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1961 Historical Event(s)
- January 3, 1961 – Finland’s worst civilian aviation accident takes place when Aero Flight 311 crashes near Kvevlax, resulting in the deaths of all 25 people aboard.
- January 26, 1961 – John F. Kennedy appoints Janet G. Travell to be his physician. This is the first time a woman holds this appointment.
- 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 – New Year’s Day in Chinese calendar. Start of the year of the Metal Ox in Chinese astrology.
- April 23, 1961 – Algiers putsch by French generals.
- May 25, 1961 – Apollo program: U.S. President John F. Kennedy announces before a special joint session of the Congress his goal to initiate a project to put a “man on the Moon” before the end of the decade.
- May 31, 1961 – The Union of South Africa becomes the Republic of South Africa.
- September 5, 1961 – The first conference of the Non Aligned Countries is held in Belgrade.
- September 11, 1961 – Hurricane Carla strikes the Texas coast as a Category 4 hurricane, the second strongest storm ever to hit the state.
- December 2, 1961 – In a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declares that he is a Marxist-Leninist and that Cuba is going to adopt Communism.
Who Were Born On 1961?
- March 19, 1961 – Jos Lansink, Dutch-Belgian equestrian
- April 26, 1961 – Joan Chen, Chinese-born actress
- May 12, 1961 – Paul Begala, American political commentator
- May 17, 1961 – Enya, Irish singer and songwriter
- June 24, 1961 – Dennis Danell, American guitarist (Social Distortion) (d. 2000)
- September 17, 1961 – Nives Meroi, Italian mountaineer
- October 10, 1961 – Jodi Benson, American voice actress
- December 7, 1961 – Lisa Fischer, American R&B singer
- December 9, 1961 – David Anthony Higgins, American actor
- December 19, 1961 – Eric Allin Cornell, American physicist, Nobel laureate