The decade of the 1960’s started off relatively quiet but would become known as a decade of change and turbulent times. The decade was marked by the space race, space walks and moon landings; it was a time of civil rights demonstrations, church bombings and race riots. There was a British invasion and the Beatles shot to fame. It was the time of the Viet Nam war; there were peace demonstrations, draft protests, sit ins, college riots and Weathermen bombings. There were happenings, hippies, long hair, bell bottoms and of course, the Woodstock concert. It was a decade of too many assassinations; by the end of the 10 year period America would be changed forever.
People survived the decade without cable TV, satellite communications, the Internet, GPS devices, PC’s, laptops, CD’s, cell phones, hand held media devices, VCR’s, DVD’s, digital cameras and host of other gadgets.
Here is a brief look at some people and events from the year 1962.
John F. Kennedy was President of the United States.
On January 10, 1962 John W. McCormack (D-Mass) became the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
On February 3, 1962 the United States initiated an embargo against Cuba.
On February 10, 1962 American U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers was exchanged for Soviet spy Rudolf Abel in Berlin.
On July 5, 1962 Algeria gained independence from France.
On August 5, 1962 Nelson Mandela was arrested in South Africa.
On October 1, 1962 James Meredith was the first black student to register at the University of Mississippi.
On October 10, 1962 the Sino-Indian border war began.
On October 14, 1962 the Cuban Missile Crisis began and would continue for the next several weeks.
On November 6, 1962 the United Nations condemned the South African policy of apartheid.
On November 7, 1962 Republican Richard M. Nixon lost the California governors race.
The unemployment rate for 1962 was 5.5%.
On March 2, 1962 basketball super star Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in an NBA game.
On June 17, 1962 Brazil won the World Cup Soccer Championship defeating Czechoslovakia 3-1.
The New York Yankees were the 1962 World Series Champions defeating the San Francisco Giants in 4 out of 7 games.
On September 25, 1962 Sonny Liston became the new Heavyweight Boxing Champion knocking out Floyd Patterson in a one round bout in Chicago.
Arts and Entertainment
The 34th Academy Awards were hosted by Bob Hope on April 9, 1962. The Best Picture Award for 1961 went to, “West Side Story”.
In 1962 the prime time Emmy for comedy went to, “The Bob Newhart Show”. In the drama category the prime time Emmy went to, “The Defenders”. The Emmy for best variety show was awarded to “The Garry Moore Show”.
The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1962 went to “The Edge of Sadness”, by Edwin O’Connor.
On January 30, 1962 two members of the Flying Wallendas (high wire act) died in a fall in Detroit.
On April 21, 1962 the Century 21 Exposition World’s Fair opened in Seattle.
On July 12, 1962 the Rolling Stones first performed at the Marquee Club in London.
On October 1, 1962 Johnny Carson became the host of the “Tonight Show”.
On October 5, 1962 the Beatles released “Love me Do”; this was the first single for the Fab Four.
On October 5, 1962 the first of the James Bond movies, “Dr. No” opened in movie houses in the UK.
On October 13, 1962 “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” opened on the Great White Way.
On February 20, 1962 John Glenn orbited the earth 3 times aboard the spacecraft Friendship 7.
On May 22, 1962 a bomb exploded on Continental Flight 11; all 45 persons aboard were killed when the plane crashed near Unionville, MO.
On May 24, 1962 Scott Carpenter orbited the earth 3 times aboard the spacecraft Aurora 7.
On June 1, 1962 Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann was executed in Israel.
On June 11, 1962 Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin escaped from Alcatraz; they were presumed dead but no bodies were ever recovered.
On July 2, 1962 the first Wal-Mart store opened in Rogers, Arkansas.
On August 8, 1962 actress Marilyn Monroe overdosed on drugs and alcohol.
On August 27, 1962 over 400 people died in a flash flood in Barcelona, Spain.
On December 8, 1962 there was a newspaper strike in New York City; the strike would last 114 days.
Bureau of Labor Statistics