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Ministry of
Government and Consumer Services

CFPL Timeline - 1961

“We offer not only the memory, but a graphic view of those events and occasions which made news in the past 365 days. Our chronicle is that of the television news camera -- the eye which beheld the might and the humble, the tragic and the joyous. The camera gazed upon the greatness of man -- and upon his occasional lack of greatness…. It saw the day-to-day happenings in Western Ontario that are now on their way into history…… This was 1961!”

Images from CFPL News 1961

National and International News Stories of 1961:

  • The New Democratic Party of Canada is founded and elects Tommy Douglas as its first leader.

  • CTV, Canada's 2nd major television network begins broadcasting with eight stations spread across the country.

  • Adolph Eichmann is sentenced to death for crimes against the Jewish people and crimes against humanity for the role he played in the Holocaust. He had been located in Buenos Aires and taken to Jerusalem to stand trial. He would be executed on May 31, 1962.

  • 1300 Cuban exiles, armed with U.S. weapons, land at the Bahía de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs) on the southern coast of Cuba.

  • The Berlin Wall is built to prevent the exodus of East Germans to the west. Approximately 2.6 Million East Germans had made their way to West Germany between 1949 and 1961.

  • A 27-year-old Soviet Major named Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human to orbit the Earth in Vostok 1. Travelling at a speed of 27,400 kilometres per hour the capsule is aloft for 108 minutes. Colonel Yuri Gagarin would die on March 27, 1968 when the MiG-15 aircraft he is piloting crashes near Moscow.

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1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968

Story Citations:

Film footage

This Was 1961 – Year End Show 1961 (excerpts)
black and white 16mm motion picture film, silent and sound
Reference Code: F 4396-2-1-8
Archives of Ontario


This Was 1961 – Year End Show 1961 (excerpts)
news script
Reference Code: F 4396-2-2
Archives of Ontario