MPHS1961.com
The REUNION Place
- 1961 - Year in Review

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:

JANUARY

*  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).

FEBRUARY
Feb 1:  The U.S. launches its first test of the Minuteman-1 ICBM

MARCH
*  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.

APRIL
*  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 Gagar
in, 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

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

* May 31:   South Africa became an independent Republic;   Pres Kennedy meets with Charles De Gaulle in Paris

JUNE

* 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)

JULY
* 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.

AUGUST
* 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.........

SEPTEMBER
*  Sep 24:   Walt Disney's "Wonderful World of Color" airs on TV, telecasting its programs in color for the first time.

OCTOBER
*  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  

*  Oct 30:  Soviet Union detonates a 58-megaton yield hydrogen bomb;  it remains the largest-ever man-made explosion.


NOVEMBER
*  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

DECEMBER
*  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                                         






AVERAGE LIVING EXPENSES IN 1961

Yearly Inflation Rate: 1 %
   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
                       
101 Dalmatians
                             West Side Story                               

                                                                 

                Breakfast at Tiffany's
                     
El Cid
                           The Misfits

                                The Hustler



SOME OF THE POPULAR TV SHOWS IN 1961
 
     American Bandstand (with Dick Clark)
               Bonanza

                    Dr. Kildare (premiered in September)
                         Hazel (NBC)
                               Gunsmoke

                                     Perry Mason                      
                                                  
        The Red Skelton Show
           
The Andy Griffith Show
                   Candid Camera
                         
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)

         



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