1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1961st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 961st year of the 2nd millennium, the 61st year of the 20th century, and the 2nd year of the 1960s decade.
The first "upside-up" year — i.e., one in which the numerals that form the year look the same as when the numerals are rotated upside down, a strobogrammatic number — since 1881. The next such year will be 6009 - Take that, you youngsters *S*
20 January: John F. Kennedy is sworn in as the 35th President of the United States.
9 February: The Beatles perform for the first time at The Cavern Club.
1 March: United States President John F. Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps.
12 April: Vostok 1 - Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human in space, orbiting the Earth once.
14 May: Civil rights movement: a Freedom Riders bus is fire-bombed near Anniston, Alabama and the civil rights protestors are beaten by an angry mob of Ku Klux Klan members.
23 June: The Antarctic Treaty comes into effect.
29 July: I was born!
30 July: My sisters 2 years birthday. According to my parents she wished for a baby brother. I got there just in time….
13 August: Construction of the Berlin Wall begins, restricting movement between East Berlin and West Berlin and forming a clear boundary between West Germany and East Germany, Western Europe and Eastern Europe.
22 August: Ida Siekmann jumps from a window in her tenement building trying to flee to the West, becoming the first of at least 138 people to die at the Wall.
17 September: The world's first retractable roof stadium, the Civic Arena, opens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
27 October: Mongolia and Mauritania join the United Nations.
9 November: Neil Armstrong records a world record speed in a rocket plane of 6,587 km/h flying a X-15.
9 December: Tanganyika gains independence as a Commonwealth realm, with Julius Nyerere as its first Prime Minister, with Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of Tanganyika.