1961 -- Our GRADUATION YEAR in Review --
Here are some of the amazing things that happened in 1961 --
the year we graduated from high school.........
SOME 1961 HIGHLIGHTS ON THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL SCENES
In 1961, the U.S. population was approximately 185,000,000; the world population was approx 3 billion;
And -- in 1961 --
* The first electric toothbrush was introduced by the Squibb Pharmaceuticals Company
* "Frito Corn Chips" appear on our supermarket shelves
* The book: "Catch-22" (written by Joseph Heller) was published
* Author Harper Lee wins Pulitzer Prize for her novel: "To Kill A Mockingbird"
* The first in-flight movie is shown on an airliner -- TWA (Trans World Airlines)
* PAMPERS (the first disposible diaper) was introduced
* "Barbie" got a boyfriend when "Ken" was introduced into the Mattell toy lineup
The CALENDAR of Events in 1961:
* Jan 1: January 1st was a Sunday ----
* Jan 3: President Eisenhower announced that the US had cut off diplomatic relations with Fidel Castro's government in Cuba.............
* Jan 17: In his final State-of-the Union address, outgoing President Eisenhower issues his now famous warning about an unfortunate "military industrial complex" developing in America.
* Jan 20: John F Kennedy was inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States
* Jan 27: "Sing Along With Mitch" (Miller) premiers on NBC-TV
* Jan 31: "Ham" (the Chimp) is rocketed into space (158 miles high) inside a Mercury Space capsule (the Russians, however, had already put a dog ("Laika") into space orbit in November 1957 in Sputnik 2) (the dog died while in orbit).
* Feb 1: The U.S. launches its first test of the Minuteman-1 ICBM
* Mar 1: The Peace Corps was established by Executive Order of President Kennedy
* Mar 29: The 23rd Amendment to the US Constitution is ratified, finally giving residents of Washington D.C. the right to vote in Presidential elections.
* Apr 11: the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the World War II Nazi, begins in Jerusalen
* Apr 12: The Soviets put the first man into space, Yuri Gagarin, who orbited the Earth once in his space capsule, Vostok 1.
* Apr 17: The Bay of Pigs invasion to overthrow Cuba's Fidel Castro is attempted by US Cuban exiles, with help from the CIA.
* May 5: Alan Shephard becomes first American into space in a sub-orbital flight aboard the Mercury-7 space capsule. In his own words: "Oh, what a beautiful view...!!"
* May 5: President Kennedy signs Fair Labor Standards Act Amendment, raising minimum wage to $1.15/hr
* May 13: Gary Cooper, the great American movie actor, died
* May 14: Bus with 1st group of Freedom Riders is fire-bombed & burned in Alabama
* May 19: Soviet space probe Venera 1 becomes the first man-made vehicle to reach another planet when it passes close to Venus
* May 24: American Civil Rights Movement: 27 Freedom Riders arrested in Jackson, Mississippi
* May 25: President Kennedy asked Congress for $531 million to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade
* Oct 30: Soviet Union detonates a 58-megaton yield hydrogen bomb; it remains the largest-ever man-made explosion.
* May 31: South Africa became an independent Republic; Pres Kennedy meets with Charles De Gaulle in Paris
* Jun 4: President Kennedy and Russian Premier Nikita Krushchev meet for 2 days of talks in Vienna
* Jun 19: Kuwait becomes an independent nation (emirate)
** Jun 22: Midland Park High School graduates 144 in the Senior Class Graduation Ceremony
* Jun 23: The X-15 rocket plane is piloted by USAF Maj Rob't White to speed of 3,690 MPH (over Mach 5)
* Jul 2: Ernest Hemingway, well-known American writer, died (suicide)
* Jul 15: Arnold Palmer wins the 90th British Golf Open
* Jul 17: Hall-of-Fame baseball player Ty Cobb dies
* Jul 19: The first in-flight movie is shown on an airliner -- TWA (Trans World Airlines)
* Jul 19: The second U.S. astronaut to rocket into space, Gus Grissom, succeeds in another sub-orbital flight in Liberty Bell-7.
* Aug 6: Soviet Cosmonaut Gherman Titov becomes 2nd human to orbit the earth, and does so for more than one day.
* Aug 13: Construction of the Berlin Wall began; East German authorites closed the border between East and West Berlin. Construction of the Berlin Wall is completed on August 31, after just 18 days; East Germans are locked in.........
* Sep 24: Walt Disney's "Wonderful World of Color" airs on TV, telecasting its programs in color for the first time.
* Oct 1: "61 in '61" -- Roger Maris became the first professional baseball player to hit 61 home runs in a single season.
* Oct 9: The New York Yankees beat the Cincinnati Reds in the Baseball World Series
* Nov 1: The federal ban on segregation at all interstate public facilities officially went into effect
* Nov 29: Freedom Riders attacked by white mob at bus station in Mississippi
* Dec 11: The Vietnam War officially began as the first US battle helicopters arrived in Saigon with 400 military personnel
* Dec 12: Martin Luther King Jr & 700 demonstraters arrested in Albany, Georgia
* Dec 31: 1st performance by the Beach Boys, who play their debut gig under that new name
LOOK WHO WAS BORN in 1961 ........
January 13: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Actress)
Jan 26: Wayne Gretzky
Feb 10: George Stephanopoulos
Apr 1: Susan Boyle
Apr 3: Eddie Murphy
May 6: George Clooney
May 13: Dennis Rodman
May 17: Enya
Jun 9: Michael J. Fox
Jul 1: Diana, Princess of Wales
Jul 1: Carl Lewis
Jul 15: Forest Whitacker
Jul 23: Woody Harrelson
Jul 30: Lawrence Fishburne
Aug 4: Barack Obama
Aug 18: Bob Woodruff
Aug 25: Billy Ray Cyrus (singer)
Sep 18: James Gandolfini (Actor)
Sep 25: Heather Locklear
Oct 18: Wynton Marsalis
Oct 29: Randy Jackson
Oct 31: Peter Jackson (Director)
Nov 12: Nadia Comaneci
Nov 19: Meg Ryan
Dec 30: Sean Hannity
Yearly Inflation Rate: 1 %
AVERAGE LIVING EXPENSES IN 1961
Average Cost of new house: $12,500
Average Income per year: $5,315
Cost of a gallon of Gas: 27 cents
Average Cost of a new car: $2,850
Bacon for 1LB: 67 cents
Loaf of bread: 21-cents
Eggs per dozen: 30 cents
Movie theater ticket: 1-dollar
SOME OF THE MOST POPULAR SONGS RECORDED IN 1961
Moon River -- Henry Mancini (won Grammy Award for 1961 Record Album of the Year)
Big Bad John -- Jimmy Dean (won Grammy Award for 1961 Best Country & Western recording)
Let's Twist Again -- Chubby Checker (won Grammy Award for 1961 Best Rock 'n Roll recording)
Blue Moon -- The Marcels
Crying -- Roy Orbison
Hit the Road Jack -- Ray charles
Mother-in-Law -- Ernie K-Doe
Please Mr. Postman -- The Marvelettes
Runaround Sue -- Dion
Run Run Runaway -- Del Shannon
Surrender -- Elvis Presley
Take Good Care of My Baby -- Bobby Vee
Tossin' and Turnin' -- Bobby Lewis
Travelin' Man -- Ricky Nelson
Where the Boys Are -- Connie Francis
Will You Love Me Tomorrow -- The Shirelles
Wonderland by Night -- Bert Kaempfert
SOME OF THE POPULAR MOVIES IN 1961
1961 Academy Award for Best Picture: The Apartment, Billy Wilder, producer (United Artists)
Guns of Navarone
The Parent Trap
The Absent-Minded Professor
West Side Story
Breakfast at Tiffany's
SOME OF THE POPULAR TV SHOWS IN 1961
American Bandstand (with Dick Clark)
Dr. Kildare (premiered in September)
The Red Skelton Show
The Andy Griffith Show
My Three Sons
The Twilight Zone
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
SOME OF THE POPULAR BROADWAY SHOWS in 1961
(Take a look at the well-known actors who were in some of these Broadway Plays in 1961)