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Fun Facts and Trivia From the Year 1962

Gregory DeVictor is a trivia enthusiast who loves to write articles on American nostalgia.

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1962.

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1962.

What Happened in the Year 1962?

What are some fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1962? What were the top news stories in the U.S. and around the world? What happened in the business and financial sectors, in science, technology, sports, the entertainment industry, and in everyday life? What about famous birthdays, marriages, and deaths that year?

  1. The Cuban Missile Crisis—a tense, 13-day confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union—took place from October 16 to October 28. It began when President Kennedy was shown photos confirming the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba, and brought the two superpowers close to a nuclear conflict.
  2. In 1962, the United States established a visible military presence in Vietnam. For example, U.S. military personnel launched Operation Ranch Hand, a chemical warfare program that involved spraying “defoliating herbicides” “over rural areas of South Vietnam in an attempt to deprive the Viet Cong of food and vegetation cover.”
  3. John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth.
  4. The Telstar communications satellite—which was launched by NASA—transmitted television signals between the United States and Europe.
  5. Albert DeSalvo, better known as the Boston Strangler, murdered his first victim.
  6. A 114-day newspaper strike began in New York City.
  7. The Ash Wednesday Storm ravaged the mid-Atlantic coast, while the Columbus Day Storm devastated the Pacific Northwest.
  8. During an extremely rare solar eclipse, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and Venus were on one side of the sun, and Mercury and Earth were on the opposite side.
  9. In the year 1962, the median household income in the U.S. was $6,000, a new house cost $12,550, and the average price for a new car was $2,924. Milk was $1.04 a gallon, eggs were 32 cents a dozen, and one pound of bacon cost 69 cents.
  10. Sam Walton opened the first Walmart in Rogers, Arkansas, S.S. Kresge opened the first Kmart in Garden City, Michigan, and the F.W. Woolworth Company opened the first Woolco in Columbus, Ohio.
  11. The first Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital opened in Memphis.
  12. Great Britain and France agreed to jointly build the Concorde supersonic airliner.
  13. Adolf Eichmann was executed in Israel after being found guilty of war crimes. (Eichmann was one of the major organizers of the Holocaust.)
  14. The Boston Celtics were the NBA champs, the New York Yankees won the World Series, and the Toronto Maple Leafs clinched the Stanley Cup.
  15. Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  16. Ground was broken for the Houston Astrodome, and the Cincinnati Reds agreed to stay in Cincinnati for 10 more years.
  17. Theodore H. White received a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Making of the President 1960.
  18. Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, her environmental science book “about the deleterious impacts of pesticide use in the U.S.”
  19. At the 34th Academy Awards, West Side Story won 10 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Musical.
  20. The soundtrack album to West Side Story hit #1 on the charts, and stayed there for 54 more weeks.
  21. The Golden Age of Radio ended when two popular and beloved radio programs—Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar and Suspense—both aired their final episodes on the same night.
  22. Frozen bread, frozen pie crust, Hawaiian pizza, Planters dry roasted peanuts, powdered butter, and the pull tab for soft drink cans were all introduced.
  23. In 1962, Bo Jackson, Jerry Rice, Jodie Foster, Kate Spade, Paula Absul, Rosie O'Donnell, Tom Cruise, and Wesley Snipes were all born.
  24. Companies founded in 1962 include AccuWeather, Crate & Barrel, Dress Barn, Enterprise Car Sales, Kohl’s, Lotus Communications, National Stores, Pier 1, Rite Aid, Rodeway Inn, Taco Bell, Walmart, Wet Seal, and Woolco.
  25. At the 35th Scripps National Spelling Bee, Nettie Crawford of Roswell, New Mexico and Mike Day of Hardin, Illinois were the co-champions after both misspelled the word “esquamulose.” (This was the third tie in the bee’s history.)

Here are the five most popular TV shows from 1962-63:

  1. Beverly Hillbillies (CBS)
  2. Candid Camera (CBS)
  3. The Red Skelton Show (CBS)
  4. Bonanza (NBC)
  5. The Lucy Show (CBS)

Here are ten cool food and beverage trends for the year:

  1. Chicken a la King
  2. Chicken cacciatore
  3. Diet Rite (the first no-calorie soft drink)
  4. Froot Loops
  5. Gelatin molds
  6. Instant mashed potato flakes
  7. Instant oatmeal
  8. SPAM
  9. Takeaway pizza
  10. Tunnel of fudge cake

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1962. Find out about popular TV shows, movies, music, books, foods, sports facts, famous birthdays, and other cool pop culture trends to get the right mix of questions and answers for your 1960s-themed trivia game.

In 1962, General Motors was America’s largest corporation.

In 1962, General Motors was America’s largest corporation.

Table of Contents

For easier reading and referencing, I have divided this article into the following categories:

  1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1962
  2. History Facts From the USA and World
  3. Sports Trivia
  4. Entertainment News
  5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
  6. Nobel Prize Winners
  7. Best-Selling Books
  8. Most Popular Television Shows From 1962-63
  9. Favorite Radio Programs
  10. Highest-Grossing Films
  11. 10 Best Horror Movies of 1962
  12. Biggest Pop Music Artists
  13. Number One Songs for the Year
  14. Food and Beverage Trivia
  15. Famous Birthdays
  16. Notable Weddings
  17. Famous People Who Died
  18. U.S. Automobile Production Figures for the Year
  19. America’s Largest Corporations
  20. American Companies and Brands Established During 1962
In 1962, Planters introduced dry roasted peanuts.

In 1962, Planters introduced dry roasted peanuts.

1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1962

These grocery facts have been made available courtesy of the Morris County Public Library in Whippany, NJ.

  1. Apples (McIntosh): Three pounds for 39 cents
  2. Bacon: 69 cents for a one-pound package
  3. Beef (ground): 39 cents a pound
  4. Beef (rib steak): 79 cents a pound
  5. Bread: Two 16-ounce loaves for 29 cents
  6. Broccoli: 25 cents for a large bunch
  7. Butter: 63 cents for a one-pound package
  8. Cantaloupes: 29 cents apiece
  9. Cheese (Swiss): 69 cents a pound
  10. Cookies (Keebler fudge sandwiches): 39 cents for a one-pound package
  11. Cookies (Nabisco Fig Newtons): 31 cents for a one-pound package
  12. Eggs: 32 cents a dozen
  13. Fish (cod fillet): 69 cents a pound
  14. Frozen food (Birdseye pot pies, assorted varieties): 19 cents for an eight-ounce pie
  15. Ground coffee: 85 cents for a one-pound can
  16. Ham (cottage): 59 cents a pound
  17. Ice cream: 59 cents for a half-gallon
  18. Ketchup (Pride of the Farm): 19 cents for a 14-ounce bottle
  19. Margarine (Foodtown): 15 cents for a one-pound package
  20. Mayonnaise: 49 cents for a quart jar
  21. Milk: $1.04 a gallon
  22. Onions (Texas): Three pounds for 29 cents
  23. Oranges (Valencia): 10 oranges for 29 cents
  24. Preserves (Kraft grape jelly): 29 cents for a 20-ounce jar
  25. Strawberries: 20 cents a pint
  26. Sugar (granulated): 49 cents for a five-pound bag and 89 cents for 10 pounds
In 1962, you could buy one pound of ground beef for 39 cents.

In 1962, you could buy one pound of ground beef for 39 cents.

2. History Facts From the USA and World

  1. On January 1, the United States Navy Sea, Air, and Land Teams—commonly known as the Navy SEALs—were founded. The SEALS are “the U.S. Navy's primary special operations force and a component of the Naval Special Warfare Command.”
  2. On January 3, ground was broken for the Houston Astrodome.
  3. On January 3, Pope John XXIII excommunicated Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro.
  4. On January 12, Operation Ranch Hand—a controversial U.S. military operation during the Vietnam War—was officially launched. Ranch Hand “involved spraying an estimated 20 million U.S. gallons of defoliants and herbicides over rural areas of South Vietnam in an attempt to deprive the Viet Cong of food and vegetation cover.”
  5. On January 21, snow fell in San Francisco’s Sunset District several blocks from Ocean Beach, as well as in the SF suburb of Palo Alto. (By the way, snow falls in San Francisco every generation or so.)
  6. On January 24, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  7. Ranger was “a space exploration mission conducted by NASA to study the moon.” On January 26, the Ranger 3 spacecraft was launched as part of the Ranger program. Due to a series of malfunctions, the spacecraft “missed the moon by 22,000 miles and entered a heliocentric orbit.”
  8. On February 2, President Kennedy banned all trade with Cuba except for food and drugs.
  9. On February 4, the first Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital opened in Memphis.
  10. On February 4, the Sunday Times became the first newspaper in the United Kingdom to print a color supplement.
  11. On February 5, during an extremely rare solar eclipse, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and Venus were on one side of the sun, and Mercury and Earth were on the opposite side.
  12. On February 14, the U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy conducted a tour of the White House on television.
  13. On February 20, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth.
  14. On March 1, the first Kmart opened in Garden City, Michigan.
  15. On March 23, William DeWitt Jr. bought the Cincinnati Reds for $4,625,000.
  16. On April 9, President Kennedy threw out the first pitch at the recently built D.C. Stadium where the Washington Senators were playing. (D.C. Stadium was later renamed RFK Stadium in honor of Robert F. Kennedy—President Kennedy’s brother—who was assassinated in 1968.)
  17. On April 12, President Kennedy accused executives from the U.S. steel industry of being “traitorous” in their ‘pursuit of private power and profit.’ CrossingWallStreet.com explains that JFK demanded that U.S. Steel, and other domestic steel companies, roll back their recently-announced $6 per ton price increase. Kennedy also stated that “the Department of Defense would only order steel from the firms that rolled back prices.” The nation’s eight biggest steel companies quickly complied, and rolled back prices the very next day.
  18. On May 8, London’s electric trolley buses went out of service.
  19. On June 1, Adolf Eichmann was executed in Israel after being found guilty of war crimes. (Eichmann was one of the major organizers of the Holocaust.)
  20. On June 6, the F.W. Woolworth Company opened the first Woolco discount department store in Columbus, Ohio.
  21. On June 14, Albert DeSalvo, better known as the Boston Strangler, murdered his first victim.
  22. On June 27, Ross Perot launched Electronic Data Systems.
  23. On July 2, Sam Walton opened the first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas.
  24. On July 10, the Telstar 1 communications satellite was launched by NASA, and allowed “the first live broadcast of television images between the United States and Europe.”
  25. On August 6, Jamaica gained its independence from the United Kingdom.
  26. On August 28, Hackberry, Louisiana received 22.00787 inches of rain in one day—a state record.
  27. On September 18, Charlie Finley, who was the owner of Kansas City A’s, was denied permission to move the team from Kansas City to Dallas-Fort Worth.
  28. On September 27, Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, her environmental science book “about the deleterious impacts of pesticide use in the U.S.” Carson’s findings were “a landmark in the development of the modern environmental movement,” and “sparked widespread debate within the scientific community and the broader public about the effect of pesticides on the natural world.”
  29. On September 29, President Kennedy authorized the use of federal troops to integrate the University of Mississippi.
  30. On September 30, César Chávez—the Mexican-American labor leader—founded the United Farm Workers.
  31. On October 1, James Meredith became the first African-American student at the University of Mississippi.
  32. On October 12, the Columbus Day Storm of 1962, otherwise known as the Terrible Tempest or Big Blow, “was the most powerful windstorm to strike the Pacific Northwest in the 20th century.” The damage figure was comparable to eastern hurricanes that made landfall during the 1957-1961 time period—Audrey ($150 million during 1957), Donna ($387 million during 1960), and Carla ($408 million during 1961).
  33. On October 16, the Cuban Missile Crisis began when President Kennedy was shown photos confirming the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba.
  34. History.com explains that from October 16 to October 28, “leaders of the U.S. and the Soviet Union engaged in a tense, 13-day political and military standoff . . . over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles on Cuba, just 90 miles from U.S. shores.” On October 22, President Kennedy “notified Americans about the presence of the missiles, explained his decision to enact a naval blockade around Cuba, and made it clear the U.S. was prepared to use military force if necessary to neutralize this perceived threat to national security. Following this news, many people feared the world was on the brink of nuclear war.”
  35. On October 26, Nikita Khrushchev, the premier of the Soviet Union, sent a message to President Kennedy “in which he offered to remove the Cuban missiles in exchange for a promise by U.S. leaders not to invade Cuba. The following day, the Soviet leader sent a letter proposing that the USSR would dismantle its missiles in Cuba if the Americans removed their missile installations in Turkey.”
  36. On November 1, Greece became a member of the European Common Market.
  37. On November 17, President Kennedy dedicated Dulles International Airport, which is located outside of Washington, DC.
  38. On November 23, the LA Dodgers’ shortstop Maury Willis was named the National League’s MVP for 1962.
  39. On November 29, Great Britain and France decided to jointly build the Concorde supersonic airliner.
  40. On December 8, a 114-day newspaper strike began in New York City.
  41. On December 31, the Cincinnati Reds agreed to stay in Cincinnati for 10 more years.
In 1962, the Boston Celtics were the NBA champions.

In 1962, the Boston Celtics were the NBA champions.

3. Sports Trivia

Generally suitable for all age groups, sports questions are a welcome addition to any trivia quiz.

  1. FIFA World Cup Soccer: Brazil
  2. Indianapolis 500: Roger Ward
  3. Kentucky Derby: Decidedly
  4. AFL Champions: Dallas Texans
  5. NBA Champions: Boston Celtics
  6. NCAA Basketball: Cincinnati
  7. NCAA Football Champs: USC
  8. NFL Champions: Green Bay Packers
  9. Orange Bowl: LSU over Colorado
  10. Rose Bowl: Minnesota over UCLA
  11. Stanley Cup Champs: Toronto Maple Leafs
  12. Sugar Bowl: Alabama over Arkansas
  13. U.S. Open Golf: Jack Nicklaus
  14. U.S. Open Tennis: Rodney Laver/Margaret Smith
  15. Wimbledon (men/women): Rodney Laver/Karen Susman
  16. World Series Champions: New York Yankees
In 1962, the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup.

In 1962, the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup.

4. Entertainment News

  1. On January 1, the Beatles auditioned for Decca Records, but were turned down by the label. Instead, Decca chose Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, because they were local and would require lower travel expenses.
  2. On January 3, an evening version of the game show Password premiered on CBS. Allen Ludden was the host.
  3. On January 24, Brian Epstein became the Beatles’ manager.
  4. On March 7, the Beatles made their broadcasting debut on BBC radio.
  5. The 34th Academy Awards on April 9 honored the best films of 1961. Here were some of the winners: West Side Story won an Oscar for Best Picture, and Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins (West Side Story) jointly won Oscars for Best Director. Likewise, Maximilian Schell (Judgment at Nuremberg) won an Oscar for Best Actor, and Sophia Loren (Two Women) won an Oscar for Best Actress.
  6. On April 16, broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite became the anchor of the CBS Evening News.
  7. On March 29, Jack Paar made his final appearance on the Tonight Show.
  8. On May 5, the soundtrack album to West Side Story hit #1, and stayed there for 54 more weeks.
  9. On May 7, Theodore H. White received a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Making of the President 1960.
  10. At the 14th Primetime Emmy Awards on May 22, the Bob Newhart Show (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Humor, and The Defenders (CBS) won an Emmy for Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Drama. Likewise, E.G. Marshall (The Defenders) (CBS) won an Emmy for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Series (Lead), and Shirley Booth (Hazel) (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead).
  11. On May 28, the Wide World of Sports with Chris Schenkel premiered on CBS radio.
  12. On May 31, the final episode of the comedy Tell It to Groucho aired on CBS.
  13. On June 9, singer Tony Bennett debuted at Carnegie Hall in New York.
  14. On June 13, Lolita—a film based on Vladimir Nabokov's novel and starring James Mason and Sue Lyon—was released.
  15. On August 16, Ringo Starr replaced Pete Best as the Beatles’ drummer.
  16. On September 23, the Jetsons, a futuristic TV series that is set in the year 2062, premiered on ABC. (The Jetsons only aired for three seasons—the first was in 1962, and the second and third were in 1985-87.)
  17. On September 26, the Beverly Hillbillies, a sitcom about a nouveau riche family that moves to Beverly Hills, debuted on CBS.
  18. On September 29, the musical My Fair Lady closed on Broadway after 2,715 performances.
  19. On September 29, the Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Show premiered on ABC.
  20. On October 1, Johnny Carson hosted the Tonight Show (NBC) for the first time. His guests were Rudy Vallée, Tony Bennett, Mel Brooks, and Joan Crawford.
  21. On October 1, the Lucy Show, a sitcom starring Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance, debuted on CBS.
  22. On October 5, Dr. No—the first James Bond film based on the novel by Ian Fleming—premiered in London.
  23. On October 13, Edward Albee's play, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, opened on Broadway.
  24. On October 31, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?—a horror movie starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford—was released.
  25. On December 16, the film Lawrence of Arabia, starring Peter O’Toole, premiered in the U.S.
  26. On December 25, To Kill a Mockingbird—a film adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel—was released.
  27. On December 31, the quiz show Match Game debuted on NBC.
In 1962, takeaway pizza was a real crowd-pleaser.

In 1962, takeaway pizza was a real crowd-pleaser.

PBS.org explains that pop culture is that loose blend of books, music, fashion and other daily ephemera that contributes to the identity of a society at a particular point in time. In the 1960s, radio, film, television, and books defined the essence of American pop culture. (No, the Internet wasn’t around yet.)

  1. In 1962, popular baby names were Michael, David, John, James, Robert, Lisa, Mary, Susan, Karen, and Linda.
  2. The average life expectancy at birth in the U.S. was 70.12 years.
  3. The most popular holiday gifts included Tammy fashion dolls, LEGO model sets, the Mille Bornes card game of cross-country racing, Slinky, and the home version of the Password TV game.
  4. What about fashion trends in 1962? Retrowaste.com tells us that the early sixties were more reminiscent of the 1950s—conservative and restrained, and certainly more classic in style and design.
  5. Fashion icons for the year were Brigitte Bardot, Doris Day, Annette Funicello, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, Mary Tyler Moore, Rita Moreno, Julie Newmar, Kim Novak, Donna Reed, Elizabeth Taylor, and Tuesday Weld.
  6. Maria Fletcher (North Carolina) was crowned Miss America.
  7. Macel Leilani (Hawaii) became Miss USA.
  8. Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” was Pope John XXIII.
  9. Cars that were introduced in 1962 include the Buick Wildcat, Chevrolet Chevy II, Chevrolet Corvair Monza, Chrysler Valiant, Ford Cortina, Ford Futura, Mitsubishi Colt, Mitsubishi Minica, Opel Kadett, Plymouth Fury (third generation), Pontiac Grand Prix, Pontiac LeMans, Studebaker Avanti, Triumph Spitfire, and the Triumph Vitesse.
  10. In 1962, the median household income in the U.S. was $6,000. (Inflation adjusted, this is equivalent to $25,726.26 in 2020.)
  11. Milk was $1.04 a gallon, eggs were 32 cents a dozen, and one pound of bacon cost 69 cents.
  12. The minimum wage was $1.15. (In 2020, this is equivalent to $9.85 in U.S. dollars.)
  13. Inflation was $1.33%, unemployment averaged 5.5%, and GDP growth was 6.1%.
  14. A new house cost $12,550, and the average monthly rent was $110.
  15. The average price for a new car was $2,924, and a gallon of gas cost 25 cents.
  16. A daily newspaper cost 10 cents, and a local pay phone call was also a dime.
  17. A doctor’s office visit cost $5.00, and the annual tuition at Harvard was $1,520.
  18. A pack of chewing gum or a candy bar each cost five cents.
  19. The price of a movie ticket was $1.00, and popcorn at the theater cost another 20 cents.
  20. Sneakers were $5.00 a pair, a color TV cost $400, and record albums were $3.00 apiece.
  21. A hamburger with fries, salad, and a dessert cost around $1.00.
  22. A breakfast consisting of two eggs, bacon, toast, home fries and coffee cost about 85 cents.
  23. A six-pack of your favorite beer averaged 99 cents, and a copy of Life magazine, Time magazine, or Sports Illustrated each cost 35 cents.
  24. The pull tab for beverage cans was introduced.
  25. Other consumer products introduced in 1962 were frozen bread, frozen pie crust, Hawaiian pizza, Planters dry roasted peanuts, powdered butter, and the Tammy doll.
In 1962, Sam Walton opened the first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas.

In 1962, Sam Walton opened the first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas.

6. Nobel Prize Winners

Beth Rowen tells us that winning a Nobel Prize is a life-changing honor. Whether the laureate is an internationally known figure (such as Mother Teresa) or a scientist from obscurity (like Richard R. Ernst), the award brings worldwide recognition that highlights one's life work and provides the funds to continue the mission.

This Nobel Prize information from 1962 has been made available courtesy of NobelPrize.com.

  • Chemistry: John Kendrew and Max Perutz
  • Literature: John Steinbeck
  • Peace: Linus Pauling
  • Physics: Lev Landau
  • Physiology or medicine: James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins

7. Best-Selling Books

This book trivia from 1962 has been made available courtesy of PublishersWeekly.com.

Fiction books:

  1. Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter
  2. Dearly Beloved by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  3. A Shade of Difference by Allen Drury
  4. Youngblood Hawke by Herman Wouk
  5. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
  6. Fail-Safe by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler
  7. Seven Days in May by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey
  8. The Prize by Irving Wallace
  9. The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone
  10. The Reivers by William Faulkner

Nonfiction books:

  1. Calories Don't Count by Dr. Herman Taller
  2. The New English Bible: The New Testament
  3. Better Homes and Gardens CookBook: New Edition by the BH&G Editors
  4. O Ye Jigs & Juleps! by Virginia Cary Hudson
  5. Happiness Is a Warm Puppy by Charles M. Schulz
  6. The Joy of Cooking: New Edition by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker
  7. My Life in Court by Louis Nizer
  8. The Rothschilds by Frederic Morton
  9. Sex and the Single Girl by Helen Gurley Brown
  10. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck

Encyclopedia.com tells us that “Television cemented its grip on American attention spans during the 1960s. The industry added channels and improved the quality of its color pictures. Americans enjoyed watching the Westerns, situation comedies (sitcoms), and action-adventure shows that made up the majority of network programming, but few could claim that these shows were of great quality.”

This TV trivia from 1962 has been made available courtesy of Nielsen TV Research.

  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)
In 1962, the Beverly Hillbillies was the most popular TV show.

In 1962, the Beverly Hillbillies was the most popular TV show.

9. Favorite Radio Programs

Otrcat.com tells us that on September 30, 1962, “radio passed the torch to television as the primary broadcast entertainment media. Since the rise of the radio networks in the 1920's and 1930's, radio had become a dominating force in bringing the nation together with the ability to share information on a large scale. It also helped to unify American Culture by making the same high quality entertainment available from coast to coast.”

Here are some of the most popular radio programs from 1962:

  1. The Bing Crosby - Rosemary Clooney Show
  2. Don McNeill's Breakfast Club
  3. Major League Baseball on NBC Radio
  4. Midwestern Hayride
  5. Monitor
  6. Moon River
  7. Ranger Bill
  8. Suspense - The final episode was broadcast on September 30, 1962.
  9. Young Doctor Malone
  10. Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar - The final episode was broadcast on September 30, 1962.

10. Highest-Grossing Films

These movie facts have been made available courtesy of The-Numbers.com.

  1. The Longest Day
  2. Lawrence of Arabia
  3. In Search of Castaways
  4. That Touch of Mink
  5. The Music Man
  6. Mutiny on the Bounty
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird
  8. Hatari!
  9. Gypsy
  10. Lolita
  11. The Interns
  12. Bon Voyage!
  13. The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm
  14. Days of Wine and Roses
  15. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

11. 10 Best Horror Movies of 1962

This film trivia has been made available courtesy of IMDB.com.

  1. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
  2. Cape Fear
  3. Carnival of Souls
  4. Burn, Witch, Burn
  5. Night Creatures
  6. Tales of Terror
  7. Premature Burial
  8. The Phantom of the Opera
  9. The Horrible Dr. Hichcock
  10. The Witch’s Mirror
In 1962, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?—a horror movie starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford—was one of the most popular films.

In 1962, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?—a horror movie starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford—was one of the most popular films.

12. Biggest Pop Music Artists

Popular music artists from 1962 included Bobby Darin, Bobby Vee, Brenda Lee, Chubby Checker, Connie Francis, the Contours, Dee Dee Sharp, Elvis Presley, the Four Seasons, Jackie Wilson, Jimmy Deen, the Marvelettes, the Miracles, Neil Sedaka, the Orlons, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Neil Sedaka, and the Shirelles.

13. Number One Songs for the Year

This music trivia from 1962 has been made available courtesy of Pop-Culture.us.

  1. December 18, 1961 - January 12, 1962: The Tokens - The Lion Sleeps Tonight
  2. January 13 - January 26: Chubby Checker - The Twist
  3. January 27 - February 16: Joey Dee and the Starliters - Peppermint Twist - Part 1
  4. February 17 - March 9: Gene Chandler - Duke of Earl
  5. March 10 - March 30: Bruce Channel - Hey! Baby
  6. March 31 - April 6: Connie Francis - Don't Break the Heart That Loves You
  7. April 7 - April 20: Shelley Fabares - Johnny Angel
  8. April 21 - May 4: Elvis Presley - Good Luck Charm
  9. May 5 - May 25: The Shirelles - Soldier Boy
  10. May 26 - June 1: Mr. Acker Bilk - Stranger on the Shore
  11. June 2 - July 6: Ray Charles - I Can't Stop Loving You
  12. July 7 - July 13: David Rose - The Stripper
  13. July 14 - August 10: Bobby Vinton - Roses Are Red (My Love)
  14. August 11 - August 24: Neil Sedaka - Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
  15. August 25 - August 31: Little Eva - The Loco-Motion
  16. September 1 - September 14: Tommy Roe - Sheila
  17. September 15 - October 19: The Four Seasons - Sherry
  18. October 20 - November 2: Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers - Monster Mash
  19. November 3 - November 16: The Crystals - He's a Rebel
  20. November 17 - December 21: The Four Seasons - Big Girls Don't Cry
  21. December 22, 1962 - January 11, 1963: The Tornados - Telstar

The Tokens: The Lion Sleeps Tonight

14. Food and Beverage Trivia

GoodHousekeeping.com tells us that “Like fashion, food falls in and out of style. Back when kids of the '50s and '60s were growing up, family dinners meant these dishes were front and center at every family get-together, holiday meal, or cocktail party your parents threw. Many of these recipes evolved from the appeal of new ‘convenience’ foods ranging from canned soups to boxed cake mixes.”

Courtesy of TheDailyMeal.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, and LoveFood.com, here are some foods and beverages that were popular in 1962.

  1. Chicken a la King
  2. Chicken cacciatore
  3. Diet Rite (the first no-calorie soft drink)
  4. Fondue
  5. French food
  6. Froot Loops
  7. Frozen dinners
  8. Gatorade
  9. Gelatin molds
  10. Instant mashed potato flakes
  11. Instant oatmeal
  12. Lipton onion soup dip
  13. Meatloaf
  14. Pop-Tarts
  15. Shrimp cocktail
  16. SPAM
  17. Sprite
  18. Takeaway pizza
  19. Tex-Mex
  20. Tunnel of fudge cake
In 1962, Diet Rite—the world’s first sugar-free soft drink—was a favorite beverage.

In 1962, Diet Rite—the world’s first sugar-free soft drink—was a favorite beverage.

15. Famous Birthdays

Here are some of the famous people who were born in 1962:

  1. Andre Braugher: TV actor
  2. Baz Luhrmann: Australian director
  3. Bo Jackson: Baseball player
  4. Clark Gregg: Movie actor
  5. Demi Moore: Movie actress
  6. Garth Brooks: Country singer
  7. Jasmine Guy: TV actress
  8. Jeff Probst: Game show host
  9. Jerry Rice: Football player
  10. Jim Carrey: Movie actor
  11. Jodie Foster: Movie actress
  12. Kate Spade: Fashion designer
  13. Kelly Preston: Movie actress
  14. Kevin Greene: Football player
  15. Paula Abdul: Pop singer
  16. Phillip Schofield: TV show host
  17. Rosie O’Donnell: TV show host
  18. Sheryl Crow: Pop singer
  19. Steve Carell: Movie actor
  20. Steve Irwin (1962-2006): Reality star
  21. Suzanne Collins: Young adult author
  22. Thomas Gibson: TV actor
  23. Tom Cruise: Movie actor
  24. Tom Kenny: Voice actor
  25. Wesley Snipes: Movie actor

16. Notable Weddings

These trivia facts have been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.

  1. On March 21, Academy-Award-winning actor Rex Harrison married actress Rachel Roberts.
  2. On May 4, actor Christopher Plummer wed columnist Patricia Lewis.
  3. On June 10, NFL running back Gale Sayers married high school sweetheart Linda McNeil.
  4. On June 17, actor Jack Nicholson wed Sandra Knight.
  5. On June 20, singer Jane Froman married college friend Rowland Smith.
  6. On July 28, NBA player Lenny Wilkens wed Marilyn Reed.
  7. On August 10, actor Marlon Brando married Tahitian actress Tarita Teriipaia.
  8. On August 17, actor Jack Lemmon wed actress and model Felicia Farr.
  9. On August 23, Beatle John Lennon married Cynthia Powell.
  10. On August 25, future U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell wed Alma Johnson.
  11. On September 15, actress Janet Leigh married stockbroker Robert Brandt.
  12. On October 9, French singer Edith Piaf wed Greek actor Théo Sarapo.
  13. On November 18, singer Barry White married childhood sweetheart Betty Smith.
  14. On November 26, singer Tina Turner wed Ike Turner.
  15. On December 6, actor Sean Connery married actress Diane Cilento.
  16. On December 18, Little Eva wed James Harris.
In 1962, Taco Bell—a chain of fast-food restaurants that specialize in ”Mexican-inspired” foods—served its first customer in San Bernardino, California.

In 1962, Taco Bell—a chain of fast-food restaurants that specialize in ”Mexican-inspired” foods—served its first customer in San Bernardino, California.

17. Famous People Who Died

Thus information has been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.

  1. January 13: Ernie Kovacs (an American comedian)
  2. January 15: Kenneth MacKenna (an American actor and director whose credits include Judgment at Nuremberg and Those We Love)
  3. March 15: Sam Wren (an American actor who played in Marked Woman and The Old Grey Mayor)
  4. March 20: A.E. Douglas (an American archaeologist and astronomer)
  5. March 26: Marjorie Colton (the inventor of wax paper)
  6. April 13: Culbert Olson (a former governor of California)
  7. May 12: Dick Calkins (an American artist)
  8. June 4: William Beebe (an American biologist and explorer)
  9. June 28: Mickey Cochrane (an MLB player and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame)
  10. July 6: William Faulkner (an American author and Nobel Prize laureate who wrote novels, short stories, and screenplays)
  11. July 11: Owen D. Young (an American industrialist who founded the electronics company RCA)
  12. August 5: Marilyn Monroe (an American actress who played in Some Like It Hot)
  13. August 9: Hermann Hess (a German-Swiss novelist)
  14. September 3: E.E. Cummings (an American poet)
  15. September 29: Patrick Corry (the inventor of the self-rotating rock drill)
  16. October 4: John Lowey (a builder of Radio City Music Hall and other New York City landmarks)
  17. October 6: Tod Browning (a film director whose credits include Dracula)
  18. November 3: Harlow Curtice (the president of General Motors from 1953-58)
  19. November 7: Eleanor Roosevelt (the U.S. First Lady from 1933-45)

18. U.S. Automobile Production Figures for the Year

  1. Chevrolet: 2,061,677
  2. Ford: 1,476,031
  3. Pontiac: 521,933
  4. Rambler: 442,346
  5. Oldsmobile: 428,853
  6. Buick: 399,526
  7. Mercury: 341,366
  8. Plymouth: 339,527
  9. Dodge: 240,484
  10. Cadillac: 160,840
  11. Chrysler: 128,921
  12. Studebaker: 89,318
  13. Lincoln: 31,061
  14. Imperial: 14,337
  15. Checker: 1,230
  16. Metropolitan: 420
In 1962, The Longest Day was the highest-grossing film.

In 1962, The Longest Day was the highest-grossing film.

19. America’s Largest Corporations

Money.CNN tells us that “Since 1955, when the first FORTUNE 500 was created, more than 1,800 companies have appeared on the list. Many of these companies have changed names over this period, owing to mergers, acquisitions, and bankruptcies. Other companies have gone private, or simply changed their names."

Here is the 1962 FORTUNE 500:

  1. General Motors
  2. Exxon Mobil
  3. Ford Motor
  4. General Electric
  5. Mobil
  6. U.S. Steel
  7. Texaco
  8. Gulf Oil
  9. At&T
  10. Esmark

20. American Companies and Brands Established During 1962

  1. AccuWeather: A media company that provides worldwide commercial weather forecasting.
  2. Asset Acceptance: A debt buyer.
  3. Big O Tires: One of America’s largest retail tire franchisors.
  4. Ciner Wyoming: A mining and chemical company.
  5. Crate & Barrel: A retail chain that specializes in modern furniture, housewares, and decor. Crate & Barrel operates over 100 stores in the U.S. and Canada, and employs 7,500 associates.
  6. Doyle New York: An auction house and appraiser.
  7. DressBarn.com: An online retailer that is associated with a former chain of women's clothing stores.
  8. Enterprise Car Sales: A rental car company that has over 120 locations nationwide, and one of the biggest sellers of used cars in the United States.
  9. Happy Harry’s: A drug store chain that once operated 76 locations in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Happy Harry’s merged with Walgreens beginning in 2006.
  10. John Conti Coffee Company: A roaster and supplier of high-end Arabian coffees.
  11. Kohl’s: A department store chain that has 1,158 locations in every U.S. state but Hawaii.
  12. Lotus Communications: A media company that owns numerous radio stations as well as several television stations.
  13. National Stores: A retail chain that has 344 locations in 22 states and Puerto Rico. National Stores offer “brand name and private label clothing for men, ladies, boys, girls, juniors, infants, and toddlers[,] along with lingerie, shoes and household items.”
  14. Pier 1: An online retailer and home store chain that specializes in “imported home furnishings and decor, particularly furniture, table-top items, decorative accessories, and seasonal decor.”
  15. Rite Aid: A drug store chain that has nearly 2,500 locations.
  16. Rodeway Inn: A chain of economy-priced hotels that has 578 locations in North America.
  17. St. John: A luxury fashion brand that specializes in women’s knitwear.
  18. Taco Bell: A chain of fast-food restaurants that serve a variety of “Mexican-inspired” foods.
  19. Walmart: A “multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores.”
  20. Wet Seal: A retailer that sells “trendy, affordable apparel, accessories, and footwear for young women of all sizes.”
  21. Woolco: Formerly, a chain of discount department stores that was owned by the F.W. Woolworth Company.
In 1962, Crate & Barrel, a retail chain that specializes in home decor, furniture, and housewares, opened its first store in Chicago.

In 1962, Crate & Barrel, a retail chain that specializes in home decor, furniture, and housewares, opened its first store in Chicago.

References:

In 1962, AccuWeather—a media company that provides worldwide commercial weather forecasting—was launched in State College, Pennsylvania.

In 1962, AccuWeather—a media company that provides worldwide commercial weather forecasting—was launched in State College, Pennsylvania.

© 2020 Gregory DeVictor

Comments

Gregory DeVictor (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on December 24, 2020:

Thank you for the comment and for reading my article.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 24, 2020:

Nice compilation. Well presented.

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