World History 1961

1961 Kennedy Inaugurated The morning of the inauguration was cold, but beautiful. Snow had fallen on Washington, and President-Elect Kennedy prepared for the exciting experience. He began the day in church. Then he went to have coffee with the Eisenhowers at the White House and accompany them to the inauguration. After being sworn in, President Kennedy gave a breif but stirring speech that signified the birth of a new era.
1961 Peace Corps Founded One of President Kennedy's first proposals was the creation of a Peace Corps to aid developing nations.
The Peace Corps encouraged young people just out of college to give a year or two of their time to work as teachers, health care workers or other advisors in poor nations in Africa, Asia and South America. The first head of the Peace Corps was the President's brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver.
1961 Us Commitment To Vietnam Grows The US government agreed to increase aid to South Vietnam in the fight against Viet Cong rebels. The agreement included paying for a larger Vietnamese army, as well as for more advisors in the field.
1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion The US-supported invasion of was a total failure. The invasion, which began on April 17, was supported by the C.I.A., but rebels were wiped out almost immediately by Fidel Castro's troops. President Kennedy took full responsibility for the debacle, even though the plans had been put in place during the Eisenhower administration.
1961 Kuwait gains Independence In June, Kuwait gained its independence from Great Britain. Britain signed a treaty of friendship and protection with Kuwait. In July, British troops were dispatched at Kuwait's request to defend it against Iraqi threats. Those troops were replaced in the fall by troops of the Arab League.
1961 Vienna Summit - President Kennedy and Soviet Premier Khrushchev met at a summit conference in Vienna on June 4. The meetings covered a whole range of items, including Laos, disarmament and general issues of ideology. More than anything else, however, the main issue on the agenda was Berlin. Khrushchev was threatening to sign a peace agreement with East Germany that might impinge on the rights of the West. Progress was made on Laos, but on other matters, the two leaders clashed.

At a final meeting with Kennedy, Khrushchev stated: "Force will be met by force. If the US wants war, that's its problem." "Its up to the US to decide whether there will be war or peace." "The decision to sign a peace treaty is firm and irrevocable, and the Soviet Union will sign it in December if the US refuses an interim agreement." Kennedy responded: "Then, Mr. Chairman, there will be a war. It will be a cold winter."
1961 Berlin Crisis-builidng of the Wall- From the time of the Vienna summit, East German exodus to West Germany began to skyrocket. The Soviets began to talk about war and, in July, the Soviets detonated the largest atomic bomb ever exploded, weighing in at 60 megatons. On August 13, the Berlin Wall went up, dividing East and West Berlin and ending the flow of refugees out of East Germany.
1961 Rafael Trujillo Assassinated Rafael Trujillo, dictator of the , was assassinated by members of the Dominican armed forces. While the U.S. was not directly involved in the plot, it was known that the United States did have prior knowledge of the plan. Also, the Americans gave those carrying out the plot tacit support.
1961 Tanganyika Becomes independent In December 1961, Tanganyika was given the status of an independent state within the British Commonwealth, after pressure was exerted by the Tanganyika National Union, led by Julius Nyerere. He subsequently became the first President of Tanganyika.