Seems like more than a few of these entries have had something to do with time in some fashion. I guess when you start to age, time becomes increasingly more important than it did when you were younger. Or maybe you start to care more. I don't know for sure, but I suspect that, as with anything else, it is a mixture of both, along with so many other things. What I also know is that, when a subject such as this comes up, it is often "Do you remember when..." or "Where were you/I was...." or something similar.
Now, sometimes it is all too easy for some of our newer (read: younger) members to remember that us old cats might have had it going on in our day, too. While being a "Party Kid" (which is a term I read in a CNN article on the "club scene" and drug usage, I really don't know what it means!) might be the new next big thing, remember how you got there. It was us hippies how broke the ground! How many of you even know where the term "hippie" came from, or what it meant? So many of you were born into a world of technology, and you take it for granted, as if it has always been and always will be, but there was a time........
In 1962, I was born in Collinsville, Illinois. I was healthy and as normal as I would ever end up being. My parents were understandably more concerned with what was going on with me than they were with what was happening in the world. There were no drugs or epidurals. No C-section. She toughed it out until the little shit (wait! that's me!) was born.
So, as they sit there, looking at their little bundle of joy and having no idea of the carnage that they would soon be releasing, lets take a look at what was going on in the world in the year of my birth.....1962.
After the conformity of the 50's, the 60's represents a decade of change. Drug use, civil rights, and feminism represent issues that will divide the country. George Wallace stands on the steps of the University of Alabama, John Kennedy dies in his wife's arms, 50,000 American kids died in a no-win situation called Vietnam, and the election of Richard Nixon were all political shorthand for what our nation was going through. College campuses became centers for revolutionary social trends, while men burned their draft cards and women burned their bras. The kids were playing with Barbies, G.I. Joe's, and skateboards (not much has changed there!). Crew cuts, big hair, and button down shirts were giving way to go-go boots, mini-skirts, love beads, long hair and leisure suits.
The Hippie movement brought us LSD, rock music, eastern religion, and free love. Marshall McCluhan (Does anyone even remember him?) taught Americans that the media was the message, while Lawrence Peter introduced us to The Peter Principle. A couple of relatives here in the States, along with a group of clean-cut young men named "The Beatles" was getting ready to turn music completely up-side down (Those relatives were Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis!) But it wasn't all about a wild-man on piano or a British Invasion! Who can EVER forget Gladys, Smokey, or The Godfather? For you young cats, that would be Gladys Knight and the Pips, Smokey Robinson, and James Brown.
By the end of the decade, "acid rock" began to grow and dominate the scene, with the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Janis Joplin. Weird choice of terms, because the Dead were Folk-based, Janis was the Blues, and who in the hell knew what Grace Slick was! Television was coming into its own, with sit-coms, westerns, cartoons, and talk shows leading the way. Technology starts to advance more rapidly than ever before, computers appeared and......well, it all started in the year 1962.
1/3/62 Pope John XXIII excommunicates Fidel Castro.
1/4/62 The first unmanned automated subway train runs in New York City.
1/18/62 U.S begins to spray foliage in South Vietnam with Agent Orange, in an attempt to reveal the movements of the Viet Cong.
1/27/62 The Chubby Checker Twist party in San Fransisco opens, and draws over 17,000 kids.
2/7/62 President Kennedy begins the blockade of Cuba.
2/17/62 The Beach Boys introduce a new hit, and a new musical style, with "Surfin."
2/20/62 "Oh, that view is tremendous!" Lt. Colonel John H. Glenn, as he becomes the first American to orbit the Earth.
2/26/62 The United States Supreme Court disallows race separation on public transport.
3/1/62 The first K-Mart store opens.
3/4/62 The Atomic Energy Commission announces that the first atomic power plant is operational...in the Antarctica.
3/6/62 The U.S. Supreme Court rules that airports must compensate people who live nearby for noise and vibration disturbances.
3/21/62 A female black bear is taken aboard a B-58 bomber and flown to 35,000 feet at a supersonic speed of 850 MPH and ejected in a specially made capsule. She made it safely.
4/8/62 The Bay of Pigs invaders get 30 years in prison in Cuba.
4/15/62 The U.S. national debt ceiling moves above 300,000,000,000
4/20/62 The Citizens Committee of the City of New Orleans offers a free one-way ride to every African-American to move North.
4/21/62 the 21st Century Exposition opens in Seattle, Washington.
5/19/62 Marilyn Monroe sings "Happy Birthday" to President Kennedy at Madison Square Garden while wearing a dress described as "skin and beads".
5/22/62 The Orient Express Luxury Rail Service makes its last trip from Paris to Istanbul, going out of service after nearly 80 years.
5/24/62 U.S. labor unions AFL-CIO start campaigning for a 35 hour work week.
5/28/62 The U.S. stock market drops 20.8 billion in one day.
6/10/62 A record 54 home runs are hit in Baseball.
6/11/62 Frank Morris, John Anglin, and Clarence Anglin escape from Alcatraz prison and disappear into both the San Francisco Bay and History.
6/14/62 The European Space Research organization is established in Paris, France.
6/25/62 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the use of an unofficial, nondenominational prayer in New York public schools was unconstitutional.
Well, we are at the half-way point of the year! Here are a few other highlights.
The Top 5 TV shows were:
The Red Skelton Show
The Lucy Show
The Top 10 songs were:
I Can't Stop loving you
Roses are Red (My Love)
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
He's A rebel
Big Girls Don't Cry
In the world of sports, the NFL Championship went to the Green Bay Packers, while the World Series went to the New York Yankees. Jack Nicklaus won the US Open in Golf, and Rod Laver won the US Open and Wimbledon in Tennis. The Heisman was won by Terry Baker.
Around the world? Jean-Claude Forest created the 41st Century Sci-Fi comic character "Barbarella" for V Magazine. John Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize in Literature. A memo from the CIA briefing for Robert Kennedy revealed that $150,000 was offered to the US Mob to assassinate Fidel Castro. They insisted on doing the job for no charge. Herpes was reported to have been transferred by an accidental needle stick. Charles Molnar and Wesley Clark led a team that developed a machine widely considered as the first computer. Binney and Smith Inc., makers of Crayola crayons, adopted the name "peach" to replace the color "flesh".
7/3/62 Jackie Robinson becomes the first Black man to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
7/6/62 The U.S. tests "Project Sedan", a 104 kilo-ton nuclear device, in the Nevada Desert and blows a hole 1280 feet wide and 320 feet deep.
7/11/62 Cosmonaut Nicolaev sets a longevity record in space-4 days.
7/12/62 the Rolling Stones make their first appearance at the Marquee Club in London.
8/4/62 Nelson Mandela is captured by the South African Police.
8/5/62 Actress Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her Los Angeles home. Her dealth is ruled a "probable" suicide.
8/6/62 Jamaica becomes independent within the British Commonwealth.
8/27/62 The U.S. launches the Mariner 2 Space Probe
9/1/62 The United Nations announces that the world's population had hit 3 billion.
9/17/62 the first Federal lawsuit to end segregation in public schools is filed by the Justice Department.
9/23/62 "The Jetsons" A TV animated cartoon series about a space age family premieres.
9/30/62 James Merideth, a blakc student, succeeds in enrolling in the University of Mississippi. It required 13,500 federal troops to back him up.
Other noteworthy events that happened this year were: Military spending rose to 55 billion. Jeep introduced the "Wagoneer" which was a precursor to the SUV and ran in either 2 or 4 wheel drive. Maury Wills, of the LA Dodgers, becomes the first person to steal more than 100 bases in a season. He got 104, which is 8 more than the nearest player-Ty Cobb.
In the movies, the top ten films of the year were: Spartacus, West Side Story, Lover Come Back, That Touch of Mink, El Cid, the Music Man, King of Kings, Hatari, The Flower Drum Song, and The Intern. The years Oscars went to Lawrence of Arabia for Best Picture, Gregory Peck in "To Kill a Mockingbird" took Best Actor, and Best Actress was Anne Bancroft in "The Miracle Worker".
10/2/62 Johnny Carson takes over The Tonight Show.
10/11/62 Pope John XXIII convenes the first session of the Roman Catholic Church's 21st Ecumenical Council. This is the largest gathering of the Roman Catholic hierarcy in history.
The Cuban Missile Crisis begins after reconnaissance photos reveal missile bases in Cuba.
10/26/62 Khrushchev sends a note to Kennedy offering to withdraw his missiles from Cuba if the U.S. closes it's bases in Turkey.
11/6/62 Saudi Arabia abolishes slavery.
11/7/62 Richard Nixon fails in his bid to become Governor of California.
11/15/62 Cuba threatens to shoot down any U.S. planes that fly over it's territory.
11/27/62 The Beatles make their first recording session under the "Beatles" name.
11/30/62 Mrs Dougherty welcomes her little bundle of joy into the world. Hooray! I'm born!
12/8/62 A 114-day newspaper strike begins in New York City.
12/13/62 the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) launches the first experimental telecommunications satellite named "Relay 1".
12/21/62 An accord between the U.S. and Cuba is reached and the Bay of Pigs captives are released.
12/26/62 8 East Berlin citizens escape to West Berlin, crashing through the gates in an armor plated bus.
In 1962, the U.S. President was John F. Kennedy and the Vice President was Lyndon B. Johnson. The population of this country was 186,537, 737 and the average life expectancy was 70.1 years. On the stock market, the Dow Jones high was 767, while the low was 723. Unemployment was 5.9% and the cost of a new home was $18,200. The cost of a Gallon of milk was .49 cents, a first-class stamp would set you back .04 cents, and a gallon of gas was .31 cents.
The average person made $5,956.00 a year.
On the average, there was one world-changing event happening each week throughout the entire year. and that is just a small sampling of events! Obviously, the most important event happened on November 30, 1960, otherwise, you would not be reading this! However, I am sure that 1962 was not unique, in that there are many events like these happening every year.
Still, I feel like I was a part of history!