding it with silver iodide, leading tothe establishment of Project Stormfury.


Famous birthdays in the year 1961:

Date/MonthName / Profession / Country
01 February Volker Fried / Ice Hockey Player / Germany
02 AugustPete de Freitas / Drummer / Spain
04 March Steven Weber / Actor / United States of America
04 NovemberSteve Rotheram / Politician / United Kingdom
06 JulyRobin Antin / Dancer / United States of America
08 MayBill de Blasio / Politician / United States of America
14 SeptemberWendy Thomas / Business Woman / United States of America
15 AugustMatt Johnson / Writer / United Kingdom
17 March Casey Siemaszko / Actor / United States of America
18 JuneAngela Johnson / Poet / United States of America
18 JuneOz Fox / Writer / United States of America
19 MayWayne Van Dorp / Ice Hockey Player / Canada
21 JuneSascha Konietzko / Producer / Germany
22 NovemberMariel Hemingway / Actress / United States of America
23 DecemberKetan J. Patel / Academic / United Kingdom
24 OctoberBruce Castor / Politician / United States of America
26 NovemberIvory / Wrestler / United States of America
26 JuneGreg LeMond / Cyclist / United States of America
27 January Narciso Rodriguez / Fashion Designer / United States of America
30 DecemberBill English / Politician / New Zealand

Famous Indian Personalities Birthdays in the year 1961:

YearName / Profession / Country
06 JulyVandana Chavan / Politician / India
23 JulyMilind Gunaji / Actor / India
16 AprilJarbom Gamlin / Politician / India
17 AprilGeet Sethi / Player / India
28 AugustDeepak Tijori / Actor / India
23 JulyMilind Gunaji / Actor / India
01 JanuaryN. Biren Singh / Politician / India
NA NARaj Kanwar / Director / India
19 OctoberSunny Deol / Actor / India
14 OctoberParmeet Sethi / Actor / India
24 NovemberArundhati Roy / Author / India
05 JuneRamesh Krishnan / Tennis Player / India
11 AugustSunil Shetty / Actor / India
24 NovemberArundhati Roy / Writer / India
15 AugustSuhasini Maniratnam / Actress / India
04 AugustBhagyashree Thipsay / Chess Player / India
12 JulyShiva Rajkumar / Actor / India
19 JulyHarsha Bhogle / Author / India
21 AugustV. B. Chandrasekhar / Cricketer / India
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