World Events
  • France transfers sovereignty to new republic of Algeria (July 3).
  • Cuban Missile Crisis: USSR to build missile bases in Cuba; Kennedy orders Cuban blockade, lifts blockade after Russia backs down (Aug.-Nov.).
  • Pope John XXIII opens Second Vatican Council (Oct. 11).
  • Cuba releases 1,113 prisoners of 1961 invasion attempt (Dec. 24).
  • Burundi, Jamaica, Western Samoa, Uganda, and Trinidad and Tobago become independent.
    World Statistics

    Population: 3.136 billion

    Nobel Peace Prize:
    Linus Pauling (US)
U.S. Events
  • James H. Meredith, escorted by federal marshals, registers at University of Mississippi (Oct. 1).
  • Pat Brown defeats Richard Nixon in the California gubernatorial race.
    U.S. Statistics

    President: John F. Kennedy
    Vice President: Lyndon B. Johnson
    Population: 186,537,737
    Life expectancy: 70.1 years
    Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 20.2
    Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 18.6
    Homicide Rate (per 100,000): 4.8

US GDP (1998 dollars):   $585.2 billion
Federal spending:   $106.82 billion
Federal debt:   $302.9 billion
Consumer Price Index:   30.2
Unemployment:   6.7%
Cost of a first-class stamp:   $0.04


World Series
NY Yankees d. San Francisco Giants (4-3)

NBA Championship
Boston d. LA Lakers (4-3)

Stanley Cup
Toronto d. Chicago (4-2)

Women: Karen Susman d. V. Sukova (6-4 6-4)
Men: Rod Laver d. M. Mulligan (6-2 6-2 6-1)

Kentucky Derby Champion

NCAA Basketball Championship
Cincinnati d. Ohio St. (71-59)

NCAA Football Champions
USC (11-0-0)

World Cup
Brazil d. Czechoslovakia (3-1)



  • Marilyn Monroe dies of a drug overdose at age 36.
  • The first transatlantic television transmission occurs via the Telstar Satellite, making worldwide television and cable networks a reality.
  • Government regulations force studios out of the talent agency business.
  • Johnny Carson takes over hosting duties of The Tonight Show.


  • Lawrence of Arabia, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Manchurian Candidate, Divorce-Italian Style


  • James Baldwin, Another Country
  • Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths, Ficciones
  • Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
  • Robert Frost, In the Clearing
  • Günter Grass, The Tin Drum
  • Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’ Nest
  • Sylvia Plath, The Colossus and Other Poems
  • Anne Sexton, All My Pretty Ones
  • William Stafford, Traveling through the Dark
  • Richard Yates, Eleven Kinds of Loneliness

Entertainment Awards

Pulitzer Prizes
Fiction: The Edge of Sadness, Edwin O’Connor
Music: The Crucible, Robert Ward
Drama: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Frank Loesser and Abe Burrows

Oscars awarded in 1962
Academy Award, Best Picture: West Side Story, Robert Wise, producer (United Artists)

Nobel Prize for Literature: John Steinbeck (US)

1962 Emmy Awards

1962 Tony Awards

Grammys awarded in 1962
Record of the Year: “Moon River,” Henry Mancini
Album of the Year: Judy at Carnegie Hall, Judy Garland (Capitol)
Song of the Year: “Moon River,” Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer, songwriters

Miss America: Maria Fletcher (NC)

  • Lt. Col. John H. Glenn, Jr., is first American to orbit Earth — three times in 4 hours 55 minutes (Feb. 20). Background: US Staffed Space Flights
  • Mariner II, the first interplanetary probe, reaches Venus. Background: US Unstaffed Planetary and Lunar Programs
  • Unimation introduces the first industrial robot.
  • The commercially sponsored Telstar communications satellite is launched.

Nobel Prizes in Science

Chemistry: Max F. Perutz and John C. Kendrew (UK), for mapping protein molecules with X-rays

Physics: Lev D. Landau (USSR), for his theories about condensed matter

Physiology or Medicine: James D. Watson (US), Maurice H. F. Wilkins, and Francis H. C. Crick (both UK), for determining structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)

  • Niels Bohr
  • William Faulkner
  • Ernie Kovacs
  • Eleanor Roosevelt


1962 – The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
(James Stewart & John Wayne)