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The following events occurred in November 1961:
- 1 November 1, 1961 (Wednesday)
- 2 November 2, 1961 (Thursday)
- 3 November 3, 1961 (Friday)
- 4 November 4, 1961 (Saturday)
- 5 November 5, 1961 (Sunday)
- 6 November 6, 1961 (Monday)
- 7 November 7, 1961 (Tuesday)
- 8 November 8, 1961 (Wednesday)
- 9 November 9, 1961 (Thursday)
- 10 November 10, 1961 (Friday)
- 11 November 11, 1961 (Saturday)
- 12 November 12, 1961 (Sunday)
- 13 November 13, 1961 (Monday)
- 14 November 14, 1961 (Tuesday)
- 15 November 15, 1961 (Wednesday)
- 16 November 16, 1961 (Thursday)
- 17 November 17, 1961 (Friday)
- 18 November 18, 1961 (Saturday)
- 19 November 19, 1961 (Sunday)
- 20 November 20, 1961 (Monday)
- 21 November 21, 1961 (Tuesday)
- 22 November 22, 1961 (Wednesday)
- 23 November 23, 1961 (Thursday)
- 24 November 24, 1961 (Friday)
- 25 November 25, 1961 (Saturday)
- 26 November 26, 1961 (Sunday)
- 27 November 27, 1961 (Monday)
- 28 November 28, 1961 (Tuesday)
- 29 November 29, 1961 (Wednesday)
- 30 November 30, 1961 (Thursday)
- 31 References
November 1, 1961 (Wednesday)
- A Panair do Brasil Airlines DC-7, with 85 people on board crashed, killing 48 people. The plane, arriving from Lisbon, Portugal, was coming in for a landing at Recife when it struck a hillside in the suburb of Tijipio.
- Women Strike for Peace held its first event, as thousands of American women, most of them housewives concerned over the contamination of strontium-90 from fallout, marched in 60 different U.S. cities to demand an end to further nuclear testing. Estimates of the number of participants ranged from 25,000 to 50,000
- The Hungry generation Movement was launched in Calcutta, India.
- The first Soviet ICBM, called the R-16 in the USSR and the SS-7 by Americans, was put on alert.
- The U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission's federal order banning segregation at all interstate public facilities officially went into effect.
November 2, 1961 (Thursday)
- The cover of Oleg Penkovsky, who had passed along top secret Soviet information to American CIA agents operating in the U.S.S.R., was blown, after four KGB agents caught a CIA case officer in the act of picking up information that had been dropped off. The CIA man was expelled; the execution of Penkovsky would be announced on May 17, 1963.
- Israel's Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion received approval to form a new coalition government, with the Knesset approving a vote of confidence, 63-46.
- The musical Kean, based on the life of 18th Century Shakespearean actor Edmund Kean, opened at the Broadway Theater in New York City, closing on January 20 after only 92 performances.
- Born: k.d. lang, Canadian singer-songwriter, as Kathryn Dawn Lang, in Consort, Alberta
November 3, 1961 (Friday)
- The UN General Assembly unanimously (103-0) elected U Thant, the Ambassador from Burma (now Myanmar), as acting Secretary General, to replace the late Dag Hammarskjöld. The other candidate for the position had been General Assembly President Mongi Slim of Tunisia. Thant served two terms, ending in 1971.
- U.S. Army Major General Edwin A. Walker resigned his commission, after having lost his command of a division in West Germany earlier in the year from controversial comments. Walker told reporters that "I must be free from the power of little men who, in the name of my country, punish loyal service to it."
- The White House Historical Association was created as a result of the efforts of U.S. First Lady Jackie Kennedy to fund the maintenance of the American presidential residence. Money was raised through the sales of the Association's book, The White House: An Historic Guide.
- The United States Agency for International Development, known as USAID, was established to coordinate American foreign aid.
- After returning from South Vietnam on a factfinding mission for President Kennedy, U.S. Army General Maxwell Taylor submitted a report proposing the commitment of 10,000 American combat troops to defend against the Communist Viet Cong. Kennedy did not publicly commit reports, but eventually sent 25,000 troops to South Vietnam.
- United Artists announced the selection of actor Sean Connery to portray James Bond in the upcoming film Dr. No. Patrick McGoohan turned down the role, and Roger Moore (who would begin portraying Bond in 1973) was unavailable due to his commitments on the TV show The Saint.
- In one of the more unusual finishes in pro football history, the Dallas Texans were trailing the Boston Patriots, 28-21, but had made it down to the one yard line with one second left. Patriot fans rushed onto the field, and even after being held back by police, one spectator ran into the end zone on the final play, thwarting a pass to Dallas' Chris Burford from Cotton Davidson, then disappeared back into the crowd.
- Born: David Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley, first child of Princess Margaret. At the time of his birth, he was fifth in line to the British throne, after his cousins Charles, Anne, and Andrew, and his mother. He is now 14th in line.
November 4, 1961 (Saturday)
- Italy's second television network Rai 2 began broadcasting, joining the original RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana) which had begun in 1954.
November 5, 1961 (Sunday)
- 1961 Elbarusovo school fire: According to some sources, a fire at the Soviet City of Elbarusovo in the Chuvash ASSR area of Russia, killed 106 schoolchildren and 4 teachers, and the disaster was not acknowledged until 1994, when sculptor Vladimir Nagornov created a monument that was erected on the site. The fire was also acknowledged in news coverage following a 2009 fire at a nightclub in Perm.
- Tropical Storm Inga formed in the Gulf of Mexico, the first time a tropical storm has formed in the Gulf as late as November.
- Died: Channing H. Tobias, 79, African-American leader and Methodist minister who had been chairman of the NAACP (1953–60) and alternate U.S. representative to the United Nations
November 6, 1961 (Monday)
- The British freighter Cinn Keith exploded and sank in the Mediterranean Sea off of the coast of Tunisia, killing 62 of the 68 crewmen on board.
- Heinz Felfe, West Germany's chief of counterintelligence for the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), was arrested by his own agents. Felfe, a former Nazi, was discovered to have been passing secrets of the American CIA to the Soviet Union and to East Germany since 1959, revealing the identify of more than 100 CIA agents in Moscow.
- The U.S. government issued a stamp honoring the 100th birthday of James Naismith.
- American actress Beth Howland married fellow actor Michael J. Pollard.
- Bel Air Fire, a disaster that began as a brush fire on November 5, 1961 in the Bel Air community of Los Angeles.
November 7, 1961 (Tuesday)
- The most damaging blaze in Southern California history destroyed hundreds of homes one of the wealthiest areas of the United States in the Hollywood Hills, including the houses of actors Burt Lancaster, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Joe E. Brown.
- José María Velasco Ibarra was pressured into resigning as President of Ecuador. The Ecuadorian Army had the oath of office administered to Supreme Court President Camilo Gallegos Toledo. Ten minutes later, the Ecuadorian Congress voted to elevate Vice-President Carlos Arosemena (who had been jailed by the Army the day before) to the post.
- The Taiwanese cargo ship Union Reliance collided with the 9,003 GRT Norwegian tanker MS Berean in the Houston Ship Channel. As a result of the collision, Union Reliance caught fire and ran aground. Twelve people aboard the Berean were killed in the collision and subsequent fire.
- Konrad Adenauer was re-elected by the Bundestag for a fourth four-year term as Chancellor of West Germany, but by a margin of only 8 votes. With approval necessary from 250 of the 499 members, the vote was 258 to 206 in his favor, with 26 abstaining and 9 members absent.
- France secretly set off its first underground nuclear explosion, and its fifth overall since joining the nuclear club on February 13, 1960. Confirmation was not given until nearly three weeks later.
November 8, 1961 (Wednesday)
- Imperial Airlines Flight 201/8 from Baltimore, chartered to carry U.S. Army recruits to basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, crashed while attempting an emergency landing at Richmond, Virginia. The plane caught fire after coming down in a wooded ravine at 9:24 pm, killing 77 of the 79 persons on board. Subsequent investigation by the Civil Aeronautics Board determined that most of the people on board had survived the impact, but died of smoke inhalation after panicking in their rush toward the exits. The crew of the plane was blamed for allowing the fuel tank for one of the engines to empty, causing the stall; for failing to use an emergency valve to deploy a malfunctioning landing gear, which would have made an emergency landing possible at the airport; and for failing to instruct the passengers about what to do in the event of a crash. There was no attempt by the recruits to open any of the three emergency exits.
- U.S. Amateur golf champion Jack Nicklaus, a 21-year-old senior at Ohio State University announced at a press conference that he was turning professional. Nicklaus would go on to win 19 major championships, including six Masters tournaments and six PGA Championships.
- Born: Seán Haughey, Irish politician, son of Charles Haughey and Maureen Lemass; Mayor of Dublin, 1989–90; in Dublin
November 9, 1961 (Thursday)
- The Professional Golfers Association (PGA) amended its constitution, ending a longstanding rule that limited its membership to white people, and only those from the Western Hemisphere. Prior to the rescission of the "Caucasian clause", the PGA had allowed non-whites to play in the PGA Tour, though not to join, most notably Charlie Sifford, an African-American who earned $1,300 on the Tour in 1961.
- U.S. Air Force Captain Robert White set a new world record for speed in an airplane, becoming the first person to reach Mach 6 flying an X-15 rocket to Mach 6.04, at 6,587 km/h.
- Brian Epstein saw the Beatles perform at the Cavern Club for the first time, and signed them to a contract by December 10.
November 10, 1961 (Friday)
- The Soviet city of Stalingrad, site of the Soviet defense of the Nazi invasion, was renamed Volgograd in honor of the Volga River, and in keeping with the Communist Party's reassessment of former leader Joseph Stalin. Two other cities named in honor of the dictator — Stalinsk in western Siberia, and Stalino in the Ukraine — were renamed Novokuznetsk and Donetsk, respectively.
- Griswold v. Connecticut: Nine days after opening a birth control clinic in New Haven, Connecticut, in defiance of a state law prohibiting the use of "any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception", Estelle Griswold of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut, and Dr. C. Lee Buxton, were arrested. Their challenge went to the United States Supreme Court, which ruled in 1965 that laws that infringed upon marital privacy were unconstitutional.
- The classic novel Catch-22, by Joseph Heller, was first put on sale by Simon & Schuster, after favorable advance reviews in October. The book's title, which became a phrase to refer to a no-win situation, had originally been Catch-18, but was changed because of a 1961 novel by Leon Uris, Mila 18.
- An Atlas missile, launched from the United States with a squirrel monkey on board, exploded 30 seconds after liftoff while being tested for a 5,000 mile flight. The body of "Goliath", the 24 ounce passenger, was found in the wreckage two days later.
November 11, 1961 (Saturday)
- Kindu atrocity: Thirteen Italian airmen, who were part of the UN Peacekeeping Force in the Congo, were brutally murdered after arriving at the airport in Kindu. Five days after the airmen had disappeared, United Nations investigators discovered that the unarmed group had been kidnapped shortly after their cargo planes had landed with scout cars for a contingent of Malayan UN troops. Mutinying soldiers from the Congolese army, loyal to Vice-Premier Antoine Gizenga, seized the Italian men, beat them, and then shot them in front of the town's prison. Some of the bodies were dismembered and thrown into the Lualaba River.
- The Government of the 17th Dáil, with Seán Lemass continuing as Prime Minister, opened in Ireland.
November 12, 1961 (Sunday)
- Bluebelle Murders: Retired USAF Captain Julian Harvey, operating a charter boat for the family of Wisconsin optometrist Dr. Arthur Duperrault, escaped the yacht as it sank between the Bahamas and Florida. Rescuers found Harvey and the body of the youngest of the three Duperrault children, whom he had taken off the boat before it went down. Harvey was the sole survivor of the seven persons on board — or so he thought. Four days later, the merchant ship Captain Theo spotted 11-year-old Terry Jo Duperrault, clinging to a cork raft. The next day, after learning that there was a survivor, Harvey checked into a Miami motel and killed himself. Investigators soon discovered that Harvey had taken out a $20,000 double-indemnity life insurance policy on his wife, and had almost gotten away with multiple murder.
- Born: Nadia Comăneci, Romanian gymnast who became the first person to win a perfect score of 10 in Olympic gymnastics; gold medalist 1976 and 1980; in Oneşti
- Louis C. Rabaut, 75, U.S. Congressman from Michigan in his 13th term of office, known for introducing the legislation that added the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag
- Oscar B. Ellis, 59, Texas prison director whose reforms in the state penal system were followed elsewhere, including separating the most violent offenders from the inmate population.
November 13, 1961 (Monday)
- Ten days after pressure blew the cap from a natural gas well in the Sahara Desert in Algeria, the "world's biggest fire" started, sending flames 600 feet high. Firefighting expert Red Adair would extinguish the blaze on April 29, 1962, with 660 pounds of dynamite.
- World-famous cellist Pablo Casals, who had fled his native Spain and vowed in 1938 not to perform in any nation that recognized the regime of Francisco Franco (including the United States), played the cello at the request of the President and Mrs. Kennedy. The occasion was a state dinner at the White House in honor of Puerto Rico's Governor Luis Muñoz Marín. Casals, 84, had last performed at the White House 57 years earlier, for President Theodore Roosevelt on January 15, 1904.
- Vladimir Semichastny succeeded Alexander Shelepin as head of the KGB. Semichastny would be replaced on May 18, 1967, by future Soviet head of state Yuri Andropov.
- The airline MADAIR (later Air Madagascar) was created.
- During heavy storms, the Norwegian fishing vessel Peder Vinje disappeared off of Norway's north cape, with 13 men on board, while the Danish motorship Teddy sank in the Baltic Sea on the same evening, taking with it 12 of its 16 men.
- Died: Herman Smitt Ingebretsen, 70, Norwegian politician who had led the Conservative Party, and was later imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp (1943–45)
November 14, 1961 (Tuesday)
- In the Philippine presidential election, incumbent President Carlos P. Garcia was defeated by the incumbent Vice-President, Diosdado Macapagal. Macapagal won 55% of the vote, with 3,554,840 ballots in his favor, compared to 2,902,966 for Garcia.
- A resolution to expel South Africa from the United Nations General Assembly failed to receive the required two-thirds majority. The vote of a committee of representatives from the 103 member nations was 47-32 in favor, and 34 abstaining.
- The Shah of Iran gave Iranian Prime Minister Ali Amini the go-ahead to begin the "White Revolution", a comprehensive series of reforms aimed at improving education, combating poverty, and eliminating corruption over a period of ten years.
November 15, 1961 (Wednesday)
- Kuwait Television began broadcasting. For the first twelve years, the station in Kuwaiti City showed programming, in black and white, for four hours per day. Color television would be inaugurated on March 16, 1974.
- Maria Estela Martinez Cartas, who had been a nightclub dancer in Argentina using the stage name "Isabel", married former Argentine President Juan Perón in Madrid, where he had lived in exile since his overthrow in 1955. In 1973, when Perón returned from exile and was elected President, she became his vice-president as Isabel Perón; and in 1974, became the first woman to ever serve as President of any nation.
- Rembrandt's Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer sold to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for 2.3 million dollars, becoming the most expensive painting in the world.
- Born: Hugh McGahan, New Zealand rugby league player, in Auckland
November 16, 1961 (Thursday)
- Dr. John Lykoudis, of Missolonghi in Greece, received a patent for the antibiotic medicine he had devised to effectively treat peptic ulcer disease, thought at the time to be caused by excessive stomach acid rather than by bacteria. However, he was rebuffed by the Greek government in attempting to obtain trials and approval of the medication, which he called Elgaco, and by medical journals. In 1983, three years after Lykoudis died, Drs. Barry Marshall and Robin Warren would confirm that ulcers were indeed caused by a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, which thrived in acidic environments.
- The United States increased its involvement in Vietnam, beginning its first tactical airlift operations as part of "Operation Farm Gate". Four C-47 Skytrain transports began operation from Bien Hoa Air Base.
- The annual USSR Chess Championship, eventually won by Boris Spassky (who would later become World Champion), began in Baku.
- Born: Müjdat Yetkiner, Turkish footballer for Fenerbahçe S.K. and for the Turkish national team; in Istanbul
- Died: Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives 1940-47, 1949–53, and since 1955, and U.S. Congressman for the 4th District of Texas since 1913
November 17, 1961 (Friday)
- The first successful launch from an underground missile silo was achieved by the United States, with a Minuteman missile being sent up from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
- Portuguese troops at the colony of Goa fired, without provocation, on the passenger ship Sabarmati near Anjadip Island, killing one person and injuring another. By the end of the month, the government of India made the decision to drive the Portuguese out, culminating in the 1961 Indian Annexation of Goa.
- Born: Robert Stethem, U.S. Navy diver, in Waterbury, Connecticut (killed during hijacking of TWA Flight 847 in 1985)
- Died: Benny Kauff, 71, American baseball player who starred in the Federal League (1914–15); after playing MLB from 1916–20, he was banned for life from baseball
November 18, 1961 (Saturday)
- West German pediatrician Widukind Lenz of Hamburg appeared delivered his findings at a meeting of the German Pediatric Society, making the link between the morning sickness pill thalidomide and phocomelia, a birth defect causing missing limbs. Dr. Lenz found that in 17 out of 20 cases of defects that he had investigated in Hamburg, the mothers had used the medicine, marketed there under the name Contergan. By contrast, there had been only one case of phocomelia out of 210,000 births in Hamburg between 1930 and 1955. A reporter at the meeting broke the story the next day in the German national Sunday paper Welt am Sonntag.
- Eddie Arcaro, who had more wins than any other jockey up to that time, finished third in what would prove to be his final horse race, showing with Endymion in the Pimlico Futurity at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York City. Arcaro retired before the 1962 racing season, having ridden 24,092 races and winning 4,779 of them, as well as 807 second place and 3,302 third-place finishes. Finishing first in the race was Willie Shoemaker, who would later hold the records.
- Barry Goldwater, U.S. Senator from Arizona, spoke out in Atlanta against President Kennedy and big government. Although he was a member of the NAACP, the man who would become the Republican nominee for President in 1964, said that states, rather than Washington, should enforce school desegregation, offering "I wouldn't like to see my party assume it is the role of the federal government to enforce integration of schools."
- The funeral of longtime House Speaker Sam Rayburn was held in Bonham, Texas. Two former American Presidents (Truman, Eisenhower) and one future one (Lyndon B. Johnson) joined President Kennedy sat together at the services in the small northeast Texas town.
- Born: Anthony Warlow, Australian opera singer, in Wollongong
November 19, 1961 (Sunday)
- Michael Rockefeller, son of New York Governor, and later Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, disappeared off of the coast of New Guinea. His body was never found and a court in White Plains, New York, officially declared him dead on January 31, 1964. The younger Rockefeller left an estate worth $660,000.
- During construction of the Severn Bridge, three men fell into the river. A rescue boat crewed by two men set sail from Chepstow, not knowing that the three men had been picked up safely by the Aust to Beachley ferry boat, the Severn Princess. Two tanker barges coming down empty from Sharpness, the Wyesdale H and the Wharfedale H, tied together and both being steered from the Wyesdale H collided with the rescue boat, which had no navigation lights. One member of the rescue boat crew was drowned.
- A military uprising overthrew the Trujillo regime in the Dominican Republic.
November 20, 1961 (Monday)
- The last twenty-seven members of the Trujillo family departed the Dominican Republic, where the relatives of the late Rafael Trujillo had ruled for 30 years. Rafael had been assassinated on May 30. Three of his brothers (including former President Héctor Trujillo, joined Rafael, Jr., who had left the previous day. The group departed on a chartered Pan American DC-6 to Miami from the soon to be renamed Dominican capital, Ciudad Trujillo.
- İsmet İnönü of CHP formed the new government of Turkey (26th government, first coalition in Turkey, partner AP)
- Born: Jim Brickman, American adult contemporary singer-songwriter, in Cleveland
November 21, 1961 (Tuesday)
- The first revolving restaurant in the United States, "La Ronde", opened on the 23rd floor of the Ala Moana Building on 1441 Kapiolani Boulevard in Honolulu.
- Born: Scott Parker, American motorcycle racer, in Flint, Michigan
- Died: Lt. Gen. Eugene Reybold, 77, American World War II military leader who directed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
November 22, 1961 (Wednesday)
- Robert Bolt's play A Man for All Seasons, already a success in the UK, opened at the ANTA Playhouse on Broadway, starring Paul Scofield as Thomas More.
- Born: Mariel Hemingway, American actress, in Mill Valley, California.
November 23, 1961 (Thursday)
- At the request of Dominican Republic President Joaquín Balaguer, the name of the capital was changed from Ciudad Trujillo after 35 years, by unanimous approval from the Dominican Congress. The city reverted to its former name of Santo Domingo.
- Aerolíneas Argentinas Flight 322 exploded shortly after takeoff from São Paulo, Brazil, killing all 40 passengers and the crew of 12.
- Andy Warhol wrote gallerist Muriel Latow a check for $50, thought to have been payment for coming up with the idea of soup cans as subject matter for his art.
- Thalidomide was withdrawn from sale in West Germany, five days after Dr. Widukind Lenz told a medical conference about the deformities that it caused. According to a report six years later, pharmaceuticals in other nations withdrew the drug from the market "and within nine months the wave of malformations subsided", but that "estimates of the world-wide number of crippled babies run up to 6,500, the figures compiled a few years ago by an international parents association." 
- Born: Merv Hughes, Australian cricketer, national team bowler 1985-94; in Euroa, Victoria
- Died: Princess Elisabeth of Waldeck and Pyrmont, 89, member of German royalty before 1918
November 24, 1961 (Friday)
- The United Nations General Assembly approved Resoulution 1653 (XVI), the "Declaration on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear and Thermonuclear Weapons", by a 2/3rds majority (55-20, with 26 abstentions).
- The World Food Program (WFP) was formed as a temporary program of the United Nations.
- Died: Axel Wenner-Gren, 80, Swedish inventor of the portable vacuum cleaner, later an entrepreneur who owned the Electrolux Group
November 25, 1961 (Saturday)
- The Soviet Union first opened dialogue with Vatican City as Nikita Khrushchev sent congratulations to Pope John XXIII on the latter's 80th birthday.
- The USS Enterprise, the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was commissioned.
- The Roman Catholic dioceses of Malolos and Imus were created in the Philippines.
- Lieutenant Hugh B. Haskell, U.S. Navy, and his co-pilot made a pioneer flight from Byrd Station in Antarctica to establish Sky-High Camp (later Eights Station) at 75°14'S, 77°06'W.
- Died: Dénes Györgyi, 75, Hungarian architect
November 26, 1961 (Sunday)
- West German pharmaceutical manufacturer Grünenthal GmbH became the first company to take thalidomide off of the market, nine days after the first report of its link to birth defects was published. Distillers Company Ltd. removed the drug from British distribution on December 21.
- In the Avellaneda derby soccer match between Club Atlético Independiente and Racing Club de Avellaneda, the referee was forced to suspend play for six minutes due to fighting amongst the players. Four players from each team were sent off. The game ended in a 1–1 draw.
- Died: Styles Bridges, 63, U.S. Senator for New Hampshire for almost 25 years, and former President pro tempore of the United States Senate
November 27, 1961 (Monday)
- Four days after the #2 Ohio State Buckeyes football team had closed its season unbeaten, with a record of 8 wins and one tie and the championship of the Big Ten Conference, the faculty council at Ohio State University voted 28-25 to reverse the OSU Athletic Council's 6-4 decision to accept an invitation to the Rose Bowl. Objections to the post-season game, and a chance at the mythical national championship, were that OSU's academic prestige had been hurt by its image as "a football school".
- The Patsy Cline Showcase album was released by Decca Records.
- Born: Samantha Bond, English film actress best known as Miss Moneypenny in four James Bond films.
November 28, 1961 (Tuesday)
- Nuclear test ban talks resumed in Geneva between the United States, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.S.R. Thirteen meetings were held over the next two months,
- The new CIA headquarters building was dedicated by President Kennedy in Langley, Virginia, who praised outgoing Director Allen W. Dulles, saying, "Your successes are unheralded; your failures are trumpeted." Dulles was succeeded the next day by John A. McCone.
- After Morocco's King Hasssan II agreed to allow the Arab nation's Jewish minority to leave, the first group 105 Jews was allowed to fly out to Israel. By the end of the year, 11,478 had left, and over the next two years, the 85,000 members of the community had emigrated.
- Born: Florian Vijent, Dutch-Surinamese football goalkeeper (killed in airplane crash, 1989)
November 29, 1961 (Wednesday)
- The United States successfully placed a chimpanzee, Enos, into orbit around the Earth, clearing the way for the first American astronaut to break the pull of Earth's gravity. Enos lifted off from Cape Canaveral on board Mercury-Atlas 5 at 9:07 am, made two circuits of the globe, and was recovered safely at 12:28 pm in the Atlantic Ocean. After the successful flight, NASA announced that one of two men would become the first to be sent into orbit, settling on John Glenn or Donald "Deke" Slayton.
- The UK government published a white paper accepting most of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Local Government in Greater London.
- New York City's iconic Carnegie Hall hosted country music's legendary Grand Ole Opry for the first time in the history of either organization, in a benefit concert for the Musicians Aid Society. A sellout crowd of 2,700 New Yorkers came out to see Patsy Cline, Grandpa Jones, Minnie Pearl, Jim Reeves, Bill Monroe, Faron Young, Marty Robbins and The Jordanaires. Prior to the concert, theater critic and columnist Dorothy Kilgallen wrote in her syndicated gossip column, "Remember when Carnegie Hall was associated with MUSIC?" 
- Born: Gilberto Román, Mexican boxer, world super flyweight champion 1986-87; in Mexicali (d. 1990)
November 30, 1961 (Thursday)
- The Soviet Union vetoed Kuwait's application for United Nations membership, in alliance with Iraq. After the Arab League withdrew its forces from the sheikdom, the Security Council, including the U.S.S.R., approved Kuwait's membership.
- U.S. President Kennedy, authorized Operation Mongoose, the secret funding of Cuban groups to overthrow Cuba's new revolutionary socialist government led by prime minister Fidel Castro. Brigadier General Edward Lansdale was put in command of the project, which had 4,000 operatives on its payroll between 1961 and 1963.
- Died: Winifred Lawson, 69, English opera and concert soprano
- "48 Die In Brazil Plane Crash", Miami News, November 1, 1961, p1; Aviation-Safety.net
- "Hundreds Of Women Stage U.S. 'Strike For Peace'", Sarasota Herald-Tribune, November 2, 1961, p4
- Harriet Sigerman, The Columbia Documentary History of American Women since 1941 (Columbia University Press, 2003) p137
- Spencer Tucker, A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East, Volume 2 (ABC-CLIO, 2009) p2273
- Raymond Arsenault, Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice (Oxford University Press, 2011) p271
- Antonio J. Mendez, with Malcolm McConnell, The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA (HarperCollins, 2000) p218
- "Israel Installs Coalition Regime", New York Times, November 3, 1961, p19
- Internet Broadway Database
- "U Thant Will Fill Dag's Post in U.N.", Miami News, November 4, 1961, p1; Stanley Meisler, United Nations: The First Fifty Years (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997) p154
- "Gen. Walker Resigning", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 4, 1961, p1
- Michael O'Brien, John F. Kennedy: A Biography (Macmillan, 2006) p782
- Cynthia L. Clark, The American Economy: A Historical Encyclopedia(Volume 1) (ABC-CLIO, 2011) p450
- George C. McGhee, On the Frontline in the Cold War: An Ambassador Reports (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997) p147
- Christopher Bray, Sean Connery: A Biography (Open Road Media, 2011)
- Michael Felger, Tales from the Patriots Sideline (Sports Publishing LLC, 2006) p10; "Burton Ace As Patriots Sink Texans", Milwaukee Sentinel, November 4, 1961, p2-4
- "Margaret Has Baby Boy—- Viscount Linley Fifth in Line for Throne", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 3, 1961, p1
- Horace Newcomb, Encyclopedia of Television, Volume 1 (CRC Press, 2004) p1191
- Vladimir Nagornov website Archived 2012-09-11 at Archive.today
- "Death toll from Perm fire reaches 142", Voice of Russia website
- Climatological Data, Alabama— Annual Survey, 1961 (National Climatic Center, 1962) p66
- "Ship Survivors Search Ended", Miami News, November 7, 1961, p4
- Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (Random House, 2008) p212
- "HOMES OF STARS IN RUINS", Miami News, November 7, 1961, p1
- "Ecuador Split By Choice Of 2 Chiefs, Miami News, November 8, 1961, p2
- "3 Die As Ships Ram Head On", Miami News, November 8, 1961, p1
- "Adenauer Back By Slim Margin As Bad Blood Seen In Coalition", Montreal Gazette, November 8, 1961, p2
- "France Set Off Nuclear Bomb, Says Newsman", Hartford Courant, November 25, 1961
- "FLAMING CRASH KILLS 77 ON ARMY RECRUIT PLANE", Miami News, November 9, 1961, p1
- "Why 74 Recruits Died In Crash Of Plane", Miami News, February 6, 1962, p1
- "Golfer Nicklaus Pro", Ottawa Citizen, November 8, 1961, p19; Jack Nicklaus, with Ken Bowden, My Story (Simon & Schuster, 1997) p61
- Robert M. White, with Jack L. Summers, Higher and Faster: Memoir of a Pioneering Air Force Test Pilot (McFarland, 2010) p186; "Breaking the Sound Barrier: From Mach 1 to Mach 10"
- Howard Sounes, Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney (Da Capo Press, 2010) p53
- "Joe's City Follows Him Into Obscurity", Miami News, November 11, 1961, p1
- "Birth Control Clinic Heads Are Arrested", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 11, 1961, p20
- Kathryn Cullen-DuPont, Encyclopedia of Women's History in America (Infobase Publishing, 2000) p108
- Harold Bloom, Joseph Heller's Catch-22 (Infobase Publishing, 2007) p137
- "Body Of Goliath Found In Wreck of Atlas", Miami News, November 13, 1961, p7A
- "Congo Mutineers Massacre 13 Italian Airmen With UN", Montreal Gazette, November 17, 1961, p1; "CONGO: Savagery", TIME Magazine, November 24, 1961
- "6 Killed as Ketch Sinks in Bahamas", New York Times, November 14, 1961
- "Child Adrift 3 1/2 Days Saved From Sea", Toledo Blade, November 17, 1961, p1
- "Boat Disaster Captain Takes Own Life", St. Petersburg Times, November 18, 1961, p1
- "Murder on the high seas- Woman ends 19-year silence to reliver her bloody nightmare", Miami News, February 10, 1981, p1
- "Texan Snuffs Out World's Biggest Fire", Toledo Blade, April 29, 1962, p10
- Shelley Sommer, John F. Kennedy: His Life and Legacy (HarperCollins, 2004) p102; "Casals Performs for the Kennedys", New York Times, November 14, 1961, p1
- Jonathan Haslam, Russia's Cold War: From the October Revolution to the Fall of the Wall (Yale University Press, 2011) pp215-217
- Thompson, Virginia; Adloff, Richard (1965). "The Economy". The Malagasy Republic: Madagascar today. Stanford University Press. p. 292. ISBN 0-8047-0279-9. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
- "Missing Ship Has 13 Aboard", Miami News, November 15, 1961, p10A
- Dieter Nohlen, et al., Elections in Asia and the Pacific: South East Asia, East Asia, and the South Pacific (Oxford University Press, 2001) p227; "Macapagal Winner In Philippines", Miami News, November 15, 1961, p1
- "South Africa Hangs Onto Its Seat In U.N.", Miami News, November 14, 1961, p5A
- Kristen Blake, The U.S.-Soviet Confrontation in Iran, 1945-1962: A Case in the Annals of the Cold War (University Press of America, 2009) p155
- Kuwait Ministry of Information
- Robert D. Crassweller, Peron and the Enigmas of Argentina (W. W. Norton & Company, 1988) p316
- Time article
- Barry Marshall, Helicobacter Pioneers: Firsthand Accounts from the Scientists who Discovered Helicobacters, 1892-1982 (Wiley-Blackwell, 2002) p78
- Craig C. Hannah, Striving for Air Superiority: The Tactical Air Command in Vietnam (Texas A&M University Press, 2002) p11
- Dennis R. Jenkins, To Reach the High Frontier: A History of U.S. Launch Vehicles (University Press of Kentucky, 2002) p254; "Minuteman In Pit Fired 3,000 Miles", Milwaukee Sentinel, November 18, 1961, p4
- Satyindra Singh, Blueprint to Bluewater, the Indian Navy, 1951-65 (Lancer Publishers, 1992) p350
- Mitchell H. Gail and Jacques Bénichou, Encyclopedia of Epidemiologic Methods (John Wiley and Sons, 2000 p924
- Philip J. Hilts, Protecting America's Health: The FDA, Business, and One Hundred Years of Regulation (UNC Press Books, 2004) p155
- Paul J. Christopher and Alicia Marie Smith, 50 Plus One Greatest Sports Heroes of All Times: North American Edition (Encouragement Press, LLC, 2006) p28; "Crimson Satan touted as hot Derby prospect", Hopkinsville (KY) New Era, November 20, 1961, p17
- Allan J. Lichtman, White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement (Grove Press, 2009) p232; "Goldwater Attacks 'Indecision' of JFK", Rome News-Tribune, - November 19, 1961, p1
- "3 Presidents at Rayburn Funeral", Chicago Tribune, November 19, 1961, p1
- "Rescue of Companion Spurs Naval Search for Mike Rockefeller", St. Joseph (MO) Gazette, November 21, 1961, p1
- "The News Around the U.S.", Miami News, February 1, 1964, p14A
- "TRUJILLO BROTHERS FLEE, ARRIVE ON BEACH", Miami News, November 20, 1961, p1
- Chad Randl, Revolving Architecture: A History of Buildings that Rotate, Swivel, and Pivot (Princeton Architectural Press, 2008) p105; Some Construction and Housing Firsts in Hawaii, by Robert C. Schmitt, in The Hawaiian Journal of History (Hawaiian Historical Society, 1981) p110
- "City Renamed Santo Domingo", Spokane (WA) Daily Chronicle, November 24, 1961, p13
- "AIRLINER CRASHES IN BRAZIL, 52 KILLED", Miami News, November 23, 1961, p1
- "The Origin of Andy Warhol's Soup Cans or The Synthesis of Nothingness"
- "Thalidomide Firm Named in Charges", Chicago Tribune, March 15, 1967, p3
- Edmund Jan Osmańczyk and Anthony Mango, Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements (Taylor & Francis, 2003) p543
- Thomas Cahill, Pope John XXIII (Penguin, 2008) p350
- Kit Bonner and Carolyn Bonner, Modern Warships (Zenith Imprint, 2007) p42
- James L. Schardein and Orest T. Macina, Human Developmental Toxicants: Aspects of Toxicology and Chemistry (CRC Press, 2006) p130
- "Buckeyes Finally Lose, 28-25, In Bowl Debate", Toledo Blade, November 28, 1961, p48
- Fen Osler Hampson, with Michael Hart, Multilateral Negotiations: Lessons from Arms Control, Trade, and the Environment (JHU Press, 1999) p64
- Allen W. Dulles, The Craft of Intelligence: America's Legendary Spy Master on the Fundamentals of Intelligence Gathering for a Free World (Globe Pequot, 2006) p39
- Ian Black and Benny Morris, Israel's Secret Wars: A History of Israel's Intelligence Services (Grove Press, 1992) p180
- "ENOS BACK HOME, SAFE", Milwaukee Sentinel, November 30, 1961, p1
- "Glenn, Slayton Nos. 1 - 2 for Orbit", Milwaukee Sentinel, November 30, 1961
- London Government: Government Proposals for Reorganization, Cmnd. 1562
- "'The Grand Ole Opry' Is Heard In a Program of Country Music", The New York Times, November 30, 1961, p41
- "Grand Ole Opry Bows at Carnegie; Yankees Love It", UPI report in The Daily World (Opelousas, Louisiana) p2
- "Carnegie Hall", by Don Roy, in The Encyclopedia of Country Music, ed. by Paul Kingsbury (Oxford University Press, 1998) p79
- "Voice of Broadway", by Dorothy Kilgallen, Philadelphia Daily News, November 11, 1961, p16
- R. C. S. Trahair and Robert L. Miller, Encyclopedia of Cold War Espionage, Spies, and Secret Operations (Enigma Books, 2009) p290