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1961 Historical Event(s)
- February 3, 1961 – A protest by agricultural workers in Baixa de Cassanje, Portuguese Angola, turns into a revolt, opening the Angolan War of Independence, the first of the Portuguese Colonial Wars.
- February 15, 1961 – Sabena Flight 548 crashes in Belgium, killing 73, including the entire United States figure skating team, several coaches and family members.
- March 1, 1961 – Uganda becomes self-governing and holds its first elections.
- April 3, 1961 – The Leadbeater’s Possum is rediscovered in Australia after 72 years.
- June 4, 1961 – In the Vienna summit, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev sparks the Berlin Crisis by threatening to sign a separate peace treaty with East Germany and ending American, British and French access to East Berlin.
- July 21, 1961 – Mercury program: Mercury-Redstone 4 Mission – Gus Grissom piloting Liberty Bell 7 becomes the second American to go into space (in a suborbital mission).
- September 5, 1961 – The first conference of the Non Aligned Countries is held in Belgrade.
- October 30, 1961 – Because of “violations of Lenin’s precepts”, it is decreed that Joseph Stalin’s body be removed from its place of honour inside Lenin’s tomb and buried near the Kremlin wall with a plain granite marker instead.
- December 9, 1961 – Tanganyika becomes independent from Britain.
Who Were Born On 1961?
- February 1, 1961 – Daniel Tani, NASA astronaut
- February 4, 1961 – Denis Savard, Canadian ice hockey player
- February 11, 1961 – Carey Lowell, American actress
- April 9, 1961 – Kirk McCaskill, pro baseball and hockey player
- April 18, 1961 – Steve Lombardi, American wrestler
- May 2, 1961 – Phil Vickery, English celebrity chef
- June 25, 1961 – Ricky Gervais, English comedian, actor and writer
- September 7, 1961 – LeRoi Moore, American musician (Dave Matthews Band) (d. 2008)
- October 5, 1961 – Matthew Kauffman, American journalist and George Polk Award winner
- December 7, 1961 – Lisa Fischer, American R&B singer