Information for the Year 1961

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  • US breaks diplomatic relations with Cuba (Jan. 3).
  • 1,200 US-sponsored anti-Castro exiles invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs (April 17); the attackers are all killed or captured by Cuban forces.
  • OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) formally constituted.
  • Population:  3.080 billion
  • Nobel Peace Prize:  Dag Hammarskj÷ld (Sweden)
  • Robert Frost recites "The Gift Outright" at John F. Kennedy's inauguration (Jan. 20).
  • First US astronaut, Navy Cmdr. Alan B. Shepard, Jr., rockets 116.5 miles up in 302-mile trip (May 5).
  • Virgil Grissom becomes second American astronaut, making 118-mile-high, 303-mile-long rocket flight over Atlantic (July 21).
  • President:  John F. Kennedy
  • Vice President:   Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Population:  183,691,481
  • Life expectancy:  70.2 years
  • US GDP (1998 dollars):  $544.8 billion
  • Federal spending:   $97.72 billion
  • Federal debt:  $292.6 billion
  • Median Household Income(current dollars):  $5,735
  • Consumer Price Index:  29.9
  • Unemployment:   5.5%
  • Cost of a first-class stamp:  $0.04
  • Super Bowl  The first Super Bowl was not played until the year 1967.
  • World Series of Baseball   the New York Yankees defeated the Cincinnati Reds
  • National Basketball Association Championship  Boston defeated St. Louis Hawks
  • National Hockey League Stanley Cup  Chicago Blackhaeks defeated Detroit Red Wings
  • Women Wimbledon Tennis  Angela Mortimer defeated C. Truman (4-6 6-4 7-5)
  • Men Wimbledon Tennis   Rod Laver defeated C. McKinley (6-3 6-1 6-4)
  • Kentucky Derby Horse Race Champion   Carry Back
  • National College Athletic Association Basketball Championship  Cincinnati defeated Ohio State (SCORE 70-65 in Over Time)
  • National College Athletic Association Football Champions  Alabama (RECORD 11-0-0) and Ohio State (SCORE 8-0-1)
  • Patsy Cline releases "I Fall to Pieces" and "Crazy." The success of the songs help her cross over from country to pop.
  • Henry Mancini wins two Oscars and four Grammy Awards for the score to Breakfast at Tiffanys, which included the hit "Moon River."
  • Academy Award, Best Picture:  The Apartment
  • Grammy Award - Record of the Year  Theme From A Summer Place by Percy Faith
  • Emmy Award - Best Television Comedy  The Jack Benny Show - CBS
  • Miss America:  Nancy Fleming (Michigan)
  • Moscow announces putting first man in orbit around earth, Major Yuri A. Gagarin (April 12).
  • Gherman Stepanovich Titov is launched in Soviet spaceship Vostok II: makes 17 1/2 orbits in 25 hours, covering 434,960 miles before landing safely (Aug. 6).
  • Alan B. Shepard becomes the first American man in space aboard the Freedom 7.

 

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