1962 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

1962 History, Trivia and Fun Facts
Quick Facts from 1962:
  • World Changing Event: The Cuban Missile Crisis between The United States, The USSR, and Cuba between Oct 16, 1962, and Oct 28, 1962.
  • Space Race: John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth, keeping the Space Race with the USSR about even.
  • The Top Song was I Can’t Stop Loving You by Ray Charles
  • The Movies to Watch include Lawrence of Arabia, The Manchurian Candidate, and Girls! Girls! Girls!
  • The Most Famous Person in America was probably Elvis Presley
  • Notable books include: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle and Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  • Price of a Men’s 100% Wool Suit in 1962: $45.00
    Price of a movie ticket: 70 cents
  • The Funny Guys were: The Smothers Brothers
    The Funny Guy was: Ernie Kovacs
    The Funny Lady was: Moms Mabley
    The Funny Late Night Host: Johnny Carson
    The Other Funny Late Show Host: Steve Allen
    The Guy Who Had One Successful Funny Album (The First Family): Vaughn Meader
  • The Superstores: Walton opened Wal-Mart Discount City in Rogers, Arkansas. Woolco, Target, and Kmart also opened.
  • The Crazy Conspiracy: Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her home on August 5, 1962. Did she take her own life as the news reports said? Was it the CIA? The Kennedys? The Mob?
Top Ten Baby Names of 1962:
Lisa, Mary, Susan, Karen, Linda, Michael, David, John, James, Robert
The Hotties and Fashion Icons:
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

“The Quotes:”
“Heeere’s Johnnny!”
– Ed McMahon on the ‘Tonight Show’

“With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good”
-Smucker’s Jelly

“We Try Harder”
-Avis

“Think small”
– Volkswagen

“Bond. James Bond.”
– Sean Connery, in Dr. No

Time Magazine’s Man of the Year:
Pope John XXIII
Miss America:
Maria Fletcher (Asheville, NC)
Miss USA:
Macel Leilani (Hawaii)

The Scandals:
Marilyn Monroe’s death was caused by an overdose of sleeping pills. 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 of the funeral arrangements although the couple had divorced in 1954.

October 22-28 was probably the closest we ever came to nuclear war – The Cuban Missle Crisis was officially over on November 2.

Rock and Roll Death: ex-Beatle Stuart Sutcliff (brain hemorrhage)

Pop Culture Facts:
Telstar was launched as the first working communications satellite.

The light-emitting diode (LED) invented 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.

Audio cassettes were 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.

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.

Uh-oh
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 stretch of 3,700 acres that 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.”

World News:
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, 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 his death in 2016.

Interesting
US President John F Kennedy got 1200 Cuban cigars for himself in the hours before he banned their import.

The Heroes:
Frances Oldham Kelsey received the US President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service in 1962 for not giving FDA approval to Thalidomide: a German medication that caused over 10,000 severe birth defects in Europe, Canada and S. 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.

The Outliers
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 discovered that they were the bones of Pope Leo X’s pet elephant Hanno, who died in 1516.

Constance Smith went to jail for stabbing her boyfriend in 1962. She stabbed him again in 1968 and was charged with attempted murder. They married in 1974.

Pop Culture History:
Episode 122 of The Twilight Zone, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, was a French film short that had won awards at 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).

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, who 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 which made it the first new punctuation mark to have been 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 and had 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.

The Habit:
Spacewar!, a 1962  scientist-only lab game, became the Galaxy game, the first coin-operated video game.

Limbo!
Reading Rachel Carson’s book, ‘Silent Spring’, which started the environmentalist movement.

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
*Slinky was originally mass released in 1945. This comeback was due to the catchy “Slinky” Commercial jingle
Best Film Oscar Winner:
West Side Story (presented in 1962)
Broadway Show:
Never Too Late (Play) Opened on November 27, 1962, and Closed: April 24, 1965
Popular and Notable Books From 1962:
A Shade of Difference 
by Allen Drury
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone
Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
Dearly Beloved by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Fail-Safe by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler
Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
The Prize by Irving Wallace
The Reivers by William Faulkner
Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book by Dr. Seuss
Seven Days in May by Fletcher Knebel
Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter
Silent Spring – Rachel Carson
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
The Spy Who Loved Me by Ian Fleming
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn
Youngblood Hawke by Herman Wouk
1962 Most Popular TV shows:
1. Beverly Hillbillies (CBS)
2. Candid Camera (CBS)
3. The Red Skelton Show (CBS)
4. Bonanza (NBC)
5. The Lucy Show (CBS)
6. The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
7. Ben Casey (ABC)
8. The Danny Thomas Show (CBS)
9. The Dick Van Dyke Show (CBS)
10. Gunsmoke (CBS)

1962 Billboard Number One Songs:
December 18, 1961 – January 12, 1962:
The Lion Sleeps Tonight – The Tokens

January 13 – January 26:
The Twist – Chubby Checker

January 27 – February 16:
Peppermint Twist – Part I – Joey Dee & the Starliters

February 17 – March 9:
Duke Of Earl – Gene Chandler

March 10 – March 30:
Hey! Baby – Bruce Channel

March 31 – April 6:
Don’t Break The Heart That Loves You – Connie Francis

April 7 – April 20:
Johnny Angel – Shelley Fabares

April 21 – May 4:
Good Luck Charm – Elvis Presley

May 5 – May 25:
Soldier Boy – The Shirelles

May 26 – June 1:
Stranger On The Shore – Mr. Acker Bilk

June 2 – July 6:
I Can’t Stop Loving You – Ray Charles

July 7 – July 13:
The Stripper – David Rose

July 14 – August 10:
Roses Are Red (My Love) – Bobby Vinton

August 11 – August 24:
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do – Neil Sedaka

August 25 – August 31:
The Loco-Motion – Little Eva

September 1 – September 14:
Sheila – Tommy Roe

September 15 – October 19:
Sherry – The Four Seasons

October 20 – November 2:
Monster Mash – Bobby ‘Boris’  Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers

November 3 – November 16:
He’s A Rebel – The Crystals

November 17 – December 21:
Big Girls Don’t Cry – The Four Seasons

December 22, 1962 – January 11, 1963:
Telstar – The Tornadoes

Sports:
World Series Champions: New York Yankees
NFL Champions: Green Bay Packers
AFL Champions: Dallas Texans
NBA Champions: Boston Celtics
Stanley Cup Champs: Toronto Maple Leafs
U.S. Open Golf Jack Nicklaus
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Rodney Laver/Margaret Smith
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Rod Laver/Karen Susman
NCAA Football Champions: USC
NCAA Basketball Champions: Cincinnati
Kentucky Derby: Decidedly
World Cup (Soccer): Brazil