1962 Facts, Fun Trivia, and History
Quick Facts from 1962
Top Ten Baby Names of 1962
Lisa, Mary, Susan, Karen, Linda, Michael, David, John, James, Robert
Fashion Icons and Sex Symbols
Ursula Andress, Brigitte Bardot, Carroll Baker, Honor Blackman, Claudia Cardinale, Doris Day, Angie Dickinson, Annette Funicello, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield, Ann-Margret, Marilyn Monroe, Julie Newmar, Kim Novak, Leslie Parrish, Stella Stevens, Elizabeth Taylor, Veruschka, Natalie Wood
Sex Symbols and Hollywood Hunks
Sean Connery, Robert Goulet, Elvis Presley, Gregory Peck
Oscars: 34th Academy Awards (1962)
Held on April 9, 1962, at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, the 34th Academy Awards showcased the power of historical epics. Bob Hope was the emcee of the evening. Lawrence of Arabia dominated the ceremony, winning seven awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for David Lean.
Grammy Awards: 1962 Grammys (4th Annual Grammy Awards)
In the music realm, the 4th Annual Grammy Awards, better known as the 1962 Grammys, took place on May 29. The big winners were Henry Mancini’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s soundtrack for Album of the Year and Tony Bennett for Record of the Year with “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”
Emmy Awards: 14th Primetime Emmy Awards (1962)
Bob Newhart hosted the 14th Primetime Emmy Awards on May 22, 1962. The Bob Newhart Show secured the award for Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Humor, which was the equivalent of today’s Outstanding Comedy Series. The Defenders, a legal drama, received the Emmy for Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Drama.
“With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good.”
“We Try Harder”
“Bond. James Bond.”
Time Magazine’s Man of the Year
Pope John XXIII
Maria Fletcher (Asheville, NC)
Macel Leilani (Hawaii)
An overdose of sleeping pills caused Marilyn Monroe’s death. Conspiracy theories involve the mob, President John F. Kennedy, and his brother Robert Kennedy. Ex-husband and baseball great Joe DiMaggio took care of all funeral arrangements, although the couple divorced in 1954.
Rock and Roll Death: ex-Beatle Stuart Sutcliff (brain hemorrhage)
Telstar was launched as the first working communications satellite.
The light-emitting diode (LED) was invented by Nick Holonyak while working for General Electric.
Glenn Bell’s first Taco Bell opened in Downey, California.
The first computer video game, Spacewar, was invented.
The first Vail Ski Resort opened in 1962.
The first Target (Tar-zhay) store opened in Roseville, Minnesota.
The Philips Company of the Netherlands invented and released the first audio cassette
The Biggest Films of 1962
|1. The Longest Day|
|2. Lawrence of Arabia (Pop Culture Classic)|
|3. In Search of Castaways|
|4. That Touch of Mink|
|5. The Music Man|
|6. Mutiny on The Bounty (Pop Culture Classic)|
|7. To Kill A Mockingbird (Pop Culture Classic)|
|11. The Interns|
|12. Bon Voyage!|
|13. The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm|
|14. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?|
|15. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Pop Culture Classic)|
|16. The Manchurian Candidate (Pop Culture Classic)|
|17. Days of Wine and Roses|
|18. State Fair (Pop Culture Classic)|
|19. Taras Bulba|
|20. Girls! Girls! Girls!|
|21. The Premature Burial|
|22. King Kong vs. Godzilla|
|23. The Day of the Triffids (Pop Culture Classic)|
|24. How the West was Won (Pop Culture Classic)|
|25. The Miracle Worker|
|26. Hell is for Heroes|
|27. Dr. No|
|28. The Tower of London|
|29. Kid Gahahad (Elvis Presley)|
|30. Cape Fear|
|31. Jack The Giant Killer|
|32. Kid Galahad|
|33. Carnival of Souls (Pop Culture Classic)|
|35. Tales of Terror|
|36. Pressure POint|
|37. Something’s Got To Give|
|38. Requiem for a Heavyweight|
|39. The Road to Hong Kong|
|40. Birdman of Alcatraz|
|Movies beyond the Top Ten are based on (a somewhat subjective) ranking based on how much they had a long-lasting effect on Pop Culture.|
From 1962 to 1977, the US Nuclear Launch code was 00000000. This was due to an effort to allow the weapons to be armed and ready to launch as soon as possible.
A small town called Centralia, PA, is completely abandoned because of a coal-seam fire at depths of up to 300 feet and a stretch of 3,700 acres ignited on May 27, 1962, and is only speculated to be extinguished in the year 2256.
Starfish Prime was the largest nuclear test conducted in outer space. The electromagnetic pulse knocked out streetlights and alarms in Waikiki. The explosion was visible around Hawaii.
The CIA’s concern over soccer fields along the coast of Cuba led to the Cuban Missile Crisis. In September 1962, a CIA analyst noticed the fields and became concerned because, as he put it, “Cubans play baseball, Russians play soccer.”
The US signed the independence treaty for the Philippines on the 4th of July, giving them both the same “Independence Day” until 1962.
Seattle’s Space Needle, Pacific Science Center, Monorail, Seattle Center, and many other buildings were built for the 1962 World Fair.
James Dresnok was an American soldier who defected to North Korea in 1962 and lived there until he died in 2016.
US President John F Kennedy got 1200 Cuban cigars for himself in the hours before he banned their import.
Frances Oldham Kelsey received the US President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service in 1962 for not giving FDA approval to Thalidomide. This German medication caused over 10,000 severe birth defects in Europe, Canada, and South America.
On October 27, 1962, Vasili Arkhipov, a senior officer on the Soviet B-59 submarine, refused permission to launch its nuclear torpedo during the Cuban Missile Crisis, avoiding World War III.
Sam Panopoulos, a Greek Canadian restaurateur who owned the Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario, decided to put ham and pineapple on a pizza, aiming for something sweet and savory. He called it the Hawaiian pizza.
The Tanganyika, Tanzania, laughter epidemic affected 14 schools and over 1000 people. #masshysteria
The White House Correspondent’s Dinner was men-only until 1962 when JFK refused to attend unless women did.
Elephant bones were discovered under the Vatican. Decades later, it was found that they were the bones of Pope Leo X’s pet elephant, Hanno, who died in 1516.
1962 Pop Culture Facts & History
Episode 122 of The Twilight Zone, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, was a French film short that won the Cannes Film Festival in 1962 and an Oscar for Live Action Short Film in 1963. Producers paid $25,000 for rights that limited them to airing the story no more than two times.
|The Jetsons’ original run consisted of only 24 episodes that first aired on ABC from September 1962 to March 1963. Reruns of those same 24 episodes were broadcast on Saturday mornings on ABC (1963-64), CBS (1964–65 and 1969–71), and NBC (1965–67, 1971–76, 1979–81 and 1982–83).|
Do you remember, before 1962, when you could not get Goldfish Crackers at your local store? Pepperidge Farm remembers.
You could buy a fall-out shelter for as little as $100, feeding your family radiation-free for up to two weeks. Models were priced at $5000 and even higher as well.
Decca Records A&R executive Dick Rowe turned down the Beatles for a record deal and reportedly told their manager, “Guitar groups are on the way out.” He made up for the mistake by signing the Rolling Stones the following year.
James Earl Jones Was in the First Production of NYC’s Shakespeare in the Park in 1962.
Marlon Brando was the first actor to command a $1 million salary for his starring role in 1962’s Mutiny on the Bounty.
The shortest Oscar Speech ever was given by Patty Duke in 1962; at age 16, the youngest person to accept an Oscar in a competitive category, said “Thank You” and walked off the stage.
Decca Records turned down a band auditioning with them by saying, “Guitar groups are on the way out.” The band they turned down: the Beatles.
A question mark superimposed onto an exclamation mark, often seen as ?!, is called an Interrobang. Martin K. Speckter is credited with inventing the mark in 1962, making it the first new punctuation mark to be introduced in 300 years. It hasn’t caught on (yet).
McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish was created in 1962 for Catholics abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent.
The Sedan Crater in Nevada, created in August 1962 using a 104-kiloton nuclear blast, was used by Apollo astronauts in February 1965 to train on geological formations similar to those they might encounter on the moon’s surface.
The first modem was invented in 1962 with a speed of 300 bits per second.
The 1996 movie Mars Attacks was based on a set of controversial trading cards from Topps.
The record for most interceptions in a season is 42, in 1962, by Houston Oiler George Blanda.
Spacewar!, a 1962 scientist-only lab game, became the Galaxy game, the first coin-operated video game.
1st Appearances & 1962’s Most Popular Christmas Gifts, Toys and Presents
Tammy fashion doll, Mille Bornes Card Game, King Zor, LEGO Model Sets (with wheels), Boob Tube, Slinky*, Password TV Game home version, smooth & plastic Wiffle bat is introduced, Limbo Party Kit
Best Film Oscar Winner
West Side Story (presented in 1962)
Popular and Best-selling Books From 1962
A Shade of Difference by Allen Drury
1962 Most Popular TV Shows
1. Beverly Hillbillies (CBS)
1962 Billboard Number One Songs
World Series Champions: New York Yankees
More 1962 History Resources: