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As 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 Cuba.

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 JFK's Inaugural Address.

January 25 - In Washington, DC John F. Kennedy delivers the first live presidential news
. In it, (5th paragraph) he announces that the Soviet Union had freed the two surviving
crewmen of a USAF RB-47 reconnaissance plan shot down by Soviet flyers over the Barents Sea July
1, 1960.

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 exiles invade 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 tested the
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
States was falling behind the Soviet Union in technology and prestige. Thus the challenge:
 "I believe that this nation should commit itself, to achieving the goal, before this decade is out,
of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in
this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration
of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish. We propose to accelerate the
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 superior. We
propose additional funds for other engine development and for unmanned explorations--
explorations which are particularly important for one purpose which this nation will never
overlook: the survival of the man who first makes this daring flight. But in a very real sense, it
will not be one man going to the moon--if we make this judgment affirmatively, it will be an
entire nation."

July 21 - Virgil Grissom becomes second American astronaut, making 118-mile-high, 303-mile-
long 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 in 1999.

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.

August. 13 - East Germany erects the Berlin Wall between East and West Berlin to halt flood of

September - Randy Caines joins the future Class of 1970.

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 Cincinnati (4-1)

There are 2,000 US military advisers in South Vietnam. Background: Vietnam War

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 used
in early computers, June 30; Chico Marx, member of the Marx Brothers, October 11.

Births: Julia Louise-Dreyfus, actress (Seinfeld), (New Adventures of Old Christine), January 13;
George Stephanopoulos, political consultant, commentator for ABC News, February 10; Wayne
Gretzky, Hockey Hall of Famer, January 26; Fabio, model, March 15; Eddie Murphy, actor and
comedian, April 3; George Clooney, actor, May 6; Dennis Rodman, basketball player, actor, May 13;
Enya, singer, songwriter, she became known worldwide after the September 11, 2001 attacks
because her song "Only Time" (from the album A Day Without Rain) was used in radio and TV reports
around the globe, May 17; Michael J. Fox, actor, June 9; Diana, Princess of Wales, (d. 1997) July 1;
Carl Lewis, athletics legend, July 1; Heather Locklear, actress, September 25; Dylan McDermott,
actor (The Practice), October 26; Meg Ryan, actress, November 19; Mariel Hemingway, actress,
November 22.


This page originally posted circa 08/09/2006
and was last updated on 03/23/2011.


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