JAN. 3: Less than three weeks before John F. Kennedy is inaugurated, President Eisenhower breaks off diplomatic relations with Cuba.
MARCH 29: Residents of the District of Columbia win the right to vote in presidential elections with ratification of the 23rd Amendment.
APRIL: The U.S.-backed landing of a small force of anti-Castro Cubans at the Bay of Pigs turns into a debacle and 743 men have been captured.
MAY 5: Trying to catch up to Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's Earth-orbiting feat in April, astronaut Alan Shepard becomes the first American to fly into space, rocketing 115 miles above Earth in a tiny Mercury capsule for a 15-minute ride.
MAY 11: President Kennedy orders 400 Special Forces troops and 100 new advisers to South Vietnam, adding to some 2,000 U.S. advisers already there.
OCT. 1: Breaking Babe Ruth's 34-year-old record, the Yankees' Roger Maris smashes his 61st home run of the season.
_ SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE