August 26, 2022

The World in 1961

Yuexin | Junior Brand Manager Cricket

Estimated reading time: 2 mins


What else happened around the world in 1961, the same year the first disposable lighter, Cricket, was released?

On January 20th, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the 35th president of the United States.

A portrait of John F. Kennedy captured at the National Portrait Gallery commemorating his 100th birthday
A portrait of John F. Kennedy captured at the National Portrait Gallery commemorating his 100th birthday © Richie Lomba

On January 31st, as part of a test of the Project Mercury spacecraft, Ham became the NASA astronaut and the first male chimpanzee sent into space. Despite a short trip that only lasted sixteen and a half minutes, Ham's space trip proved that mammals could survive in space.

The cabin of the first chimpanzee Ham in space
The cabin of the first chimpanzee Ham in space © Jaroslav Moravcik

On February 9th, The Beatles performed under this name at The Cavern Club for the first time following their return to Liverpool from Hamburg. The group got paid three pounds for the show.

The legendary cellar where The Beatles had their first performance since 1961
The legendary cellar where The Beatles had their first performance since 1961 © Miro Stefanovic

On April 12th, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space, orbiting the Earth once by Vostok 1 capsule before parachuting back to Earth.

Postmarked Soviet postcard with astronaut Yuri Gagarin with a dove
Postmarked Soviet postcard with astronaut Yuri Gagarin with a dove © 0635925410m

On April 24th, Swedish warship Vasa, the world's best preserved 17th century ship sunk on her maiden voyage in 1628, was recovered from Stockholm Harbor, ready for its unveiling in front of the world for the first time in 333 years. More than 1300 dives were performed under dangerous conditions during the ship's recovery. 

Warship Vasa in the world-famous Vasa Museum at Djurgården
Warship Vasa in the world-famous Vasa Museum at Djurgården © Per Bjorkdahl

On April 29th, The World Wild Fund for Nature, an independent and non-governmental organization was formed. Chi Chi, the only pandani the Western world at the time transferred from Beijing Zoo, inspired the panda on the logo.

A campaign of 1600 pandas to promote environmental preservation at Sanam Luang Bangkok in 2016 by WWF
A campaign of 1600 pandas to promote environmental preservation at Sanam Luang Bangkok in 2016 by WWF © Neosiam

On August 13th, after the construction of the Berlin Wall began, movement between East Berlin and West Berlin started to be restricted, establishing a boundary between West Germany and East Germany, Western Europe, and Eastern Europe.

 Berlin Wall Memorial 1961-1989
Berlin Wall Memorial 1961-1989 © Animaflora

On October 5th, the film Breakfast at Tiffany's was released by Paramount Pictures, bringing significantly commercial success and a memorable portrayal of Hollywood’s Holly by Hepburn. Moon River, the song made for Hepburn to sing in the movie, was one of the 20th century's most popular songs, recorded by many other artists in different versions.

Old movie soundtrack vinyl record album covers of Breakfast at Tiffany´s
Old movie soundtrack vinyl record album covers of Breakfast at Tiffany´s © Ralf Liebhold

On November 6th, to honor this day which marks the 100th birthday of James Naismith who invented the game of basketball, the US government issued a stamp.

 Statue of James Naismith in his hometown of Almonte, Canada
Statue of James Naismith in his hometown of Almonte, Canada © Paul Mckinnon

On December 4th, the Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture House opened its doors.

 Yves Saint Laurent shop text sign and logo brand on luxury fashion house from Paris, France
Yves Saint Laurent shop text sign and logo brand on luxury fashion house from Paris, France © Sylvain Robin
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