Free printable activity pages about outer space! In this month’s Teachable Timeline we’re going to explore space by taking a closer look at the year 1961. Here are just some of the historic events that happened as the year unfolded and man continued taking steps to the moon and beyond.
- January 31, 1961: Mercury/Redstone 2 carries the first chimpanzee into space. Ham travels approximately 158 miles on his journey.
- February 4, 1961: Sputnik 7, the world’s first mission to Venus, launched. It failed to reach Venus but spent twenty-two days orbiting Earth.
- February 12, 1961: The Russians launch Venera 1 in another attempt to reach Venus.
- March 9, 1961: Chernushka the dog reaches orbit aboard Sputnik 9.
- April 12, 1961: Yuri Gagarin becomes the first person to orbit the Earth.
- May 5, 1961: Freedom 7 carries the first American, Alan Shepard, into space.
- May 27, 1961: President Kennedy announces the goal of the United States to reach the moon.
To celebrate the imagination, determination, and dedication of the space pioneers, we have several space-themed freebies for you this month plus copywork from President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address that helped usher in 1961.
- John F. Kennedy Copywork-Excerpt of 1961 Inaugural Address
- (three handwriting styles)
- Race to Space Board Game
- Appetizing Astronomy Recipes
- Rocket Ship Fill-In
Teachable Timeline 1961
Here are some more interesting events from 1961 and fun ways you and your children can learn about them:
- January 1, 1961: The National Bank of Chicago issues a check for $960.242 billion to Sears, the largest check ever issued. Enjoy this interactive site that will show you how to fill out a check!
- January 1, 1961: Russia introduces a new ruble. Try this currency match-up and see how many different types of foreign currency you can correctly match with their home countries.
- March 18, 1961: The Poppin’ Fresh Pillsbury Dough Boy makes his first appearance. Celebrate his arrival with some tasty recipes from Pillsbury.
- March 29, 1961: Residents of Washington D.C. receive the right to vote in Presidential elections for the first time when the 23rd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified. Have fun learning about the U.S. Constitution at this site.
- April 25, 1961: American engineer and future co-founder of Intel Corporation Robert Noyce patents the integrated circuit. Explore a timeline of Intel’s inventions and achievements.
- April 26, 1961: Roger Maris hits the first of his 61 home runs in 1961; he would hit his 61st on October 1st. Explore the Roger Maris Museum and find out why this museum to a baseball legend is found in a mall!
- May 27, 1961: The first black light is sold. Check out some fun glowing activities here.
- July 1, 1961: Haleakala National Park is formed in Hawaii. Enjoy Hawaiian coloring sheets, learn the Hawaiian alphabet, study science, and more. (Parents: please note this site also links to Hawaiian myths and legends. Please use discretion when sharing with your children.)
- August 26, 1961: The International Hockey Hall of Fame opens in Toronto. Have fun with a free math printable for kids that incorporates hockey, proportions, and a good dose of silliness!