1961 Newspaper Headlines Summary
Our collection of 1961 newspaper headlines feature reports about some of the year’s most jaw-dropping moments, and tragic disasters. Some of the most memorable 1961 news stories include The Beatles’ first show at the Cavern Club in their hometown Liverpool, the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becoming the first human in space, and John F. Kennedy being inaugurated as the 35th President. 1961 newspaper articles are a wonderful way to remember this year in history, and an original newspapers make the ideal gift for a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion.
January 17, 1961
President Dwight D. Eisenhower gives his Farewell Address, warning of the increasing power of a “military-industrial complex”
January 20, 1961
John F. Kennedy becomes the 35th President of the United States.
January 26, 1961
President John F. Kennedy appoints Janet G. Travell to be his physician, the first woman to hold this appointment.
January 30, 1961
President John F. Kennedy delivers his first State of the Union Address.
January 31, 1961
Ham the Chimp, a 37-pound (17-kg) male, is rocketed into space aboard Mercury-Redstone 2, in a test of the Project Mercury capsule, designed to carry United States astronauts into space.
February 9, 1961
The Beatles perform for the first time at the Cavern Club in their hometown, Liverpool.
March 8, 1961
Max Conrad sets a new world record by circumnavigating the earth on the ‘New Frontiers’ aeroplane in eight days, eighteen hours and forty-nine minutes.
March 13, 1961
President John F. Kennedy creates the Peace Corps.
March 29, 1961
The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to vote in presidential elections.
April 12, 1961
Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human in space.
April 17, 1961
The Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba begins; it fails by April 19.
May 4, 1961
U.S. Freedom Riders begin interstate bus rides to test the new U.S. Supreme Court integration decision.
May 25, 1961
President John F. Kennedy announces before a special joint session of Congress his goal to put a man on the Moon before the end of the decade.
May 28, 1961
Peter Benenson’s article “The Forgotten Prisoners” is published in several internationally read newspapers. This is later considered the founding of the human rights organization, Amnesty International.
July 4, 1961
The Soviet submarine ‘K-19’ suffers a reactor leak in the North Atlantic.
August 13, 1961
Construction of the Berlin Wall begins, restricting movement between East Berlin and West Berlin and forming a clear boundary between East Germany and West Germany.
October 27, 1961
A stand-off between Soviet and American tanks in Berlin heightens Cold War tensions.
November 9, 1961
Neil Armstrong records a world record speed of 6,587 km/hr in a ‘X-15’ rocket plane.
December 11, 1961
The Vietnam War officially begins, as the first American helicopters arrive in Saigon along with 400 United States personnel.
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