Sunday, 6 June 2010

HBIC Jinx?

I'm hoping this isn't the start of the HBIC jinx, but the last time I spoke of a team winning their series against the Flyers, it turned out the boys from Philly had another thing to say about it. However, the Chicago Blackhawks now sit one win away from a Stanley Cup parade down Madison Street (thanks, JTH!), and it's been a long, long time. It's nearly been fifty years since the Chicago Blackhawks gave the Windy City something to be proud of, and the world has changed and evolved a lot since that time. Today, HBIC goes back into the archives to find out what the news-making stories were in 1961, and we'll take a look at how that compares to today's society. This isn't Hill Valley and I'm not Huey Lewis, but let's get back in time!

  • One gallon of gasoline cost a grand total of 27 cents in 1961. No comment on today's prices, especially with that lovely disaster in the Gulf Region.
  • One first-class stamp would set you back all of four pennies in 1961.
  • John F. Kennedy is inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States of America on January 20, 1961.
  • Wayne Gretzky, a fairly well-known hockey player, is born January 26, 1961 in Brantford, Ontario.
  • South Africa gains independence from the British Commonwealth, becoming the Republic of South Africa on March 15, 1961.
  • Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin is the first man to be launched into space on April 12, 1961. The KHL rejoices!
  • Navy test pilot Alan Shepard became the first American in space less than one month after Gagarin. Shepard's historic flight was made on May 5, 1961.
  • Amnesty International opens its door in England in July, 1961.
  • Germany begins construction on a massive wall that will separate the city of Berlin between East and West Germany on August 13, 1961. The Berlin Wall would fall on November 9, 1989.
  • The World Wildlife Fund opens its doors in September, 1961 in Morges, Switzerland.
  • UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold died in a plane crash en route to the Republic of Congo on September 18, 1961. The Swedish-born Hammarskjold is the only person to have received the Nobel Peace Prize posthumously. He received it for his work in establishing the UN as a peacekeeping and peace-seeking institution.
  • The Russian city of Stalingrad is renamed to Volgograd on November 12, 1961.
  • Fidel Castro declares that Cuba will become a communist country - banning all free elections in the country - and that he is a Marxist-Leninist on December 2, 1961.
  • The Vietnam War officially begins on December 11, 1961 when 400 US military personnel arrive in Saigon on helicopters.
  • The Cold War escalates when President Kennedy advises citizens in the USA to build bomb shelters on their properties.
  • JFK establishes the United States Peace Corps. Thumbs-up from Teebz.
  • Segregation on trains ends for southern United States. I'm shocked that it took that long.
  • The total population on the planet is estimated to be around three billion people. Today, China and India have two-thirds of that number alone.
  • "Six Flags Over Texas", the first of the popular Six Flags theme parks, opens in Arlington, Texas.
  • Pampers, the first disposable diaper, is introduced in the US. Babies everywhere rejoice!
  • Farthings, a popular coin in Britain, ceases to be legal tender.
  • TWA Airlines becomes the first airline to show in-flight movies.
  • Mickey Mantle becomes the highest paid player in baseball, accepting a $75,000 deal with the New York Yankees.
  • The Apartment, directed by Billy Wilder, is named the best picture at the 1961 Academy Awards. Wilder also picks up the trophy for best director, Burt Lancaster is named as the best actor, and Elizabeth Taylor is named as the best actress.
  • West Side Story is released, and will go on to capture the Academy Awards for best picture, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, and best director the following year. Its main competition is Breakfast At Tiffany's, The Hustler, and Judgment at Nuremberg.
  • The Grammys saw "Theme From A Summer Place" by Percy Faith be named as Record of the Year. Ernest Gold's "Theme From Exodus" was named as song of the year. Ray Charles was named as best male artist with his rendition of "Georgia on My Mind", while Ella Fitzgerald's "Mack the Knife" brought home the best female artist Grammy.
  • The Pulitzer Prize in fiction goes to Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird.
  • In literary works, Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer and Joseph Heller's Catch-22 are released in 1961.
  • The New York Yankees win the 1961 World Series, defeating the Cincinnati Reds four games to one to claim Major League Baseball supremacy.
  • The NBA Championship goes to the Boston Celtics who defeat the St. Louis Hawks 4-1.
  • The Cincinnati Bearcats win the NCAA Basketball Championship over Ohio State University by a 70-65 score in overtime.
So there are some of the bigger events in 1961. I'm impressed with the gas prices, though. $0.27 for a gallon of gas? Not bad at all. I still struggle to believe that trains were segregated a mere fifty years ago in the southern United States, but history is what it is.

One game is all Chicago needs. Can they make it happen? Will the curse of HBIC affect another Flyers' opponent?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

JTH said...


The United Center's address is 1901 W. Madison STREET.