Cost of Living 1961How Much things cost in 1961 Yearly Inflation Rate USA 1.07%
Yearly Inflation Rate UK 2.9%
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 1LB 67 cents
Eggs per dozen 30 cents
Below are some Prices for UK Pounds Sterling
Average House Price 2,770
| From Our 1961 Page Part of our 1960s Toys Selection of 250 Sixties Toys |
What Events Happened in 1961World
- Estimate of the Worlds Population reaches 4 billion
- Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human in space.
1. 1957 October 4th The Soviet Union puts the worlds first artificial satellite Sputnik 1 into orbit around the earth
2. 1957 November 3rd The Soviet Union puts Sputnik 2 the worlds first spacecraft to carry a living animal, a dog named Laika into orbit around the earth.
3. 1958 January 31st The United States puts it's first satellite into space the Explorer 1
4. 1959 September 14th The Soviet Union launches first spacecraft to reach the surface of the Moon Luna 2
5. 1961 April 12th The Soviet Union launches the first spacecraft to take a man into space the Vostok 1 carrying Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin
6. 1961 May 5th The United States launches it's first man in space Alan Shepard on the Freedom 7
7. 1961 President Kennedy asks Congress for $531 million to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade
If you look at the timeline for space travel up to this point the The Soviet Union was consistently one step ahead of the United States, but following the speech by President Kennedy on May 25th the United States was determined to be the first to put a man on the moon which they achieved on July 20th 1969 when Apollo 11 landed Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr, who became the first human beings to walk on the Moon's surface.
- The 23rd Amendment to the Constitution is Ratified which permits electors in the District of Columbia to choose Electors for President and Vice President. Available as a downloadable image on our Public Domain Images Page
- US Cuban Exiles and CIA mount unsuccessful attempt to overthrow Castro known as the Bay of Pigs
1. 1959 Cuban Revolution ends with Fidel Castro holding power following the defeat of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista
2. 1959 - 1960 Cuba Declares It is a now a Communist country and Nationalizes Land and Businesses including U.S. assets totaling $1 billion
3. 1960 August 18th, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower approves funding for assault on Southern Cuba by anti Castro Cuban exiles backed by CIA
4. 1961 January 20th John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy becomes the 35th President of the United States
5. 1961 Fidel Castro declares Cuba bans free elections
6. 1961 April 17th to 19th A 1,500 CIA-trained force of Cuban exiles invade southern Cuba at the "Bay of Pigs" / Bahía de Cochinos
7. 118 are killed and 1,202 are captured by Cuban forces
8. 1962 1,113 prisoners are released in exchange for US$53 million in food and medicine
This has to be one of the worst planned and executed invasions in modern times poorly thought out, as a covert operation it was a bust with Cuban and Soviet Forces knowing almost to the day where and when the operation would occur.
- John F. Kennedy inaugurated as President of the United States
- President John F. Kennedy advises American families to build bomb shelters
- East German Authorities close the border between east and west Berlin and Construction of the Berlin Wall begins.
1. 1957 December 11th East Germany introduce a new passport law reducing the overall number of refugees leaving Eastern Germany
2. 1961 20% of the entire East German population leave and defect for West Germany including a high percentage of engineers, technicians, physicians, teachers, lawyers and skilled workers
3. Following the large defection of professionals from East Germany a decision to build a wall securing the border is confirmed by Soviet and East German leaders
4. 1961 August 13th German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) closes the border with West Germany and install barbed wire entanglements and fences
5. August 17th First concrete elements and large blocks being put in place to create the Berlin Wall
6. 1961–1975 Concrete wall 87 miles long built separating East and West Germany
7. Nine border crossing points between East and West Berlin including Checkpoint Charlie at the corner of Friedrichstraße and Zimmerstraße, which was restricted to Allied personnel and foreigners
8. 1989 The separation of East and West Germany ends as the Berlin Wall is taken down leading to eventual German reunification on October 3rd 1990
The Berlin Wall was a good example how society was effected by the Cold War which existed between the East and West following the end of World War II up to the nineties.
- The Peace Corps is established by John F. Kennedy
- The Xingu National Park is created in Brazil
- Somalia suffers wide spread flooding after the two main rivers, overflowed their banks and merged in a vast flood plain leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.
- Britain applies for membership of the EEC
- Segregation on railways in the south ends
- Texas Sales Tax Introduced
- UN General Assembly condemns Apartheid
- South Africa becomes an independent republic.
- Last Journey of The Orient Express Paris - Bucharest
- First Direct US Military Involvement in Vietnam
- The first six flags theme parks opens "Six Flags Over Texas" at Arlington, Texas
- Amnesty International Started in United Kingdom
- The Antarctic Treaty System comes into force on June 23rd to regulate international relations with respect to Antarctica to ensure that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes
- Pampers the first disposable diaper introduced
- Members of the Portuguese leftist movement hijack The luxury cruise liner Santa Maria.
- 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
- During the Monza Italian Grand Prix Race Baron Wolfgang von Trips Ferrari crashes off the track onto embankment filled with spectators killing 14 plus the driver.
- The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) started
- "Freedom Riders" test the United States Supreme Court decision Boynton v. Virginia by riding racially integrated interstate buses into the South. Some are attacked and beaten by white supremacist supporters of racial segregation.
- The farthing coin, used since the 13th century, ceases to be legal tender in the United Kingdom.
- British satirical magazine Private Eye is published for first time
- The Pony become a popular dance
- Black and white 5 pound notes cease to be legal tender in the UK
- The Guns of Navarone
- The Parent Trap
- The Absent-Minded Professor
- 101 Dalmatians
- Breakfast at Tiffany's
- El Cid
- The Misfits
- The Hustler
- West Side Story
- Wagon Train
- Perry Mason
- The Red Skelton Show
- Andy Griffith
- Candid Camera
- My Three Sons
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents
- The Twilight Zone
- Mister Ed (first broadcast in October, 1961)
- The Avengers debut in the UK. But it was not seen in the U.S. until 1965.
Most popular recorded songs of 1961 in the US:
- Wonderland by Night Bert Kaempfert
- Will You Love Me Tomorrow The Shirelles
- Calcutta Lawrence Welk
- Pony Time Chubby Checker
- Surrender Elvis Presley
Check out our Television Programmes From The 60s whenever possible we have included a trailer to jog your memory. Series trailers and more information are found on the decade they started.
Born This YearScott Baio September 22nd
Barack Obama August 4th
Peter Jackson October 31st
Nadia Comăneci November 12th
Frank Bruno November 16th
George Clooney, May 6
Lawrence Fishburne, July 30
Michael J. Fox, June 9
Wayne Gretzky, January 26
Woody Harrelson, July 23
Wynton Marsalis, October 18
I would like to thank one of our visitors Ron Green who took the time and effort to send me amendments to this page, for mistakes made during research and provided additional information. ( Steve Webmaster The People History )
- 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
Major World Political LeadersAustralia Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies Brazil President Juscelino Kubitschek Till 31 January
Brazil President Jânio Quadros From 31 January
Brazil President Jânio Quadros Till 25 August
Brazil President Ranieri Mazzilli From 25 August
Brazil President Ranieri Mazzilli Till 7 September
Brazil President João Goulart From 7 September
Canada Prime Minister John Diefenbaker
China Chairman of the People's Republic of China Liu Shaoqi
France President Charles de Gaulle
Germany Chancellor Konrad Adenauer
India Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru
Italy Prime Minister Amintore Fanfani
Japan Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda Mexico President Adolfo López Mateos Russia / Soviet Union
First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev South Africa Prime Minister Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower Till January 20,
United States President John F. Kennedy From January 20,
United Kingdom Prime Minister Harold Macmillan