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RCA Record Player
Color Television
Holiday Formal

Did you know that in 1961 . . . .
  • IBM introduces the Selectric typewriter; that's the one with the "bouncing ball" type.
  • In May FCC Chairman Newton Minow claims that television is a "vast wasteland." Oh, if he only knew....
  • April 12: Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin is the first man to travel into space, as he circles the earth in 90 minutes in the Vostok I 187 miles above the earth.
  • May 5: Navy Commander Alan B. Shepard, Jr., blasts into space for a 20 minute ride "out of this world" in the Freedom 7. The space race is under way, but the U.S. is behind.
  • Coca Cola introduces Sprite to compete against 7-Up. Another race is under way.
  • Ray Kroc buys out the McDonald brothers and takes control over the hamburger chain.
  • March 29: The 23rd amendment to the Constitution is ratified; it provides for congressional representation of Washington, D.C.
  • Joseph Heller's "Catch 22" is published.
  • Johnson & Johnson introduces Tylenol.
  • More than 300 babies in Germany are born with horrible deformities; a doctor connects the abnormalities to a drug called thalidomide. Thalidomide was never approved for use in the U.S.
  • April: The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba by 1,600 rebels trained by the U.S. is a horrible disaster and embarrassment to President Kennedy.
  • August; East Germany closes the border between East and West Berlin (deep in the heart of East Germany). Khrushchev orders construction of a wall to prevent East Germans from escaping to freedom. Eventually the wall would be 26 miles long.
  • March: President Kennedy creates the Peace Corps to improve education, agriculture, and living standards in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
  • The New York Yankees win the World Series by defeating Cincinnati in five games.
  • Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle compete to beat Babe Ruth's record of 60 home runs. Maris hits number 61 on October 1.
  • The Academy award for Best Picture goes to "West Side Story," which also wins several other awards.


  1. For a while after the Beatles "arrived," they were challenged by another member of the "British invasion"; their first big hit was "Glad All Over"; the group was.... The Dave Clark Five
  2. He was "Little Stevie Wonder" back in the early sixties; and he "burst onto the scene" with a hit called Fingertips, Part II .
  3. She had a beautiful voice and perfect pitch. The lead singer of "The Mamas and the Papas" was Mama Cass Elliott."
  4. He was only a teenager himself in the late fifties when he wrote and recorded a song called "(Oh Please,) Dianah." We're talking about Paul Anka .
  5. One of the longest running westerns in television history was "Gunsmoke." Of course, the lead character was Marshal Matt Dillon. Who played Matt? James Arness
  6. The opening of "Gunsmoke" showed Matt facing off in a gun battle against a bad guy. Rumor has it that this bad guy was actually Burt Reynolds .
  7. Most of us remember Matt's sidekick, Festus. Who played the part of Festus? Ken Curtis
  8. Another solid western of the sixties was "Have Gun, Will Travel." What was the last name of the lead character on this show? Palladin
  9. And exactly what were the words on his business card? Have Gun Will Travel; Wire Paladin; San Francisco