Major Events

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Major Events of 1961

1961 (Roman Numerals: MCMLXI) was the 61st year of the 20th century. 1961 was not a leap year, and the first day of the year was a Sunday.

On this page, we have listed some of the major historical, news and sporting events that took place in 1961.
News Events of 1961

Mickey Mantle becomes the highest paid baseball player after signing a $75,000 contract.

Mickey Mantle

Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba fails.

Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin is the first human in space.

Yuri Gagarin

Ham the Chimp travels into space.

US President John F. Kennedy announces US goal of reaching the moon before the end of the decade.

John F. Kennedy

Sealing of East German border and building of Berlin Wall.

South Africa leaves British Commonwealth, and becomes a Republic.

Formation of the World Wildlife Fund.

Tanganyika independent from Britain.

USSR tests the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated - Tsar Bomba - with a yield of about 50 megatons.

Atomic Bomb

Sports in 1961

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