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1961 - News and Entertainment

The Berlin Wall was built but Elvis still ruled the Charts

In many ways, 1961 belonged to the United States of America. John F. Kennedy became President and the American people found themselves with a younger more liberal person who, along with his beautiful wife, began a new era of World Politics.

Whilst that was happening, Elvis Presley continued his domination of world rock and roll music, although they didn't know that the following year was to bring about a turn round in popular music which would set out new rules and styles, even affecting the political world as well.

Main news Stories

Sunday Telegraph first published
John F. Kennedy becomes the 35th President of the United States.
The Beatles perform at the Cavern Club in Liverpool for the first time.
The first U.S. Polaris submarines arrive at Holy Loch.
Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human in space
The government unveils new "panda" crossings with push button controls for pedestrians
Michael Ramsey enthroned as the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury
Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev requests asylum in France while in Paris
Tottenham Hotspur become the first English football team this century to win both the League title and FA Cup.
Construction of the Berlin Wall begins
Betting shops are legalised.
George Blake is sentenced to 42 years imprisonment for spying
Police arrest over 1,300 protesters in Trafalgar Square during a CND rally
The Vietnam War officially begins, as the first American helicopters arrive in Saigon

Years top selling Album (UK)

Elvis Presley - GI Blues

Years top selling Single (UK)

Elvis Presley - 'It's now or never'

Best Movie Oscar

The Apartment

Best Actor Oscar

Burt Lancaster - Elmer Gantry

Best Actress Oscar

Elizabeth Taylor - Butterfield 8

At the Cinema 1961

Breakfast at Tiffany's, El Cid, The Comancheros, The Guns of Navarone, One Hundred and One Dalmatians,
The Outsider, The Pit and the Pendulum,

People born in 1961

Harry Enfield, Boy George, Ricky Gervais, Diana Princess of Wales, Martin Clunes.

1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 ! 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969



UK Singles - No.1 hits 1961

Poetry in Motion - Johnny Tillotson
Are you Lonesome tonight - Elvis Presley
Sailor - Petula Clark
Walk right back - Everley Brothers
Wooden Heart - Elvis Presley
Blue Moon - The Marcels
On the rebound - Floyd Cramer
You're driving me crazy - Temperance Seven
Surrender - Elvis Presley
Runaway - Del Shannon
Temptation - Everley Brothers
Well I ask you - Eden Kane
You don't know - Helen Shapiro
Johnny remember me - John Leyton
Reach for the stars - Shirley Bassey
Kon Tiki - The Shadows
Michael - The Highwaymen
Walkin back to happiness - Helen Shapiro
His latest flame - Elvis Presley
Tower of Strength - Frankie Vaughan
Moon River - Danny Williams


Growing up in
50s and 60s
The 1960s

50's & 60's In the Blog

1960's Year by Year

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shank from this responsibility - I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavour 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.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
John F. Kennedy