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Years: 1958 1959 1960 - 1961 - 1962 1963 1964
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1961 in other calendars
Gregorian calendar 1961

Ab urbe condita 2714
Armenian calendar 1410
Bahá'í calendar 117 – 118
Buddhist calendar 2505
Coptic calendar 1677 – 1678
Ethiopian calendar 1953 – 1954
Hebrew calendar 5721 5722
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat 2016 – 2017
 - Shaka Samvat 1883 – 1884
 - Kali Yuga 5062 – 5063
Holocene calendar 11961
Iranian calendar 1339 – 1340
Islamic calendar 1380 – 1381
Japanese calendar Shōwa


(昭和 36年)

 - Imperial Year Kōki 2621
Julian calendar 2006
Korean calendar 4294
Thai solar calendar 2504
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The year of 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. As MAD Magazine pointed out on its cover for the March 1961 issue, this was the first "upside-up" year—i.e., one in which the numerals that form the year look the same as when the numerals are rotated upside down—since 1881.[1]



  • January 3
    • President Dwight Eisenhower announces that the United States has severed diplomatic and consular relations with Cuba.
    • At the National Reactor Testing Station near Idaho Falls, Idaho, atomic reactor SL-1 explodes, killing 3 military technicians.
  • January 5
    • Italian sculptor Alfredo Fioravanti marches into the U.S. Consulate in Rome, and confesses that he was part of the team that forged the Etruscan terracotta warriors in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
    • Cemal Gürsel forms the new government of Turkey (25th government)
  • January 7 – Following a 4-day conference in Casablanca, 5 African chiefs of state announce plans for a NATO-type African organization to ensure common defense. The Charter of Casablanca involves the Casablanca Group: Morocco, the United Arab Republic, Ghana, Guinea, and Mali.
  • January 8 – In France, a referendum supports Charles de Gaulle's policies on independence for Algeria.
  • January 9British authorities announce that they have discovered a large Soviet spy ring in London.
  • January 17
    • President Dwight Eisenhower gives his final State of the Union Address to Congress. In a Farewell Address the same day, he warns of the increasing power of a "military-industrial complex."
    • Patrice Lumumba of Republic of Congo is assassinated.

Jan. 20: John F. Kennedy inaugurated as President of the U.S.



  • March–April – Drilling for Project Mohole is undertaken off the coast of Guadalupe Island, Mexico.
  • March 1President of the United States John F. Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps.
  • March 3Hassan II is crowned King of Morocco.
  • March 8
    • Max Conrad circumnavigates the earth in 8 days, 18 hours and 49 minutes, setting a new world record.
    • The first U.S. Polaris submarines arrive at Holy Loch.
  • March 13
    • Black and white £5 notes cease to be legal tender in the UK.
    • A dam burst in Kiev, USSR, killing 145.
    • United States delegate to the UNSC Adlai Stevenson votes against Portuguese policies in Africa.
    • President of the United States John F. Kennedy proposes a long-term "Alliance for Progress" between the United States and Latin America.[4]
    • Cyprus joins the Commonwealth of Nations, becoming the first small country in the Commonwealth.[5]
    • Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, takes in its first students.
  • March 15
    • South Africa withdraws from the Commonwealth of Nations.
    • The Union of Peoples of Angola, led by Holden Roberto, attacks strategic locations in the north of Angola. These events result in the beginning of the colonial war with Portugal.
  • March 18
    • A ceasefire takes effect in the Algerian War of Independence.
    • Nous les amoureux by Jean-Claude Pascal (music by Jacques Datin, text by Maurice Vidalin) wins the Eurovision Song Contest 1961 for Luxembourg.
  • March 29 – The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to vote in presidential elections.
  • March 30 – The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is signed at New York.


  • April 5 – The New Guinea Council of Western Papua is installed.
  • April 8 – The British passenger ship Dara blows up and sinks off Dubai. 238 passengers and crew are killed.
  • April 11 – The trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann begins in Jerusalem.
  • April 12
    • Vostok 1: Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human in space, orbiting the Earth once.
    • Albert Kalonji takes the title Emperor Albert I Kalonji of South Kasai.
  • April 13 – In Portugal, a coup attempt against António de Oliveira Salazar fails.
  • April 17
    • The Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba begins; it fails by April 19.
    • The 33rd Academy Awards ceremony is held.
  • April 18Portugal sends to Angola its first military reinforcement.
  • April 20Fidel Castro announces that the Bay of Pigs invasion has been defeated.
  • April 22Algiers putsch: Four French generals who oppose de Gaulle's policies in Algeria fail in a coup attempt.
  • April 23Judy Garland performs in a legendary comeback concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
  • April 24 – The Swedish ship Regalskeppet Vasa is removed from the water after being sunk 333 years earlier.
  • April 27
    • President Kennedy delivers a revealing speech: The President and the Press: Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association[6]
    • Sierra Leone becomes independent from the United Kingdom.


  • May 4U.S. Freedom Riders begin interstate bus rides to test the new U.S. Supreme Court integration decision.
  • May 5Mercury program: Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space aboard Mercury-Redstone 3.
  • May 6Tottenham Hotspur F.C. becomes the first team in the 20th century to win the English league and cup double. This being the last time Tottenham won the English League.
  • May 8 – Briton George Blake is sentenced to 42 years imprisonment for spying.
  • May 14American civil rights movement: A Freedom Riders bus is fire-bombed near Anniston, Alabama and the civil rights protestors are beaten by an angry mob.
  • May 15Heinrich Matthaei alone performs the Poly-U-Experiment and is the first human to recognize and understand the genetic code. This is the birthdate of modern genetics.[7]
  • May 16Park Chung Hee takes over in a military coup in South Korea.
  • May 19Venera 1 becomes the first man-made object to fly-by another planet by passing Venus (however, the probe had lost contact with Earth a month earlier and does not send back any data).
  • May 21American civil rights movement: Alabama Governor John Patterson declares martial law in an attempt to restore order after race riots break out.
  • May 22 – An Earthquake rocks New South Wales.
  • May 24American civil rights movement: Freedom Riders are arrested in Jackson, Mississippi for "disturbing the peace" after disembarking from their bus.
  • May 25Apollo program: President Kennedy announces before a special joint session of Congress his goal to put a man on the Moon before the end of the decade.
  • May 27Tunku Abdul Rahman, Prime Minister of Malaya, holds a press conference in Singapore, announcing his idea to form the Federation of Malaysia, comprising Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, Brunei and North Borneo (Sabah).
  • May 28Peter Benenson's article "The Forgotten Prisoners" is published in several internationally read newspapers. This is later considered the founding of the human rights organization Amnesty International.
  • May 30Rafael Leónidas Trujillo, totalitarian despot of the Dominican Republic since 1930, is killed in an ambush, putting an end to the second longest-running dictatorship in Latin American history.
  • May 31
    • In France, rebel generals Maurice Challe and Andre Zelelr are sentenced to 15 years in prison.
    • South Africa officially leaves the Commonwealth of Nations.
    • President John F. Kennedy and Charles De Gaulle meet in Paris.


  • June 1Ethiopia experiences its most devastating earthquake of the 20th century, with a magnitude of 6.7. The town of Majete is destroyed, 45% of the houses in Karakore collapse, 17 kilometers (11 mi) of the main road north of Karakore are damaged by landslides and fissures, and 5,000 inhabitants in the area are left homeless.
  • June 4Vienna summit: John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev meet during 2 days in Vienna. They discuss nuclear tests, disarmament and Germany.
  • June 16 – Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev requests asylum in France while in Paris with the Kirov Ballet.
  • June 17
    • A Paris-to-Strasbourg train derails near Vitry-le-François; 24 are killed, 109 injured.
    • The New Democratic Party of Canada is founded with the merger of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and the Canadian Labour Congress.
  • June 19 – The British protectorate ends in Kuwait and it becomes an emirate.
  • June 22Moise Tshombe is released for lack of evidence of connection to the murder of Patrice Lumumba.
  • June 23Antarctic Treaty comes into effect.
  • June 25Iraqi president Abdul Karim Kassem announces he is going to annex Kuwait.
  • June 27 – Kuwait requests British help; the United Kingdom sends in troops.


  • July 4 – The Soviet submarine K-19 reactor leak occurs in the North Atlantic.
  • July 5 – The first Israeli rocket, Shavit 2, is launched.[8][9]
  • July 8 – A mine explosion in Czechoslovakia leaves 108 dead.
  • July 12 – A Czechoslovakian Ilyushin Il-18 crashes while attempting to land at Casablanca, Morocco, killing all 72 persons on board.
  • July 21Mercury program: Gus Grissom, piloting the Mercury-Redstone 4 capsule Liberty Bell 7, becomes the second American to go into space (sub-orbital). Upon splashdown, the hatch prematurely opens, and the capsule sinks (it is recovered in 1999).
  • July 25 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy gives a widely watched TV speech on the Berlin crisis, warning "we will not be driven out of Berlin." Kennedy urges Americans to build fallout shelters, setting off a four-month debate on civil defense.
  • July 31
    • At Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, the first All-Star Game tie in major league baseball history occurs, when the game is stopped in the 9th inning due to rain (the only tie until 2002 in MLB All-Star Game history).
    • Ireland submits the first ever application to join the then European Economic Community.


  • August – USA founds Alliance for Progress.
  • August 1 – The Six Flags over Texas theme park officially opens to the public.
  • August 6Vostok 2: Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov becomes the second human to orbit the Earth, and the first to be in outer space for more than one day.
  • August 7 – Vostok 2 with Titov onboard lands in Soviet Union.
  • August 10 – Britain applies for membership in the European Economic Community.
  • August 13 – Construction of the Berlin Wall begins, restricting movement between East Berlin and West Berlin and forming a clear boundary between West Germany and East Germany, Western Europe and Eastern Europe.
  • August 21Jomo Kenyatta is released from prison in Kenya.
  • August 31 – Construction of the Berlin Wall is completed after just 18 days.[10]


  • September 1 – The Eritrean War of Independence officially begins with the shooting of the Ethiopian police by Hamid Idris Awate.
  • September 1 – First meeting held of the Non-Aligned Movement. The Soviet Union resumes nuclear testing, escalating fears over the ongoing Berlin crisis.
  • September 7Tom and Jerry make a return with their first episode since 1957, Switchin' Kitten. The new creator, Gene Deitch makes 12 more Tom and Jerry episodes until 1962.
  • September 10 – During the F1 Italian Grand Prix on the circuit of Monza, German Wolfgang Von Trips, driving a Ferrari, crashes into a stand, killing 14 spectators and himself.
  • September 14 – The new military government of Turkey sentences 15 members of the previous government to death.
  • September 14 – The Focolare Movement opens its first North American center in New York.
  • September 17 – Military rulers in Turkey hang former prime minister Adnan Menderes.
  • September 18UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld dies in an air crash en route to Katanga, Congo.
  • September 21 – In France, the OAS slips an anti-de Gaulle message into TV programming.
  • September 24
    • The old Deutsche Opernhaus in the Berlin neighborhood of Charlottenburg is returned to its newly rebuilt house as the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
    • In the U.S., the Walt Disney anthology television series, renamed Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, moves from ABC to NBC after seven years on the air, and begins telecasting its programs in color for the first time. Years later, after Disney's death, the still-on-the-air program will be renamed The Wonderful World of Disney.
  • September 28 – A military coup in Damascus, Syria effectively ends the United Arab Republic, the union between Egypt and Syria.
  • September 30Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) formed to replace the Organization for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC).


  • October 1 – Baseball player Roger Maris of the New York Yankees hits his 61st home run in the last game of the season, against the Boston Red Sox, beating the 34-year-old record held by Babe Ruth.
  • October 10 – A volcanic eruption on Tristan da Cunha causes the whole population to be evacuated.
  • October 12 – The death penalty is abolished in New Zealand.
  • October 17Paris massacre of 1961: French police in Paris attack about 30,000 protesting a curfew applied solely to Algerians. The official death toll is 3, but human rights groups claim 240 dead.
  • October 18West Side Story is released as a film.
  • October 19 – The Arab League takes over protecting Kuwait; the last British troops leave.
  • October 25 – The first edition of Private Eye, the British satirical magazine, is published.
  • October 26Cemal Gürsel becomes the fourth president of Turkey. (His former title was head of state and government. By constitution referendum, he is elected as president).
  • October 27
    • An armistice begins in Katanga, Congo.
    • Mongolia and Mauritania join the United Nations.
    • A standoff between Soviet and American tanks in Berlin, Germany heightens Cold War tensions.
    • Fahri Özdiilek becomes the acting prime minister of Turkey.
  • October 29
    • DZBB-TV Channel 7, the Philippines' third TV station, is launched.
    • Devrim has been released. Project completed only in 130 days almost from scratch and this period includes decision of the project, research, design, development and production of four cars.
  • October 30Nuclear testing: The Soviet Union detonates a 58-megaton yield hydrogen bomb known as Tsar Bomba over Novaya Zemlya. It remains the largest ever man-made explosion.
  • October 31
    • Hurricane Hattie devastates Belize City, Belize killing over 270. After the hurricane, the capital moves to the inland city of Belmopan.
    • Joseph Stalin's body is removed from the Lenin Mausoleum.


  • November – The Fantastic Four #1 comic debuts, launching the Marvel Universe and revolutionizing the American comic book industry.
  • November 1
    • The Hungry generation Movement is launched in Calcutta, India.
    • The Interstate Commerce Commission's federal order banning segregation at all interstate public facilities officially comes into effect.
    • The Madame Alexander Doll Club is founded by Margaret Doris Winson of Sweet Springs MO.
  • November 2Kean opens at Broadway Theater in New York City for 92 performances.
  • November 3 – The UN General Assembly unanimously elects U Thant acting Secretary General.
  • November 6 – The U.S. government issues a stamp honoring the 100th birthday of James Naismith.
  • November 8Imperial Airlines Flight 201/8 crashes while attempting to land at Richmond, Virginia, killing 77 persons on board.
  • November 9Neil Armstrong records a world record speed in a rocket plane of 6,587 km/h flying a X-15.
  • November 10Catch-22 is first published by Joseph Heller.
  • November 11
    • Congolese soldiers murder 13 Italian United Nations pilots.
    • Stalingrad is renamed Volgograd.
  • November 17Michael Rockefeller, son of New York Governor and later Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, disappears in the jungles of New Guinea.
  • November 18 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy sends 18,000 military advisors to South Vietnam.
  • November 20
  • November 24World Food Program (WFP) formed as a temporary UN program.
  • November 30 – The Soviet Union vetoes Kuwait's application for United Nations membership.


  • December 1Netherlands New Guinea raises the new Morning Star flag and changes its name to West Papua.
  • December 2Cold War: In a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro announces he is a Marxist-Leninist, and that Cuba will adopt socialism.
  • December 5 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy gives support to the Volta Dam project in Ghana.
  • December 9
    • Tanganyika gains independence and declares itself a republic, with Julius Nyerere as its first President.
    • The Australian government of Robert Menzies is re-elected for a sixth term.
  • December 10 – The Soviet Union severs diplomatic relations with Albania.
  • December 11
    • The Vietnam War officially begins, as the first American helicopters arrive in Saigon along with 400 U.S. personnel.
    • Adolf Eichmann is pronounced guilty of crimes against humanity by a panel of 3 Israeli judges.
  • December 14Walt Disney's first live-action Technicolor musical, Babes in Toyland, a remake of the famous Victor Herbert operetta, is released, but flops at the box office.
  • December 15 – An Israeli war crimes tribunal sentences Adolf Eichmann to die for his part in The Holocaust.
  • December 17 – A circus[11] tent fire in Niterói, Brazil kills 323.
  • December 18India opens hostilities in its annexation of Portuguese India, the colonies of Goa, Damao and Diu.
  • December 19
    • Portuguese surrender Goa to India after 400 years of Portuguese rule.
    • Indonesian president Sukarno announces that he will take West Irian by force if necessary.
  • December 21 – In Congo, Katangan prime minister Moise Tshombe recognizes the Congolese constitution.
  • December 23Luxembourg's national holiday, the Grand Duke's Official Birthday, is set on June 23 by Grand Ducal decree.
  • December 30 – Congolese troops capture Albert Kalonji of South Kasai (who soon escapes).
  • December 31 – Ireland's first national television station, Telefís Éireann (later RTÉ), begins broadcasting.

Date unknown[]

  • "Barbie" gets a boyfriend when the "Ken" doll is introduced.
  • The Incredible Journey is published.



  • January 1
    • Sergei Babayan, American classical pianist
    • Sam Backo, Australian rugby league footballer
  • January 2
    • Todd Haynes, American film director
    • David Arias, Photojournalist
  • January 5Iris DeMent, American singer-songwriter
  • January 7Supriya Pathak,Indian actress
  • January 8Calvin Smith, American athlete
  • January 9Al Jean, American writer for "The Simpsons"
  • January 11Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen (Károly), Archduke, Prince Imperial of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary
  • January 13
    • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, American actress
    • Suggs, British singer and TV presenter
  • January 14Mike Tramp, Danish rock singer (White Lion)
  • January 17Maia Chiburdanidze, Georgian chess player
  • January 18
    • Mark Messier, Canadian hockey player
    • Peter Beardsley, English footballer (Newcastle United, England & Liverpool)
  • January 22
    • Daniel Johnston, American outsider musician
    • Shigeru Nakahara, Japanese voice actor
  • January 24
    • Guido Buchwald, German football player
    • Nastassja Kinski, German-born actress
  • January 26Wayne Gretzky, Canadian hockey player
  • January 28Arnaldur Indridason, Icelandic writer
  • January 29Petra Thumer, German swimmer
  • January 30Dexter Scott King, son of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • January 31Lloyd Cole, British singer and songwriter
  • February 1Volker Fried, German field hockey player
  • February 3Jim Balsillie, Canadian CEO and philanthropist
  • February 8Vince Neil, American singer
  • February 9
    • John Kruk, American baseball player and commentator
    • Jussi Lampi, Finnish musician and actor
  • February 10George Stephanopoulos, American political consultant and commentator
  • February 11Mary Docter, American speed skater
  • February 13Henry Rollins, American musician and political activist
  • February 14Latifa, Tunisian singer
  • February 17Andrey Korotayev, Russian anthropologist, economic historian, and sociologist
  • February 21
    • Geoff Moore, American Christian musician
    • Dwayne McDuffie, African-American writer of comics and television (d. 2011)
  • February 22Akira Takasaki, Japanese guitarist
  • February 25Davey Allison, American race car driver (d. 1993)
  • February 27James Worthy, American basketball player and analyst
  • February 28Mark Latham, Australian politician


  • March – Reggie Fils-Aimé, American businessperson
  • March 3
    • John Matteson, Pulitzer Prize-winning American biographer
    • Mary Page Keller, American actress
  • March 4
    • Ray Mancini, American boxer
    • Steven Weber, American actor
    • Roger Wessels, South African golfer
  • March 9
    • Mike Leach, American college football coach
    • Rick Steiner, American professional wrestler
  • March 10
    • Mike Bullard, American hockey player
    • Laurel Clark, American astronaut (d. 2003)
    • Mitch Gaylord, American gymnast
  • March 14Gary Dell'Abate, American radio producer
  • March 16Brett Kenny, Australian rugby league player
  • March 17
    • Umayya Abu-Hanna, Palestine-born Finnish writer and politician
    • Sam Bowie, American basketball player
    • Dana Reeve, American actress and activist (d. 2006)
  • March 21Lothar Matthäus, German footballer
  • March 23Helmi Johannes, Indonesian television newscaster
  • March 27Tak Matsumoto, Japanese guitarist (B'z)
  • March 28Byron Scott, American basketball player and coach
  • March 29
    • Amy Sedaris, American actress, comedian and writer
    • Gerardo Teissonniere, Puerto Rican pianist
  • April 1Susan Boyle, Scottish singer
  • April 2Christopher Meloni, American actor
  • April 3Eddie Murphy, American actor and comedian
  • April 5Lisa Zane, American actress
  • April 6Gene Eugene, Canadian actor and singer
  • April 7Thurl Bailey, American basketball player
  • April 12Lisa Gerrard, Australian musician
  • April 14Neil Dougherty, American basketball coach (d. 2011)
  • April 17
    • Frank J. Christensen, American labor leader
    • Daphna Kastner, Canadian actress
  • April 18Jane Leeves, English actress
  • April 20
    • Don Mattingly, American baseball player
    • Konstantin Lavronenko, Russian actor
  • April 21Cathy Cavadini, American voice actress
  • April 23George Lopez, American actor and comedian
  • April 26Anthony Cumia, American radio personality
  • April 27Moana Pozzi, Italian porn actress (d. 1994)
  • April 28Futoshi Matsunaga, Japanese serial killer
  • April 29Fumihiko Tachiki, Japanese voice actor
  • April 30Isiah Thomas, American basketball player, coach, and team owner


  • May 1Marilyn Milian, American judge
  • May 2Steve James, English snooker player
  • May 3Joe Murray, American animator
  • May 4
    • Mary Elizabeth McDonough, American actress, producer, director and author
    • Jay Aston, British singer (Bucks Fizz)
  • May 5Hiroshi Hase, Japanese professional wrestler
  • May 6George Clooney, American actor
  • May 7Robert Spano, American conductor and pianist
  • May 8
    • Janet McTeer, British actress
    • Akira Taue, Japanese professional wrestler
  • May 9Rene Capo, American judoka (d. 2009)
  • May 10Danny Carey, American drummer (Tool, Pigmy Love Circus)
  • May 11
    • Paul Begala, American political commentator
    • Lar Park Lincoln, American actress
  • May 12Billy Duffy, British guitarist (The Cult)
  • May 13Dennis Rodman, American basketball player and actor
  • May 14Tim Roth, English actor
  • May 16
    • Charles Wright, American professional wrestler
    • Kevin McDonald, Canadian comedian and actor
  • May 17Enya (Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin), Irish musician
  • May 18Jim Bowden, American baseball executive
  • May 20Clive Allen, British footballer
  • May 22Mike Breen, American sports announcer
  • May 23Karen Duffy, American actress
  • May 27Peri Gilpin, American actress
  • May 29Melissa Etheridge, American musician
  • May 30Ralph Carter, American actor
  • May 31
    • Ray Cote, Canadian ice hockey player
    • Justin Madden, Australian footballer and politician
    • Lea Thompson, American actress
  • June 1Paul Coffey, Canadian hockey player
  • June 2Dez Cadena, American musician
  • June 3
    • Lawrence Lessig, American academic and political activist
    • Ed Wynne, English musician (Ozric Tentacles)
  • June 5
    • Anthony Burger, American musician and singer (d. 2006)
    • Rosie Kane, Member of Scottish Parliament
  • June 6Tom Araya, Chilean-born rock musician (Slayer)
  • June 9Michael J. Fox, Canadian actor
  • June 10
    • Maxi Priest, British reggae singer
    • Kim and Kelley Deal, American musicians
  • June 14 – "Boy George", British musician and producer
  • June 15Dave McAuley, Northern Irish boxer
  • June 18Andrés Galarraga, Venezuelan baseball player
  • June 20Karin Kania, German speed skater
  • June 21Manu Chao, French singer
  • June 23
    • Zoran Janjetov, Serbian comic artist
    • David Leavitt, American novelist
  • June 24Lisa Bevill, American Christian musician
  • June 25
    • Ricky Gervais, English comedian, actor, writer
    • Mike Breen, American broadcaster
  • June 26Greg LeMond, American cyclist
  • June 27Meera Syal, British-Indian comedienne and actress
  • June 28Jeff Malone, American basketball player
  • June 29Greg Hetson, American rock guitarist (Bad Religion, Circle Jerks)


  • July 1
  • July 4Andrew Zimmern, American television personality (Bizarre Foods)
  • July 5Patrizia Scianca, Italian voice actress
  • July 7Eric Jerome Dickey, American writer
  • July 8Toby Keith, American country music singer
  • July 10Jacky Cheung, Hong Kong singer and actor
  • July 14Jackie Earle Haley, American actor
  • July 17Jonathan Potts, Canadian actor
  • July 17Guru, American emcee (d. 2010)
  • July 19
    • Maria Filatova, Soviet gymnast
    • Benoît Mariage, Belgian film director
  • July 22Keith Sweat, American singer
  • July 23Woody Harrelson, American actor and comedian
  • July 25Hugo Teufel III, 2nd Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security
  • July 26Keiko Matsui, Japanese pianist and composer
  • July 30Laurence Fishburne, American actor
  • August 3Nick Harvey, English politician
  • August 4
  • August 5Clayton Rohner, American actor
  • August 7
    • Brian Conley, English TV presenter, comedian, singer & actor
    • Yelena Davydova, Soviet gymnast
  • August 8
    • Bruce Matthews, American football player
    • The Edge (David Howell Evans), Irish rock guitarist (U2)
    • Rikki Rockett, American rock drummer (Poison)
  • August 9John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand
  • August 11
    • Sunil Shetty, Indian Bollywood film actor
    • Jukka Tapanimäki, Finnish game programmer (d. 2000)
  • August 14Susan Olsen, American actress and animal welfare advocate
  • August 18
    • Huw Edwards, BAFTA award-winning Welsh journalist and presenter
    • Bob Woodruff, American television journalist
  • August 21Stephen Hillenburg, American animation writer and artist
  • August 22Andres Calamaro, Argentine musician


  • September 1Cécilia Rhode, Miss Sweden
  • September 2
    • Anthony Wong Chau Sang, Hong Kong actor
    • Carlos Valderrama, Colombian footballer
  • September 4Felix Wong, Hong Kong Actor
  • September 5Karim Abdul Razak, Ghanaian footballer
  • September 6
    • Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Norwegian rock musician and songwriter
    • Akira Kuroiwa, Japanese speed skater
  • September 7Kevin Kennedy, British actor
  • September 11
    • Elizabeth Daily, American actress
    • Virginia Madsen, American actress
  • September 12Mylène Farmer, Canadian singer and songwriter
  • September 13Dave Mustaine, American metal singer, guitarist (Megadeth)
  • September 14Martina Gedeck, German actress
  • September 15
    • Dan Marino, American football player
    • Lidia Yusupova, Chechen human-rights lawyer
  • September 18James Gandolfini, American actor
  • September 20Caroline Flint, British Politician and Labour MP for Don Valley
  • September 22
    • Bonnie Hunt, American actress, comedian, writer, director and television producer
    • Catherine Oxenberg, British actress
  • September 23William C. McCool, U.S. Army Commander and astronaut (d. 2003)
  • September 25Heather Locklear, American actress
  • September 26Edward Kennedy Jr, son of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy
  • September 27Andy Lau, Hong Kong actor and singer
  • September 28Yordanka Donkova, Bulgarian athlete
  • September 29Julia Gillard, Australian politician
  • September 30
    • Sally Yeh, Hong Kong singer and actress
    • Eric Stoltz, American actor and director
    • Crystal Bernard, American actress and singer
  • October 1
    • Gary Ablett, Australian rules footballer
    • Robert Rey, Brazilian-American plastic surgeon and television personality
    • Rico Constantino, American professional wrestler
  • October 2Edmond Yu, Chinese student (d. 1997)
  • October 4Philippe Russo, French singer
  • October 5Matthew Kauffman, American journalist and George Polk Award winner
  • October 6Mark Shasha, American artist, author, illustrator
  • October 11
    • Steve Young, American football player
    • Amr Diab, Egyptian singer
  • October 13Doc Rivers, American basketball player and coach
  • October 16Randy Vasquez, American actor
  • October 18
    • Wynton Marsalis, American trumpeter and composer
    • Rick Moody, American writer
  • October 24Dave Meltzer, American wrestling journalist
  • October 25
    • Pat Sharp, British radio DJ and host
    • Chad Smith, American musician
  • October 26Dylan McDermott, American actor
  • October 29Randy Jackson, American musician
  • October 31
    • Alonzo Babers, American runner
    • Peter Jackson, New Zealand film director
    • Larry Mullen, Jr., Irish rock drummer (U2)


  • November 1Anne Donovan, American basketball player
  • November 2k.d. lang, Canadian singer and songwriter
  • November 4
    • Daron Hagen, American composer
    • Ralph Macchio, American actor
    • Nigel Worthington, Northern Irish footballer and football manager
  • November 5Gina Mastrogiacomo, American actress (d. 2001)
  • November 9Jill Dando, British journalist and television presenter (d. 1999)
  • November 12Nadia Comăneci, Romanian gymnast
  • November 14
    • Jurga Ivanauskaitė, Lithuanian writer (d. 2007)
    • D. B. Sweeney, American actor
  • November 18
    • Anthony Warlow, Australian singer
    • Jan Kuehnemund, American guitarist (Vixen)
  • November 19Meg Ryan, American actress
  • November 20Dave Watson, English footballer
  • November 22
    • Mariel Hemingway, American actress
    • Randal L. Schwartz, American computer programmer
  • November 24Arundhati Roy, Indian writer and activist
  • December 3Marcelo Fromer, Brazilian guitarist
  • December 4
    • Frank Reich, American football player
    • Roy Dennis, disabled American boy (d. 1978)
  • December 8Ann Coulter, American author, conservative commentator and attorney
  • December 12
    • Sarah Sutton, British actress
    • Daniel O'Donnell, Irish singer
  • December 13Karen Witter, American actress and model
  • December 15Karin Resetarits, Austrian journalist and politician
  • December 16Bill Hicks, American comedian (d. 1994)
  • December 19
    • Matthew Waterhouse, British actor
    • Eric Allin Cornell, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
    • Reggie White, American football player (d. 2004)
  • December 20Mohammad Fouad, Arab singer and actor
  • December 21Francis Ng, Hong Kong actor
  • December 23Ezzat el Kamhawi, Egyptian novelist.
  • December 24Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan
  • December 25Ingrid Betancourt, Colombian senator
  • December 26John Lynch, Northern Irish actor
  • December 29Jim Reid, Scottish musician
  • December 30
    • Douglas Coupland, Canadian author
    • Sean Hannity, American radio/television host and conservative commentator
    • Ben Johnson, Canadian athlete
    • Matt Goldman, Blue Man Group founder

Date unknown[]

  • Jaime Crespo, Mexican-American artist
  • Paul Mason, Canadian canoeist
  • Lefred Thouron, French cartoonist



  • January 4Erwin Schrödinger, Austrian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1887)
  • January 9Emily Greene Balch, American writer and pacifist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1867)
  • January 10Dashiell Hammett, American writer (b. 1894)
  • January 14Barry Fitzgerald, Irish actor (b. 1888)
  • January 17Patrice Lumumba, Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo (b. 1925)
  • January 18Thomas Anthony Dooley III, physician (b. 1927)
  • January 21Blaise Cendrars, Swiss writer (b. 1887)
  • January 24Alfred Carlton Gilbert, American swimmer and inventor (b. 1884)
  • January 26Stan Nichols, English cricketer (b. 1900)
  • January 29Jesse Wallace, American naval officer, 29th Governor of American Samoa (b. 1899)
  • January 30Dorothy Thompson, American journalist (b. 1893)
  • February 2Anna May Wong, Chinese-American actress (b. 1907)
  • February 3Viscount Dunrossil, Australian governor-general (b. 1893)
  • February 7William Duncan, American actor (b. 1879)
  • February 12Richmond K. Turner, American admiral (b. 1885)
  • February 15Laurence Owen, American Figure Skater (b. 1944)
  • February 17Nita Naldi, American actress (b. 1894)
  • February 20Percy Grainger, Australian composer (b. 1882)
  • February 22Nick LaRocca, American jazz musician (b. 1889)
  • February 26 – King Mohammed V of Morocco (b. 1909)
  • March 3Paul Wittgenstein, Austrian-born pianist (b. 1887)
  • March 6George Formby, British singer, comedian & actor (b. 1904)
  • March 8
    • Sir Thomas Beecham, English conductor (b. 1879)
    • Gala Galaction, Romanian writer (b. 1879)
  • March 12Belinda Lee, English actress (b. 1935)
  • March 17Susanna M. Salter, first woman mayor in the United States (b. 1860)
  • March 23Valentin Bondarenko, Russian cosmonaut (b. 1937)
  • March 26Carlos Duarte Costa, founder of the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church (b. 1888)
  • April 6Jules Bordet, Belgian immunologist and microbiologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1870)
  • April 7Vanessa Bell, English artist and interior designer (b. 1879)
  • April 9Ahmet Zog, King of Albania (b. 1895)
  • April 21James Melton, American tenor (b. 1904)
  • April 24Lee Moran, American actor (b. 1888)
  • April 25George Melford, American actor (b. 1877)
  • April 27Roy Del Ruth, American film director (b. 1893)
  • May 3Maurice Merleau-Ponty, French phenomenological philosopher (b. 1908)
  • May 6Lucian Blaga, Romanian poet and philosopher (b. 1895)
  • May 13Gary Cooper, American actor (High Noon) (b. 1901)
  • May 14Albert Sévigny, Canadian politician (b. 1881)
  • May 16George A. Malcolm, American jurist & educator (b. 1881)
  • May 22Joan Davis, American actress (b. 1907)
  • May 30Rafael Leónidas Trujillo, dictator of the Dominican Republic (b. 1891)
  • May 31Walter Little, Canadian politician (b. 1877)
  • June 2George S. Kaufman, American playwright (b. 1889)
  • June 6Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist (b. 1875)
  • June 14Eddie Polo, Austro-American dramatist (b. 1875)
  • June 16Marcel Junod, Swiss physician (b. 1904)
  • June 17
    • Jeff Chandler, American actor (b. 1918)
    • Thomas Darden, American Rear admiral, 37th Governor of American Samoa (b. 1900)
  • June 24George Washington Vanderbilt III, American philanthropist (b. 1914)
  • June 25John A D McCurdy, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia & pilot (b. 1886)
  • June 30Lee DeForest, American inventor (b. 1873)


Date unknown[]

  • Wyncie King, American illustrator

Nobel Prizes[]

  • PhysicsRobert Hofstadter, Rudolf Mössbauer
  • ChemistryMelvin Calvin
  • Physiology or MedicineGeorg von Békésy
  • LiteratureIvo Andrić
  • PeaceDag Hammarskjöld (posthumously)


  1. ^ Doug Gilford's Mad Cover Site
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Selected Milestones of the Kennedy Presidency - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum". Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  4. ^ JFK
  5. ^ McIntyre, W. David (April 2008). "The Expansion of the Commonwealth and the Criteria for Membership". Round Table 97 (395): 273–85. DOI:10.1080/00358530801962089. Retrieved on 2008-12-19. 
  6. ^ JFK
  7. ^ Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, "Experimentalsysteme – Eine Geschichte der Proteinsynthese im Reagenzglas" Wallstein ISBN 3-89244-454-4
  8. ^ "Missile Overview". Nuclear Threat Initiative. Archived from the original on 5 January 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-18. 
  9. ^ "July 1961". NASA. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-18. 
  10. ^ "Those were the days". Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  11. ^ "INCÊNDIO GRAN-CIRCUS NORTE-AMERICANO 1961". Blogger. Retrieved 2011-06-01. 

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at 1961. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

People of the year 1961 at Familypedia

56 people were born in 1961

 FatherMotherAge mother at birth
Gilberto Arrivabene-Valenti-Gonzaga (1961-)Leonardo Arrivabene-Valenti-Gonzaga (1904-1971)Maria delle Grazie Brandolini d'Adda (1923-2018)
Laurie Atkinson (1961)Frederick Earle Atkinson (1937-2007)Dorothy Cross (1940-2016)
Mark Bangasser (1961-1979)
Mary Kay Bergman (1961-1999)David Bergman (1934-1996)Patricia McGowan Paris (1935-2000)
Fern Boucheron (1961-1999)
Nicola Bramante (1961-)Antonio Bramante (1922-1981)Clementina Zileri dal Verme degli Obbizi (1930-)
Angela Rose Bunch (1961)Troy Dale Bunch, Sr. (1928-2003)Emily Marie Avila (1929)
Arlen Lester Card (1961)Willard Richards Card (1921-2016)Peggy Jane Park (1923-2015)
Maria Giuglia Carrega Bertolini (1961-)Giovanni Battista Carrega Bertolini (1926-2003)Giovanna Zileri dal Verme degli Obbizi (1929-)
George Timothy Clooney (1961)Nicholas Joseph Clooney (1934-)Nina Warren (1939)
Françoise Comte (1961-)
Tami Sue Crosier (1961-2010)Neil Edward Crosier (1929)Louisa Eleanor Dempsey (1935-)
Billy Ray Cyrus (1961)Ronald Ray Cyrus (1935-2006)Ruth Ann Casto (1937)
Allison DeFeo (1961-1974)Ronald DeFeo (1930-1974)Louise Brigante (1931-1974)
John Anthony Dickson (1961)Roger Savernake Dickson (1906-1981)Maria Zahradnicky (1916-1999)
... further results

21 children were born to the 25 women born in 1961

188 people died in 1961

 FatherMotherAge at death
John Abend (1886-1961)
Richard Chanler Aldrich (1909-1961)Richard Aldrich (1863-1937)Margaret Livingston Chanler (1870-1963)
Samuel Nathaniel Alford (1885-1961)Needham Jasper Alford (1860-1907)Nancy Isobella Collins (1865-1894)
Ernest C. Anderson (1900-1961)Oscar F. Anderson (1875-1932)Mina L. Williams (1876-1950)
Ada Margaret Angel (1878-1961)Harkless Angel (1853-1931)Elizabeth Witt (1857-1932)
Mary Maud Anson (1869-1961)Thomas George Anson, 2nd Earl of Lichfield (1825-1892)Harriet Georgiana Louisa Hamilton (1834-1913)
Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 9th Earl of Shaftesbury (1869-1961)Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 8th Earl of Shaftesbury (1831-1886)Harriet Augusta Anna Seymourina Chichester (1836-1898)
Elizabeth Hilda Avard (1893-1961)Albert Henry Avard (1864-1920)Emmeline Rose Gill (1872-1952)68
Manuel Machado Avila (1881-1961)
Martha Ruth Ballif (1914-1961)Serge Frederick Ballif (1888-1958)Martha May Belle Rolapp (1892-1983)
James Arthur Beard (1905-1961)James Samuel Beard (1882-1969)Clara Bell Smiley (1886-1956)
Blanche Edna Beasley (1879-1961)Charles Beasley (1828-1905)Sarah Greenhalgh (1828-1883)
Joshua Berry (1882-1961)
Odeline Maude Berry (c1887-1961)John Halbert Berry (c1861-1923)Adelgesia Eliza Ebbeke (1863-1893)
George Frederick Forsdike Blackman (1889-1961)George Blackman (1852-1920)Blanche Marie Element (c1871-1929)
... further results

7842 people lived in 1961

Lady Irina Bud de BudfalvaLord János Bud de BudfalvaBaroness Anna Tisza de Borosjenő et Szeged
Tsunekichi Yonogi (1905-2015)Shigeru Yonogi (1876-1940)Miyoko Yonogi (1882-1950)
Alfred Alonzo Aaron (1883-1969)Thomas Aaron (1850-1932)Sarah Dobbs (1858-1948)
Sadie Aaronson (1908-1970)Jack Aaronson (1880-1927)Laura Barenboim (1882-1932)
Rebecca Ababio (1926-1998)
Isabella Abadiano (1930-2003)
Annabelle Abargil (1922-2000)
Jennifer Abaya (1918-1996)
Alysson Abberton (1935-2012)
Charles Greeley Abbot (1872-1973)Harris Abbot (1812-1884)Caroline Ann Greeley (1836-1911)
Janet Abbot (1910-1970)
Julia Abbot (1900-1979)Jordan Abbot (1876-1960)Helen O'Malley (1879-1959)
Anthony Abbott (1911-1993)
Joseph Palmer Abbott (1891-1965)Joseph Palmer Abbott (1842-1901)Edith Solomon (1854-1935)
Ethel Louise Abel (1891-1973)Elijah Stark Abel (1868-1925)Amorette Eliza Avery (1868-1939)
... further results

Events of the year 1961 at Familypedia

58 people were married in 1961.

 Joined with
Joseph Wright Alsop (1910-1989)Susan Mary Jay (1918-2004)
James Orsen Bakker (1940)Tamara Faye LaValley (1942-2007)+Lori Beth Graham (?)
Birgitta av Sverige (1937-)Johann von Hohenzollern (1932-2016)
Ferdinand Cornelius Boers (1936)Jennifer Ellen Smith (1942)
Susan Jane Brewer (1939)Peter Henry Fonda (1940-2019)
János Bánffy de Losoncz (1934-c2000)Margit Körmendy (1937) + Erzsébet Jósika de Branyicska (1949)
Guillermo Cabrera Infante (1929-2005)Marta Calvo (1934)+Miriam Gómez
Allen Sidney Chansky (1932-2010)Janice Dawn Shuman (1938)
Toy Jack Christian (1914-1993)Ella Mae Bowles (c1917-)+Violet Dair Reid (1930-)+Nina Louise Lamb (1924-2012)
Beverly Anne Colla (1940-2014)Willard Herman Stuart (1942-2017)
Samantha Cray (1930-2005)Jean-Paul D'Aboville (1928-1998)
Stanley Ann Dunham (1942-1995)Barack Obama (1936-1982)+Lolo Soetoro (1936)
Florence Jane Ellis (1900-1979)Percival John Woodbridge (1897-1950)+John Valentine Tooley (1888-1980)
Ramón Antonio Gerald Estévez (1940)Janet Templeton (1944)
Charles A. Finn (1938-2007)Wendy Nace (living)
... further results

There were 0 military battles in 1961.

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