1961 History/Videos

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1961 The cold war continued to worsen with the USSR exploding some very large bombs during testing and then masterminding the building of the Berlin Wall separating East from West Berlin, America sent a battle group to Germany and Americans and Russians Glared at each other across the border, due to this uncertainty many Americans built backyard fallout shelters in case of nuclear war. To make matters worse the Americans financed anti-Castro Cubans for an invasion at the bay of pigs which was an unmitigated disaster. The Soviets put the first man in space in April Yuri Gagarin followed by the US in May with Alan Shepard. Popular music included Chubby Checkers "The Twist" and top movies included "West Side Story" and "The Parent Trap" .


Cost of Living 1961

How Much things cost in 1961
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 1.07%
Average Cost of new house $12,500.00
Average Income per year $5,315.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 27 cents
Average Cost of a new car $2,850.00
Bacon for 1 LB 67 cents
Eggs per dozen 30 cents

What Events Happened in 1961

  • Fidel Castro declares Cuba is to adopt Communism and bans free elections
  • US Cuban Exiles and CIA mount unsuccessful attempt to overthrow Castro ( Bay of Pigs )
  • John F. Kennedy inaugurated as President of the United States
  • President John F. Kennedy advises American families to build bomb shelters
  • The Peace Corps is established John F. Kennedy
  • President Kennedy asks Congress for $531 million to put a man on the moon
  • Race Riots in Cities throughout the United States
  • The Xingu National Park is created in Brazil
  • Britain applies for membership of the EEC
  • Segregation on railways in the south ends
  • Texas Sales Tax Introduced
  • Construction of the Berlin Wall begins.
  • East German Authorities close the border between east and west Berlin
  • UN General Assembly condemns Apartheid
  • Estimate of the Worlds Population reaches 4 billion
  • Farthings no longer legal tender in Britain
  • Last Journey of The Orient Express Paris - Bucharest
  • Amnesty International Started in United Kingdom
  • Members of The UK Portland Spy Ring are found guilty of selling plans of the HMS Dreadnought, Britain's first nuclear submarine to the Russians
  • The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) started
  • "Freedom Riders" test the United States Supreme Court decision Boynton v. Virginia, over local segregation ordinances

Popular Culture 1961

Popular Films

  • The Guns of Navarone
  • The Parent Trap
  • The Absent-Minded Professor
  • The Alamo
  • Swiss Family Robinson
  • 101 Dalmatians
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • El Cid
  • West Side Story

    Popular TV
  • Mister Ed
  • The Avengers

Technology 1961

  • Yuri Gagarin is the first human in space.
  • The First inflight movie is shown on TWA
  • The First electric toothbrush is produced Squibb Co.
  • Alan Shepard makes first US Space Flight
  • Niagra Falls starts producing hydroelectric power
  • The first quasar is discovered by Allan Sandage at Mt Palomar, California
  • IBM introduces the Selectric typewriter Golfball

Inventions Invented by Inventors and Country ( or attributed to First Use )

  • Human Space Travel Russia Yuri Gagarin - the first human in space


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