MAD Magazine pointed out on its first cover for the year was the first
"upside-down" year - i.e.,
one that looked the same upside down - since 1881, and the last until 6009.
January 3 -
US breaks diplomatic relations with
January 9 - ("City
Upon a Hill" speech) John F. Kennedy's Address to the General
Court of the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
January 20 - Let every nation know,
whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price,
bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure
the survival and
the success of liberty. - President John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address
The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light
our country and all
who serve it--and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.
And so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what
you can do
for your country. - Ending remarks of
January 25 - In Washington, DC John F. Kennedy delivers the
conference. In it, (5th paragraph) he announces that the Soviet Union had freed the two
crewmen of a USAF RB-47 reconnaissance plan shot down by Soviet flyers over the Barents Sea
March 1 - President John F. Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps
March 13 - Ricky Nelson records "Travelin' Man"
April 12 - Moscow announces putting first man in orbit around earth,
Major Yuri A. Gagarin.
April 17 - 1,200 US-sponsored anti-Castro
Cuba at the
Bay of Pigs and the attackers
are all killed or captured by Cuban forces.
May 1 - First U.S. aircraft hijacked by
Puerto Rican born Antuilo Ramierez Ortiz
forced at gunpoint a
National Airlines plane to fly to Havana, Cuba, where he was given asylum.
May 5 -
First US astronaut, Navy Cmdr.
Alan B. Shepard, Jr. became the
first American to be
launched into space. Shepard's suborbital flight lasted only 15-minutes, 116.5
miles up in 302-mile
trip during which time he experienced about 5 minutes of "weightlessness" and
maneuvering capability of his Mercury capsule.
May 19 -
Venera 1 becomes the first manmade (USSR) object to fly-by
another planet by passing
Venus (however the probe had lost contact with earth a month earlier and did not
send back any
May 25 - In President Kennedy's speech to Congress, he expressed a
concern that the United
was falling behind the Soviet Union in technology and prestige. Thus the
"I believe that
this nation should commit itself, to achieving the goal, before this decade is
of landing a man
on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in
period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range
space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish. We propose to
development of the appropriate lunar space craft. We propose to develop
alternate liquid and solid
fuel boosters, much larger than any now being developed, until certain which is
propose additional funds for other engine development and for unmanned
explorations which are particularly important for one purpose which this nation
the survival of the man who first makes this daring flight. But in a very real
will not be
one man going to the moon--if we make this judgment affirmatively, it will be an
July 21 - Virgil Grissom becomes
second American astronaut, making 118-mile-high, 303-mile-
rocket flight over Atlantic in
Liberty Bell 7. While waiting for rescue
after splash landing, the
hatch on the capsule blew. Grissom escaped, the capsule was lost and recovered
July 31 - At Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, the first All-Star
Game tie in major league
baseball history occurs when the game is stopped in the 9th inning due to rain.
East Germany erects the
Berlin Wall between
East and West Berlin to halt flood of
Randy Caines joins the future Class of
October 29 - USSR detonates 50-megaton
hydrogen bomb in the largest man-made explosion in
history (this is still the
largest nuclear device to ever be detonated).
December 2 - In a nationally broadcast
speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declares that he is a
Marxist-Leninist and that Cuba was going to adopt Communism.
December 11 - Vietnam War officially begins as the first American
helicopters arrive in Saigon
along with 400 U.S. personnel.
World Series: NY Yankees defeats
There are 2,000 US military advisers in South
OPEC (Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries) formally constituted.
Memorable Movies: The Guns of Navarone,
Splendor in the Grass, The Apartment, Breakfast at
What we watched on Television: Mr. Ed, Dick Van Dyke.
Passings: Alfred Carlton Gilbert, gold medal winner at 1908 Summer Olympics,
inventor of Erector
Set (b. 1884), January 24; Gary Cooper, actor, May 13; Lee De Forest - inventor
of the audion, a
vacuum tube that takes weak electrical signals and amplifies them. As one of the
fathers of the
"electronic age," the audion helped usher in the widespread use of
electronics as well as being
in early computers, June 30; Chico Marx, member of the Marx Brothers,
Julia Louise-Dreyfus, actress (Seinfeld), (New Adventures of Old Christine), January 13;
consultant, commentator for ABC News, February 10; Wayne
Hockey Hall of Famer,
January 26; Fabio, model, March 15; Eddie Murphy, actor and
May 6; Dennis Rodman, basketball player, actor, May 13;
became known worldwide after the September 11, 2001 attacks
because her song
(from the album A Day Without Rain) was used in radio and TV reports
around the globe,
Michael J. Fox, actor, June 9; Diana, Princess of Wales, (d. 1997) July 1;
legend, July 1; Heather Locklear, actress,
September 25; Dylan McDermott,
October 26; Meg
Ryan, actress, November 19; Mariel Hemingway, actress,