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BOOMERNET Chronicle: 1961

1961

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U.S. Facts

  • President: John F. Kennedy (D)
  • Population: 183,691,000
  • Life Expectancy: 70.2 years
  • Unemployment: 6.77%
  • Average Annual Salary: $6,471
  • Minimum Wage: $1.15 per hour
  • Inflation Rate: 1.0%

What Things Cost

  • Automobile: $2,275
  • Gasoline: $0.31 per gallon
  • House: $18,800
  • Bread: $0.21 per loaf
  • Milk: $1.05 per gallon
  • Postage Stamp: $0.04

Major U.S. Events

  • President Kennedy establishes Peace Corps
  • Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba begins, ending in failure 2 days later
  • Vietnam war officially begins as the first American helicopters arrive in Saigon along with 400 U.S. personnel
  • President Kennedy begins the Apollo program of U.S. manned spaceflight

Major World Events

  • USSR detonates 50-megaton hydrogen bombing the largest man-made explosion in history
  • There are 2,000 U.S. military advisers in South Vietnam
  • A 5ft concrete wall replaces the wire between East & West Berlin. Western powers place tanks & 1,000 troops along the Berlin wall

January-March

  • Assassination of Patrice Lumumba
  • Trail of Adolf Eischmann begins in Jerusalem
  • South Africa withdraws from the British Commonwealth

April-July

  • Yuri Gagrin is the first human in space
  • A Freedom Riders bus is fire-bombed near Anniston, Alabama and the civil rights protestors are beaten by an angry mob
  • Alan B. Shepard is first American in space

November-December

  • Stalingrad is renamed Volgograd
  • In a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declares that he is a Marist-Leninist & that Cuba was going to adopt Communism
  • Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the Lady Chatterley's Lover case

Top Songs

  • Tossin' And Turnin'by Bobby Lewis
  • I Fall to Pieces by Patsy Cline
  • Michael by The Highwaymen
  • Crying by Roy Orbison
  • Runaway by Del Shannon

Other New Songs

  • Stand By Me by Ben E. King
  • Run Around Sue by Dion
  • Shop Around by The Miracles
  • Will You Love Me Tomorrow by The Shirelles
  • Travelin' Man by Ricky Nelson

Top Movies

  • West Side Story
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • Judgement Nuremberg
  • La Dolce Vita
  • The Hustler

Top Books

  • Catch-22 Joesph Heller
  • The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone
  • The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
  • Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
  • Mila 18 by Leon Uris

Top TV Shows (1960-61)

  • Gunsmoke
  • Wagon Train
  • Have Gun Will Travel
  • The Andy Griffith Show
  • The Real McCoy

Major League Baseball: World Series

  • New York Yankees d. Cincinnati Reds

Pro Football: Championships

  • NFL: Green Bay Packers d. New York Giants
  • AFL: Houston Oilers d. San Diego Chargers

Ice Hockey: Stanley Cup

  • Chicago Blackhawks d. Detroit Red Wings

Pro Basketball: Championship

  • Boston Celtics d. St. Louis Hawks

NCAA Champions

  • Football: Minnesota Golden Gophers
  • Basketball: Ohio Sate Buckeyes

Other Champions

  • Boxing: Floyd Patterson defends the heavyweight title twice
  • Golf: Jerry Barber is PGA player of the year
  • Tennis: Roy Emerson and Rodney Laver win U.S. Open
  • Horse Racing: Carry Back wins Kentucky Derby
  • Auto Racing: A.J. Foyt wins Indianapolis 500
Inventions, Fads, & Fashion
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