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May 17th, 1961.

May 17th, 1961, was a Wednesday. It was day 137 of 1961. The decade was the 1960s.

60 years, 6 months and 11 days have passed since May 17th, 1961.

The zodiac star sign for this date is Taurus.

Born on May 17th, 1961.

People who were born on this exact date.

Music charts.

Songs that were on top of the music singles charts in the USA and the United Kingdom on May 17th, 1961.

  • United States: Runaway - Del Shannon
  • United Kingdom: On The Rebound - Floyd Cramer

The Billboard Hot 100 on May 17th, 1961.

The top five songs from the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

  • Runaway - Del Shannon
  • Mother-In-Law - Ernie K-Doe
  • A Hundred Pounds Of Clay - Gene McDaniels
  • I've Told Every Little Star - Linda Scott
  • Daddy's Home - Shep And The Limelites
Play the top hits from 1961.
A Spotify playlist of songs from the year 1961. Take a trip back to the days of Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard & The Shadows, The Shirelles, Chubby Checker, Ray Charles and Helen Shapiro.
The Absent-Minded Professor

Top movie at the Box Office.

The movie "The Absent-Minded Professor" was at the top of the box office on May 17th, 1961.

Take me back to May 17th, 1961!

Let's take a stroll down memory lane!

The date is May 17th, 1961 and it's a Wednesday. Anyone born today will have the star sign Taurus. The summer of 1961 has finally arrived. The weather has warmed up and the evenings are brighter than usual.

In America, the song Runaway by Del Shannon is on top of the singles charts. Over in the UK, On The Rebound by Floyd Cramer is the number one hit song. John Fitzgerald Kennedy is currently the President of the United States and the movie The Absent-Minded Professor is at the top of the Box Office.

In the United Kingdom, Harold Macmillan is the current Prime Minister. Tailfins on cars are extremely popular at the moment. The design looks futuristic, almost like a rocket or the twin rudders on the back of an airplane. In fashion, many of the trends from the late 1950s are still popular. Women are wearing tailored skirts, short boxy jackets and shift dresses. Trousers are also becoming popular amongst women. Meanwhile, men are wearing polo shirts, argyle socks, sweater vests, loafers and harrington jackets.

Because it's 1961, radio stations are playing hit songs from artists such as Bert Kaempfert, Chubby Checker, Elvis Presley, Del Shannon, Bobby Lewis and Jimmy Dean. If you were to travel back to this day, notable figures such as Ernest Hemingway and Marilyn Monroe would be still alive. On TV, people are watching popular shows such as "You Bet Your Life", "The Danny Thomas Show", "Maverick" and "The Untouchables".

Children and teenagers are currently watching television shows such as "Tom and Jerry", "The Adventures of Spunky and Tadpole", "Snooper and Blabber" and "Davey and Goliath". If you're a kid or a teenager, then you're probably playing with toys such as the Frisbee, the Hula Hoop, Matchbox toy cars and Etch A Sketch.

News topics, fads & culture.

Trending news stories and fads that were prevalent at this time. These are news stories and events that would have been in the media on May 17th, 1961.

  • The USA is escalating its involvement in the Vietnam War.

    The USA is escalating its involvement in the Vietnam War.

    During this time, the United States was slowly escalating its involvement in the Vietnam War. In May of 1961, President John F. Kennedy ordered helicopters and 400 Green Berets into South Vietnam. Covert operations against the communist forces in the north were also authorized. By 1963, the number of US military personnel in the country had grown to 10,000.

  • Who were the best NBA players in 1961?

    Who were the best NBA players in 1961?

    In 1961, the best NBA players were Bill Russell, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Pettit, Bob Cousy and Oscar Robertson.

  • Who were the best football players in 1961?

    Who were the best football players in 1961?

    In 1961, the best soccer players were Pelé, Omar Sívori, Luis Suárez, Johnny Haynes, Lev Yashin, Ferenc Puskás, Alfredo Di Stéfano, Uwe Seeler and John Charles.

  • West Side Story.

    West Side Story.

    The film "West Side Story" won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1961.

  • Henry Mancini - "Moon River"

    Henry Mancini - "Moon River"

    The song "Moon River" by Henry Mancini won a Grammy for 1961's Song of the Year.

  • 1961 in music.

    1961 in music.

    The Billboard Charts in 1961 were dominated by the likes of Elvis Presley, Bobby Lewis, Jimmy Dean, Ricky Nelson, The Marcels, Del Shannon, Bobby Vee, Ray Charles and Bert Kaempfert.

  • 1961 in movies.

    1961 in movies.

    Movies released in 1961 included West Side Story, The Guns of Navarone, El Cid, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Parent Trap, La Dolce Vita, Lover Come Back, King of Kings, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Splendor in the Grass, Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Hustler.

  • John F. Kennedy.

    John F. Kennedy.

    US President John F. Kennedy was named as the Time Person of the Year in 1961.

  • Rotary phones.

    Rotary phones.

    During the first half of the 1960s, rotary phones were still the most common type of landline phone. Although push-button telephones did begin to appear at the end of 1963, they were relatively uncommon.

  • Tailfins on cars.

    Tailfins on cars.

    Tailfins on cars was a popular style around this time. The design looked futuristic, almost like the twin rudders on the back of an airplane.

  • Greasers.

    Greasers.

    During the 1950s and early 1960s, a popular youth subculture called "greasers" emerged. The style included greased-back hairstyles, work pants and denim or leather jackets.

  • The Jukebox.

    The Jukebox.

    During this period, the jukebox was at the height of its popularity. Around this time, teenagers and young adults would hang out at local restaurants and diners and listen to the latest songs.

Basic facts.

Basic facts and information about this date.

  • 60 years, 6 months and 11 days have passed since May 17th, 1961.
  • Week Number: This date occurred during Week 20 of 1961.
  • Leap Year: 1961 was NOT a leap year.
  • Age: Anyone born on May 17th, 1961, will be 60 years of age.
  • Generation: People born in 1961 belong to the Baby Boomer generation.

Around this time.

Notable events that occurred around May 17th, 1961.

  • April 17th, 1961: The Bay of Pigs Invasion occurs when a CIA-sponsored paramilitary group attempts to invade Cuba.
  • April 18th, 1961: Newspapers report that American actor Gary Cooper is dying from cancer.
  • April 19th, 1961: The comedy-drama film "La Dolce Vita" hits the big screen.
  • April 20th, 1961: The Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba fails.
  • April 23rd, 1961: American actress and singer Judy Garland performs at a comeback concert in Carnegie Hall.
  • April 24th, 1961: Ben E. King releases his song "Stand by Me".
  • April 26th, 1961: Western musician and TV personality Spade Cooley is indicted for the murder of his wife Ella Mae Evans.
  • April 30th, 1961: The song "Tossin' and Turnin'" is released by Bobby Lewis.
  • May 1st, 1961: Fidel Castro proclaims Cuba as a socialist state and bans all elections.
  • May 5th, 1961: Alan Shepard becomes the first American to travel into space.
  • May 6th, 1961: FA Cup Final 1961: Tottenham Hotspur defeat Leicester City 2-0.
  • May 11th, 1961: US President John F. Kennedy orders helicopters and 400 Green Berets into South Vietnam.
  • May 13th, 1961: American actor Gary Cooper dies from cancer at the age of 60.
  • This date: May 17th, 1961
  • May 21st, 1961: Martial law is imposed in Montgomery, Alabama, following racial violence between whites and blacks.
  • May 25th, 1961: US President John F. Kennedy announces that the United States plans to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade.
  • May 31st, 1961: Football: Portuguese side Benfica win the European Cup after they defeat Barcelona 3-2 at the Wankdorf Stadium in Bern, Germany.
  • June 8th, 1961: Marvin Gaye releases his debut studio album.
  • June 16th, 1961: Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev requests asylum in France.

Personality traits.

Check out our personality summary for people who were born on this date.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

View Personality Summary

Horoscope, birthstone & birth flower information.

Zodiac & Birthstone information.

NEW! Check out our personality summary image for this birth date.

  • Zodiac Sign (Astrology): Anyone born on May 17th, 1961, will have the star sign Taurus.
  • Taurus is the star sign for this date in both the old and the new system.
  • Zodiac Element: Earth.
  • Chinese Zodiac Animal: In the Chinese Zodiac, 1961 was the year of the Ox (Yin Wood).
  • The Life Path Number for this date is 3.
  • Native American Zodiac: May 17th, 1961 falls under the Beaver.
  • Birthstone: Anyone born during the month of May will have the birthstone Emerald.
  • Birth flower (May): The Lily of the Valley and the Hawthorn.

Photos of 1960s fashion.

Photographs of 1960s fashion and hairstyles.

Photos of 1960s fashion.

TV shows.

Television shows that people were watching on this date.

TV shows from May, 1961.

Route 66
Route 66
Adventure crime drama.

The Andy Griffith Show
The Andy Griffith Show
Comedy TV series about a sheriff in Mayberry, North Carolina.

Danger Man
Danger Man
British television series about a secret agent working for NATO.

The Untouchables
The Untouchables
American crime drama.

The Twilight Zone
The Twilight Zone
TV series about disturbing or unusual events.

The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
American sitcom about a teenager who strives for beautiful women, fancy cars and money.

Bonanza
Bonanza
American Western series.

Rawhide
Rawhide
American western series starring Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood.

77 Sunset Strip
77 Sunset Strip
Private detective drama series.

Maverick
Maverick
American Western series about two brothers called Bret and Bart Maverick.

Perry Mason
Perry Mason
Legal drama series.

Wagon Train
Wagon Train
American western series.

Have Gun - Will Travel
Have Gun - Will Travel
American western series.

Tonight Starring Jack Paar
Tonight Starring Jack Paar
Talk show hosted by Jack Paar.

Gunsmoke
Gunsmoke
Western drama series.

The Danny Thomas Show
The Danny Thomas Show
American sitcom about a successful nightclub singer.

The Jack Benny Program
The Jack Benny Program
25-minute-long situation comedy series that broadcast on CBS.

You Bet Your Life
You Bet Your Life
Comedy quiz series hosted by Groucho Marx.

What's My Line?
What's My Line?
Panel game show.

The Ed Sullivan Show
The Ed Sullivan Show
Variety show.

Cars in 1961.

1961 saw the introduction of cars such as the BMW New Class, the Dodge Lancer, the Toyota Publica, the Ford Thunderbird (third generation), the MG Midget and the Volvo P1800.

Cars in 1961.

Kids' TV shows on May 17th, 1961.

Cartoons and TV shows that children and teenagers were watching on this day in 1961.

Davey and Goliath
Davey and Goliath

The Yogi Bear Show
The Yogi Bear Show

Mister Ed
Mister Ed

The Dick Tracy Show
The Dick Tracy Show

King Leonardo and His Short Subjects
King Leonardo and His Short Subjects

The Bugs Bunny Show
The Bugs Bunny Show

The Flintstones
The Flintstones

My Three Sons
My Three Sons

Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse
Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends
The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends

Dennis the Menace
Dennis the Menace

The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis

Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy
Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy

Snooper and Blabber
Snooper and Blabber

Noggin the Nog
Noggin the Nog

Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks
Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks

Bozo: The World's Most Famous Clown
Bozo: The World's Most Famous Clown

The Rifleman
The Rifleman

The Huckleberry Hound Show
The Huckleberry Hound Show

The Adventures of Spunky and Tadpole
The Adventures of Spunky and Tadpole

Leave It to Beaver
Leave It to Beaver

Captain Pugwash
Captain Pugwash

Heckle and Jeckle
Heckle and Jeckle

The Gumby Show
The Gumby Show

Mighty Mouse Playhouse
Mighty Mouse Playhouse

Captain Kangaroo
Captain Kangaroo

Lassie
Lassie

Tom and Jerry
Tom and Jerry

Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes

Popular toys and games in 1961.

Toys and games that were popular on this date in 1961.

Ken (doll)
Ken (doll)

Etch A Sketch
Etch A Sketch

Astrobase
Astrobase

Troll doll
Troll doll

Tonka trucks
Tonka trucks

Matchbox toy cars
Matchbox toy cars

Barbie
Barbie

Playpal dolls
Playpal dolls

Crater Critters
Crater Critters

Fisher Price Little People
Fisher Price Little People

The Hula Hoop
The Hula Hoop

Metal House robots
Metal House robots

The Frisbee
The Frisbee

Wooly Willy
Wooly Willy

BAS-KET Miniature Basketball
BAS-KET Miniature Basketball

Were you born on this date?

If you were born on this date, then it is unlikely that you will remember anything from the year 1961.

This is because humans find it difficult to retrieve memories from their early childhood.

If you are looking for some childhood nostalgia, then check out May 17th, 1967 instead.

Celebrity birthdays.

Celebrities, historical figures and other notable people who were born on May 17th.

Bill Paxton

Actor. Deceased
Born on May 17th, 1955
He turned 6 on this day in 1961.

Bob Saget

Comedian / Actor.
Born on May 17th, 1956
He turned 5 on this day in 1961.

Sugar Ray Leonard

Boxer.
Born on May 17th, 1956
He turned 5 on this day in 1961.

Tahj Mowry

Actor.
Born on May 17th, 1986
He was born exactly 25 years after this date.

Holidays.

National holidays and famous events that fall on the 17th of May.

  • Constitution Day (Norway)

US President.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the President of the United States on May 17th, 1961.

UK Prime Minister.

Harold Macmillan was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on May 17th, 1961.

Irish Taoiseach.

Seán Lemass was the Taoiseach of Ireland.

Conception dates.

Conception estimates for this date.

  • A baby that was born on May 17th, 1961 was most likely conceived around August 24th, 1960.
  • The due date for a baby that was conceived on May 17th, 1961 is close to February 7th, 1962.

How old was I?

Enter your date of birth below to find out how old you were on May 17th, 1961.

Time difference & statistics.

Here are some fun statistics about May 17th, 1961.

  • A total of 22,110 days have passed since this date.
  • 3,158 weeks have passed.
  • 1,910,307,600 seconds have passed since the May 17th, 1961.
  • If you were born on this day, your heart has beated approximately 2,228,692,200 times.
  • Since May 17th, 1961, the earth has travelled approximately 985,718,721,600 miles through space.
  • If you were born on this day, your eyes have blinked approximately 318,384,600 times.
  • If you were born on this day, you have taken approximately 164,286,454 steps. That's about 73,016 miles!
  • Since this date, 22,923,691 meteors have entered the earth's atmosphere!

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