1961
THIS YEAR IN LAS VEGAS ...

WHILE IN THE WORLD ...

First Las Vegas Road Race
In the second weekend of December, the first rally of racing cars and motorcycles is organized in Las Vegas.
The fastest race is that of B, C, D, E, F Modified, with an average speed of 69.3 mph, won by Don Hulette, on a Jaguar Corvette.
The fastest woman is Mary McGee, on a RSK. She wins, after an exciting duel with Paula Murphy.

The Berlin Wall
After the division, in 1949, of Germany in two different states, about 2.5 million people has escaped from the political repression of Communist Germany, thanks of the connection between East Berlin and West Berlin.
This has produced labor shortages, especially for the most specialized workers. The situation has becoma worse and worse, to the point that Khrushchev, in June, has threatened to use nuclear weapons.
On August 13, a barrier of barbed wire is stretched to stop the transit of pleople between the two parts of Berlin. It will be soon replaced by a system of wall and electrified fences, controlled by armed men.

The conquest of space
On April 12, Major Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man in space. Onboard the Vostok I capsule, he stays in orbit for 1 hour and 48 minutes. Then, in August, cosmonaut Gherman Titov spends a full day in orbit.
American will arrive later. After two suborbital flights of Alan Shepard, Jr. and Virgil Grissom this year, the first American in space will be Lieutenant Colonel John Glenn, next year.
On May 25, in front of a nation bewildered by the Soviet supremacy in space, promising that an American man will land on the Moon by the end of this decade. This promise will be fulfilled on July 21, 1969.

The Bay of Pigs Invasion
Convinced by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy authorizes the invasion of Cuba, with the aim of overturning Fidel Castro's Communist regime.
On April 17, an army of 1,500 Cuban exiles, trained and armed by the American CIA, lands on Playa Giron on the Bay of Pigs.
The reaction of Castro's Army is quick and strong. After just 72 hours, 400 of the invasion army were dead, and all the others have surrendered.

Breakfast at Tiffany's
Hollywood star Audrey Hepburn becomes world famous playing the character of Holly Golightly in ''Breakfast at Tiffany's'', a movie of Blake Edwards, adapted from a story of Truman Capote.

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