Appendix 12: Events of Significance, 1961-1965


  • John F. Kennedy is inaugurated as President of the US, January 20
  • Enovid 5 mg approved for contraceptive use, February 15
  • Cuba invaded at Bay of Pigs, April 12, crushed by April 17
  • Alan B. Shepard, Jr., suborbital launch, May 5


  • John H. Glenn, Jr., first American to orbit earth, February 20
  • Marilyn Monroe Dies August 5
  • Cuban missile crisis, August to November
  • James H. Meredith registers at University of Mississippi, October 1
  • Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”


  • Harold Hughes, Governor of Iowa (1963-1969)
  • First artificial heart implanted by Michael DeBakey, April 21
  • Supreme Court rules no required religious recitation in public schools, June 17
  • Martin Luther King delivers “I have a dream speech”, Washington, DC, August 28
  • John F. Kennedy assassinated, Dallas, Texas, November 22
  • Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed by Jack Ruby, November 24
  • Betty Friedan publishes “The Feminine Mystique”


  • Civil Rights Act outlawed discrimination in employment, voter registration, and public accommodations.
  • Three episodes of the “Beverly Hillbillies” rate in the top 50 single shows in TV history
  • Warren report issued on assassination of President Kennedy
  • The Beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, February 16
  • Schwerner, Goodman and Cheney murdered in Mississippi, June
  • Gulf of Tonkin resolution approved by Congress, August 7
  • Lyndon Johnson elected President, November


  • Selma march led by Martin Luther King, Jr., February 1
  • Malcolm X shot to death, New York City, February 21
  • American combat troops entered the Vietnam War
  • “Unsafe at Any Speed” published by Ralph Nader
  • Gemini 3 orbited the earth 3 times, first American Mult-person crew, June 3
  • Medicare begins, July 1