1962 History, Trivia and Fun Facts
Quick Facts from 1962:
- World Changing Event: The Cuban Missle 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 Machurian 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, Tagret 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 like 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
– Ed McMahon on the ‘Tonight Show’
“With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good”
“We Try Harder”
“Bond. James Bond.”
– Sean Connery, in ‘Dr. No’
Time Magazine’s Man of the Year:
Pope John XXIII
Maria Fletcher (Asheville, NC)
Macel Leilani (Hawaii)
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 History:
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 by 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.
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
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