News Highlights from 1962

Cost of living

Medium family income $6,000 per year
Minimum hourly wage $1.25
New house $15,000
Gallon of gas .25
New car $2,500
Federal/State/Local taxes 20%  
Pack of chewing gum .05
Candy bar .05
Ice cream bar .15
Soft drink .10
Fast food hamburger .20
1st class postage stamp .04
Pay phone (local call) .10
Color TV set $400
Daily newspaper .10
Refrigerator $500
Tennis shoes $5.00
Doctors office visit $5
Movie ticket .50
Popcorn at the movie.20
45 rpm record $1.00
Record album $3.00

TV highlights of ’62:

03/30/1962 – The NCB talk show, “The Jack Paar show” has it’s last episode on this day.

05/31/1962 – “Tell It To Groucho” last airs on CBS-TV.
June 1962 – “The Alfred Hitchcock show” last aires and has a total of 268 episodes.

09/11/1962 – “McHales Navy” debuts on ABC. Show would run until 8/20/1966 with 138 episodes.

09/17/1962 – The popular CBS/NBC situation comedy, “Father knows best ends. It had 203 episodes.

09/22/1962 – “The Andy Williams show”, a musical/variety show, aires. Show ended on 7/17/1971.

09/23/1962 – ABC’s 1st color TV series aires-“The Jetsons”. There were 24 episodes and the last one was on 9/8/1963.

09/25/1962 – “Bachelor father”, a situation comedy ends with 157 episodes to it’s credit.

09/26/1962 – “The Beverly Hillbillies debuts on CBS-TV. 274 episodes were made before it’s last show on 9/7/1971.

10/02/1962 – “Here’s Johnny!” Johnny Carson hosts his 1st Tonight Show on NBC-TV with guest star, Joan Crawford. Johnny hosted until May 22, 1992 and had a total of 4531 episodes!

10/2/1962 – “Combat”, a war drama aires on ABC-TV. This show ran until 8/29/1967 and finished with 152 episodes.

10/01/1962 – Lucy Show premieres.

12/20/1962 – Osmond brothers debut on the Andy Williams show.

12/31/1962 – “Match Game” debuts on NBC with host Gene Rayburn.

Top singles of ’62:

Big Girls Don’t Cry (The Four Seasons)
Duke Of Earl (Gene Chandler)
Good Luck Charm (Elvis Presley)
Hey! Baby (Bruce Channel)
I Can’t Stop Loving You (Ray Charles)
Peppermint Twist (Joey Dee & The Starliters)
Roses Are Red (Bobby Vinton)
Sheila (Tommy Roe)
Sherry (The Four Seasons)
Soldier Boy (The Shirelles)

Movies of ’62:

Cape fear
Whatever happened to baby Jane

Famous Deaths:

Adolf Eichmann (hanged)

August 5 – Marylin Monroe “Norma Jean Mortense” (overdose of sleeping pills)

November 7 – Eleanor Roosevelt (complications from tuberculosis)

Famous Births:

Feb 4th 1962 – Clint Black
Feb 5th 1962 – Jennifer Jason Leigh
Feb 7th 1962 – Garth Brooks
Feb 17th 1962 – Lou Diamond Phillips
Feb 27th 1962 – Adam Baldwin
March 2nd 1962 – Al Del Greco
March 2nd 1962 – Jon Bon Jovi
March 3rd 1962 – Herschel Walker
March 3rd 1962 – Jackie Joyner-Kersee
March 21st 1962 – Rosie O’Donnell
May 12th 1962 – Emilio Estevez
May 26th 1962 – Bobcat Goldthwait
June 13th 1962 – Ally Sheedy
July 3rd 1962 – Tom Cruise
July 15th 1962 – Brigitte Nielsen
July 31st 1962 – Wesley Snipes
Sept 26th 1962 – Melissa Sue Anderson
Oct 11th 1962 – Joan Cusack
Oct 13th 1962 – Jerry Rice
Oct 19th 1962 – Evander Holyfield
Nov 4th 1962 – Ralph Macchio
Nov 11th 1962 – Demi Moore
Nov 19th 1962 – Jodie Foster

Special events of ’62:

1962 is the Golden anniversary for Chevrolet, their 50th year.
Ford introduces the “Fairlane”. This model was produced until 1970.

Marine Corps General John Glenn circles the earth 3 times in the Friendship 7.

90% of Americans own a television set; ABC begins broadcasting in color.

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” with Zero Mostel premieres in New York.

Two new dances, the “Mashed Potato” and the “Watusi” hit the scene.

Polaroid introduces color film prints which develop in 60 seconds.

The Academy award for Best Picture goes to “Lawrence of Arabia.” Gregory Peck wins for Best Actor in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and best actress goes to Anne Bancroft for “The Miracle Worker.”

After replacing Pete Best with Ringo Star, the Beatles record their first single, “Love Me Do.”

Folk music and California surf music are very popular.
The charts are dominated by girl groups like, the “Shirelles” and the “Crystals.”

02/14/1962 – First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gives “A Tour of the White House” via television. Over 46 million people tune in.

03/01/1962 – The first K-Mart and Walmart opens.

03/2/1962 – Philadelphia 76er’s seven-foot basketball center, Wilt (the Stilt) Chamberlain scores a record 100 points in a game against the New York Knicks.

03/02/1962 – JFK announces US will resume above ground nuclear testing.

04/09/1962 – JFK throws out 1st ball at Washington’s new DC Stadium.

05/25/1962 – Isley Brothers release, “Twist & Shout”.

06/25/1962 – By a vote of 6 to 1, the Supreme court bans prayer in public schools.

08/11/1962 – Beach boys “Surfin’ Surfari” reached #14 and the flip side “409” charted at #76.

08/18/1962 – Peter, Paul & Mary release their 1st hit, “If I Had a Hammer”.

09/29/1961 – The new 1962 Chevrolet models go on sale. This would include Chevrolets latest car, the “Chevy II”.

12/08/1962 – 114-day newspaper strike begins in NYC.

More Events


January 1 The United States Navy SEALs are activated. SEAL Team One is commissioned in the Pacific Fleet and SEAL Team Two in the Atlantic Fleet.

NBC introduces the “Laramie peacock” before a midnight showing of the series Laramie.

January 2 – NAACP Executive Secretary Roy Wilkins praises U.S.
President John F. Kennedy‘s “personal role” in advancing civil rights.

January 4 – New York City introduces a subway train that operates without a crew on board.

January 26 – Ranger 3 is launched to study the Moon but later misses its target by 22,000 miles.

January 30 – Two of the high-wire “Flying Wallendas” are killed, when their famous 7-person pyramid collapses during a performance in Detroit, Michigan.


February 3 – The United States embargo against Cuba is announced.

February 6 – Negotiations between U.S. Steel and the United States Department of Commerce begin.

February 7 – The United States Government bans all U.S.-related Cuban imports and exports.

February 10 – Captured American spy pilot Francis Gary Powers is exchanged for captured Soviet spy Rudolf Abel in Berlin.

February 14 – First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy takes television viewers on a tour of the White House.

February 20 – Project Mercury: while aboard Friendship 7, John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth, three times in 4 hours, 55 minutes.


March 1 – An American Airlines Boeing 707 crashes on takeoff at New York International Airport, after its rudder separates from the tail, with the loss of all life on board.

March 2 – Wilt Chamberlain scores 100 points in a single NBA basketball game.

March 7 – Ash Wednesday Storm: a snow storm batters the Mid-Atlantic.

March 19 – Bob Dylan releases his debut album, Bob Dylan.

March 26 – Baker v. Carr: the U.S. Supreme Court rules that federal courts can order state legislatures to reapportion seats.


April 6 – Leonard Bernstein causes controversy with his remarks before a concert featuring Glenn Gould with the New York Philharmonic.

April 9 – The 34th Academy Awards ceremony is held; West Side Story wins Best Picture.

April 10 – In Los Angeles, California, the first MLB game is played at Dodger Stadium.

April 14 – A Cuban military tribunal convicts 1,179 Bay of Pigs attackers.

April 21 – The Century 21 Exposition World’s Fair opens in Seattle, Washington, opening the Space Needle to the public for the first time.


May 1 – Dayton Hudson Corporation opens the first of its Target discount stores in Roseville, Minnesota.

May 24 – Project Mercury: Scott Carpenter orbits the Earth 3 times in the Aurora 7 space capsule.

June 3 – Air France Flight 007, Boeing 707 Chateau de Sully on a charter flight carrying cultural and civic leaders of Atlanta, Georgia, overruns the runway at Orly Airport in Paris; 130 of 132 passengers are killed.

June 6 – President John F. Kennedy gives the commencement address at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

June 11 – President John F. Kennedy gives the commencement address at Yale University.

June 15 – Port Huron Statement completed.

June 25 – United States Supreme Court rulings: Engel v. Vitale: the court rules that mandatory prayers in public schools are unconstitutional.
MANual Enterprises v. Day: the court rules that photographs of nude men are not obscene, decriminalizing nude male pornographic magazines.

June 28 – The United Lutheran Church in America, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the American Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church merge to form the Lutheran Church in America.


July 2 – The first Wal-Mart store opens for business in Rogers, Arkansas.

July 10 – AT&T‘s Telstar, the world’s first commercial communications satellite, is launched into orbit, and activated the next day.

July 17 Nuclear testing: the “Small Boy” test shot Little Feller I becomes the last atmospheric test detonation at the Nevada Test Site.
Robert M. White: flew the X-15 to an altitude of 314,750 feet (59 miles, 96 km) to qualify him for USAF astronaut wings becoming the first “winged” astronaut, and one of a few who have flown into space without a conventional spacecraft.

July 22 – Mariner program: the Mariner 1 spacecraft flies erratically several minutes after launch and has to be destroyed.


August 5 – Marilyn Monroe is found dead at age 36 from “acute barbiturate poisoning”.

August 15 – The New York Agreement is signed trading the West New Guinea colony to Indonesia.

August 27 – NASA launches the Mariner 2 space probe.


September 12 – President John F. Kennedy, at a speech at Rice University featuring the words “We choose to go to the Moon“, reaffirms that the U.S. will put a man on the Moon by the end of the decade.

September 22 – 21-year-old Bob Dylan premieres his song “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall“.

September 23 – The animated sitcom The Jetsons premieres on ABC.

September 25 – Sonny Liston knocks out Floyd Patterson two minutes into the first round of his fight for the boxing world title at Comiskey Park in Chicago.

September 29 – The Canadian Alouette 1, the first satellite built outside the United States and the Soviet Union, is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

September 30 – CBS broadcasts the final episodes of Suspense and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, marking the end of the Golden Age of Radio.


October 14–28: Cuban Missile Crisis

October 1 The first black student, James Meredith, registers at the University of Mississippi, escorted by Federal Marshals.
Johnny Carson takes over as permanent host of NBC‘s The Tonight Show, a post he will hold for 30 years.

October 12 Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship Incorporated is founded at Morgan State College.
The infamous Columbus Day Storm strikes the U.S. Pacific Northwest with wind gusts up to 170 mph (270 km/h); 46 are killed, 11 billion board feet (26 million m³) of timber is blown down, with $230 million U.S. in damages.
Jazz bassist/composer Charles Mingus presents a disastrous concert at Town Hall in New York City. It will gain a reputation as the worst moment of his career.

October 13 – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opens on Broadway.

October 14 – Cuban Missile Crisis begins: a U-2 flight over Cuba takes photos of Soviet nuclear weapons being installed. A stand-off then ensues the next day between the United States and the Soviet Union, threatening the world with nuclear war.

October 16 – The New York Yankees defeat the San Francisco Giants 1-0 in Game 7 of the 1962 World Series.

October 22 – In a televised address, U.S. President John F. Kennedy announces to the nation the existence of Soviet missiles in Cuba.

October 27 – The British revue play Beyond the Fringe makes its Broadway debut.

October 28 – Cuban Missile Crisis: Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev announces that he has ordered the removal of Soviet missile bases in Cuba. In a secret deal between Kennedy and Khrushchev, Kennedy agrees to the withdrawal of U.S. missiles from Turkey. The fact that this deal is not made public makes it look like the Soviets have backed down.


November 7 – Richard M. Nixon loses the California governor’s race. In his concession speech, he states that this is his “last press conference” and that “you won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around any more”.

November 17 – In Washington, D.C., U.S. President John F. Kennedy dedicates Dulles International Airport.

November 20 – The Cuban Missile Crisis ends: in response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, U.S. President John F. Kennedy ends the quarantine of the Caribbean nation.


December 2 – Vietnam War: after a trip to Vietnam at the request of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield becomes the first American official to make a non-optimistic public comment on the war’s progress.

December 8 – The 1962 New York City newspaper strike begins, affecting all of the city’s major newspapers; it lasts for 114 days.

December 9 – Petrified Forest National Park is established.

December 14 – U.S. spacecraft Mariner 2 flies by Venus, becoming the first probe to successfully transmit data from another planet.

December 24 – Cuba releases the last 1,113 participants in the Bay of Pigs Invasion to the U.S., in exchange for food worth $53 million.

December 30 – An unexpected storm buries Maine under five feet of snow, forcing the Bangor Daily News to miss a publication date for the first and only time in its history.
American advertising man Martin K. Speckter invents the interrobang, a new English-language punctuation mark.
Publication of Helen Gurley Brown‘s Sex and the Single Girl.
Cold War (1947–1991)
Space Race (1957–1975)