What Happened In 1961?
61 Trivia Questions for 1961 History
1. Barbie’s boyfriend first appeared in 1961. What is his name?
2. What was the Biggest Number One Song of 1961?
Tossin’ and Turnin’ by Bobby Lewis
3. What was the highest-grossing film of 1961?
West Side Story
4. This 1961 was based on a 1957 World War II-set novel of the same name by Alistair MacLean. Name that film.
The Guns of Navarone. It was the second highest-grossing film of the year.
5. In 1961, what was the average life expectancy in the United States?
Men – 67.0 years, Women – 73.6 years.
6. Who worked as co-writers with Rob Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show?
Buddy Sorrell (Morey Amsterdam) and Sally Rogers (Rose Marie)
7. What was John F. Kennedy’s position before he was inaugurated as President of the United States?
United States Senator for Massachusetts.
8. How many people lived in the United States in 1961?
The population was an estimated 183,691,481 people.
9. How many people lived in the World in 1961?
The estimated world population in 1961 was 3,082,830,266 people.
10. What was the Bestselling Fiction Book in 1961?
The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone
11. To the nearest quarter, what was the average movie theater ticket price in 1961?
12. How much did a Loaf of Bread cost in 1961?
13. How much was a Dozen Eggs in 1961?
14. How much was a pound of bacon in 1961?
15. Who was President of the United States in 1961?
Dwight D. Eisenhower (January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961) and John F. Kennedy (January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963)
16. This man was the original bass guitarist for The Beatles, but he left the band to concentrate on his art in 1961. Name this musician/artist.
Stu Sutcliffe ( June 23, 1940 – April 10, 1962)
17. Can you name the 17th Disney animated film? It was released in 1961.
One Hundred and One Dalmatians
18. Her concert appearance at Carnegie Hall on April 23, 1961, was a considerable highlight, called by some people “the greatest night in show business history”. It won 4 Grammys. Name that singer.
19. Who won the Stanley Cup in 1961?
In 1961, The Chicago Blackhawks won over the Detroit Red Wings (4 games to 2)
20. Before they signed on with Motown Records, what was the name of the singing group we call The Supremes?
21. What amendment to the United States Constitution extended the right to vote in presidential elections to citizens residing in the District of Columbia (Washington, DC)?
The 23rd Amendment to the United States Constitution.
22. Regarded by some as the greatest male ballet dancer of his generation, this ballet dancer and choreographer from the USSR defected to the West in 1961. Name him.
Rudolf Nureyev (March 17, 1938 – January 6, 1993)
23. Elizabeth Taylor won her first Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in what film?
24. Can you name Chubby Checkers’ second #1 hit?
Pony Time (3 weeks at number one in early 1961)
25. This typewriter used “typeball”, a sphere with the characters on it, that replaced the “typebars” that had been used for decades. It became the most popular typewriter for the next twenty years. What was it called?
IBM Selectric typewriter
26. What candy company used the slogan: “Wotalotigot!”? (What a lot I got)
27. After he signed the band in 1961, who became The Beatles’ manager?
28. On the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, there were two time-travelers who used a “way-back” machine. Name those characters.
Mr. Peabody and Sherman
29. Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, Mike Love, and Al Jardine were best known as The Beach Boys. What did they call themselves before that?
30. What was the Top-Rated TV Show in the 1960/1961 season?
31. This Disney film featured two sisters, Sharon McKendrick and Susan Evers, who met at a summer camp for girls.
The Parent Trap
32. The Parent Trap’s Sharon McKendrick and Susan Evers were actually twins, played by the same actress. Name the actress.
Halley Mills (Her parents were played by Maureen O’Hara and Brian Keith)
33. Who was the voice of the nearsighted cartoon character Mr. Magoo?
34. Which European Country had the largest population in 1961: France, East Germany, West Germany, Italy, or the United Kingdom?
#1. West Germany (~54 million), then United Kingdom (~53 million), Italy (~51 million), France (~47 million), East Germany (~17 million)
35. Can you name the first chimp sent into space? He returned safely after lifting off in a Mercury-Redstone rocket on January 31, 1961.
Ham the Chimp (aka Ham the Astrochimp)
36. On April 12, riding the USSR’s Vostok 1, can you name the first human in space?
Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (March 9, 1934 – March 27, 1968)
37. On May 5, 1951, the first American launched into space. Name him.
Alan Shepard (November 18, 1923 – July 21, 1998)
38. Who said, “Gee, Mrs. Cleaver?”, usually after he did something wrong.
Eddie Haskell on Leave it to Beaver (1957-1963)
39. What long-running sports program debuted April 29, 1961, on (ABC)?
The Wide World of Sports
40. Milwaukee Braves players Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock, and Frank Thomas achieved what MLB record on June 8, 1961?
They were the first team in Major League Baseball history to hit four consecutive home runs in one inning. The Cincinnati Reds won the game, 10-8.
41. What company used the slogan “betcha can’t eat just one”?
Lay’s Potato Chips
42. How much did a gallon of gas cost in 1961?
$0.31 per gallon
43. President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order #10924, which helped American volunteers provide international social and economic development assistance. What do we call that organization?
The Peace Corps
44. Can you name the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier?
USS Enterprise (CVN-65)
45. Only two US Presidents have hit hole-in-one, although not while in office. Name one of them.
Richard Nixon (in 1961) and Gerald Ford (in 1977)
46. Comprising of Ben Grimm, Reed Richards, Susan Storm, and Johnny Storm, this fictional group was published by Marvel Comics. Name that team.
The Fantastic Four
47. The American League added two expansion teams for the 1961 baseball season. Name them.
The Minnesota Twin. and the Los Angeles Angels.
48. The subgenre of fantasy characterized by adventuring sword-wielding heroes like Conan the Barbarian got its own short and simple descriptive phrase from American writer Fritz Leiber in 1961. Name the term.
“Sword and Sorcery”
49. Which celebrity was NOT born in 1961: Robert Downey Jr., Eddie Murphy, Christopher Meloni, or Julia Louis-Dreyfus?
Robert Downey Jr. (born April 4, 1965)
50. Catchphrase: Who said “The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat”?
Jim McKay on (ABC’s) Wide World of Sports
51. This Disney black-and-white science-fiction film was released on March 16, 1961.
The Absent-Minded Professor
52. Who won the 1961 World Series?
In 1961, The New York Yankees won, beating the Cincinnati Reds (4 games to 1)
53. Name the unsuccessful invasion of Cuba that took place over April 17-20, 1961.
The Bay of Pigs Invasion
54. From 1961 through 1973, the Lutheran Church in America produced a claymation television show. Name that show.
Davey and Goliath
55. Who was the Time Magazine Man of the Year in 1961?
John F. Kennedy
56. A palomino horse with the name of “Bamboo Harvester” got the starring role in a television show that lasted for 143 black and white episodes, from 1961 through 1966. Name that show.
57. FCC chairman Newton N. Minow described commercial television programming with a phrase still sometimes used today. Name nickname for television.
A “vast wasteland”.
58. He is the indisputable leader of the gang. He’s the boss, he’s a VIP, he’s a championship. He’s the most tip top. Who is he?
Top Cat (a Hanna Barbara cartoon character)
59. What did Top Cat’s friend’s call him?
60. Yogi Bear got his own cartoon show in 1961 – The Yogi Bear Show, but his first appearance was on another cartoon show. Name it.
Yoko made his debut in 1958 as a supporting character in The Huckleberry Hound Show.
61. In what year did the Broadway version of West Side Story Debut?
Trivia Team Bonus Questions:
1. Natalie Wood as Maria, did not sing on the West Side Story soundtrack. Who privided the singing voice for Maria?
2. On October 30, 1961, The Soviet Union detonated a 58-megaton yield hydrogen bomb. There are two generally well-known facts about that bomb. Name one of those facts.
1. Its name was Tsar Bomba.
2. It was the largest ever man-made explosion.
3. Who were the 1961 NBA Champions?
For the 1960-61 Season, Champion Boston Celtics won 4 games to 1 over the St. Louis Hawks
5. Name the group, founded in 1961, that is now a large non-governmental organization, focused on human rights.
6. What Horse won the Kentucky Derby in 1961?
7. What was the name of Dudley Do-Right’s horse?
8. Who were the 1961 NFL Champions?
Green Bay Packers
9. Who was the Pope in 1961?
Pope John XXIII, from October 28, 1958 – June 3, 1963
10. What was the name of the fictional television show that Rob Petrie, played by Dick Van Dyke, on the Dick Van Dyke Show?
The Alan Brady Show