What Happened in 1962 – Trivia, Movies, Songs, Celebs Born In 1962

Trivia, Movies, Songs, Sports, Celebrities Born In 1962, News, Fun Facts and more.

Ever wonder, “What Happened in 1962?”

Well if you if you are planning a birthday party, trivia game night, wedding anniversary event, class reunion or just curious about 1962 movies, music, tv, famous people born, news and fun facts; well you are in luck. Party Game Ideas has pulled together a list of fun and interesting things that happened in 1962, so you can create trivia games or activities based on 1962. If you are short on time and need fun and engaging games for a 1962 birthday party, be sure to check out our Born in 1962 Birthday Party Games.

1962 Items – Page Topics Listed in Order
1962 History & News, 1962 Trivia & Fun Facts
1962 Top Movies, Notable Quotes, Top 40 Songs of 1962, Sports Champions
Celebrities Born in 1962, Top TV Shows of 1962, Saturday Morning Cartoons
What Did Things Cost in 1962

1962 History & News

  • In October, the Cuban missile crisis places the world on edge. The US – Russian crisis ends with Russia stopping shipments and removing existing missiles.
  • John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth.
  • Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • Nelson Mandela is arrested in South Africa for sabotage and given a life sentence.
  • Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe found dead of a drug overdose.
  • Amid protests and riots, James Meredith becomes first black student to attend University of Mississippi.
  • Mariner 2 passes by Venus and becomes the first spacecraft to transmit data from another planet.
  • Time Man of the Year: Pope John XXIII

Interesting Trivia & Fun Facts about 1962

  • Taco Bell is founded by Glen Bell in Downey, California.
  • Wilt Chamberlain scores 100 points in a single NBA game.
  • Spider-Man (Peter Parker) is introduced in Marvel Comics’ Amazing Fantasy comic.
  • Incredible Hulk (Bruce Banner) was introduced by Marvel Comics in May of 1962.
  • The 1st Target store opens in Roseville, Minnesota.
  • The 1st Wal-Mart (Walmart) store opens in Rogers, Arkansas. (Just months after the 1st Target store.)
  • The first store with the Kmart name opens, even though the company (S. Kresge Corp.) was formed in 1899.
  • First Bond film, Dr. No, released in the UK. It wouldn’t be released in the US until May 1963.
  • Beatles release 1st song “Love Me Do” in the UK. The song would not be released in the US until 1964!
  • Marilyn Monroe sings infamous “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy.
  • The animated cartoon sitcom “The Jetsons” premieres on ABC in the US.
  • Andy Warhol premieres his 32 “Campbell’s Soup Cans” in Los Angeles. Debuting the Pop Art movement on the West Coast.
  • Johnny Carson takes over as the permanent host of NBC’s The Tonight Show. He would host it for 30 years.
  • Walter Cronkite became the anchor of the CBS Evening News, he would hold that post for 19 years.
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgees is published.
  • Danny Thomas founded St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
  • The Rolling Stones form and make their debut on July 12th at London’s Marquee Club.
  • Bob Dylan performs song “Blowing in the Wind” for the 1st time in NYC on April 16th. Releases 1st album too.
  • The Beatles audition for Decca Records and were not signed because guitar bands were on the way out. A year later Decca Records signed The Rolling Stones.
  • The Centralia, PA coal mine fire is ignited. This coal seam fire still burns today and could burn for up to 250 years.
  • The first live trans-Atlantic television signal is relayed by Telstar.
  • The first Hawaiian pizza with ham & pineapples is created in… Ontario, Canada!
  • The Filet-O-Fish is created by a Cincinnati franchisee to appeal to Catholic customers during lent, the sandwich goes nationwide in 1965.
  • Goldfish Crackers are introduced to the US.

World Population – 3,125,000,000

Top Movies 1962 – US Box Office in millions

This list represents the earnings of movies that were released in 1962. We have found several different rankings online, this list is a composite of those rankings.

1. The Longest Day $39.1
2. Lawrence of Arabia $33.2
3. In Search of Castaways $18.4
4. That Touch of Mink $17.6
5. The Music Man $15
6. Mutiny on the Bounty $13.7
7. To Kill a Mockingbird $13.1
8. Hatari! $12.9
9.  Gypsy $11.1
10. Lolita $9.3

Additional Notable Movies from 1962
Days of Wine and Roses, The Manchurian Candidate, State Fair, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Girls, Girls, Girls with Elvis Presley which help make “Return to Sender” a Top 10 hit song.
Dr. No – Premieres in the UK in October 1962, and comes to the US eight months later in May of 1963.

The Academy Awards often takes place in February.

  • 1962 Academy Award for Best Picture – West Side Story
  • 1962 Best Actor – Maximilian Schell for Judgement at Nuremberg
  • 1962 Best Actress – Sophia Loren for Two Women

Below are the Academy Awards that were presented in 1963 for movies released in 1962. View all 1963 Academy Award Winners.

  • 1963 Academy Award for Best Picture – Lawrence of Arabia
  • 1963 Best Actor – Gregory Peck for To Kill a Mockingbird
  • 1962 Best Actress – Anne Bancroft for The Miracle Worker

Notable Quotes from 1962

“Heeeere’s Johnnny!”
– Ed McMahon’s introduction for the Tonight Show host Johnny Carson

“Bond, James Bond”
– Sean Connery, in Dr. No (released in UK in ’62 and US in ’63)

New Advertising Jingles – Catch Phrases

“What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs, and makes a slinkity sound?”
– Is the start of the the catchy Slinky TV jingle released in 1962

Born in 1962 Birthday Party Games Trivia Fun Facts Memories Fun Activity

Top Songs of 1962

Check out the 40 Biggest Hit Songs of 1962 – Rankings are based on Hot 100 Charts from Jan. 1, 1962 through October 31, 1962 ranking by Billboard.

1. “Stranger on the Shore” Acker Bilk
2. “I Can’t Stop Loving You” Ray Charles
3. “Mashed Potato Time” Dee Dee Sharp
4. “Roses Are Red (My Love)” Bobby Vinton
5. “The Stripper” David Rose
6. “Johnny Angel” Shelley Fabares
7. “The Loco-Motion” Little Eva
8. “Let Me In” The Sensations
9. “The Twist” Chubby Checker
10. “Soldier Boy” The Shirelles
11. “Hey! Baby” Bruce Channel
12. “The Wanderer” Dion
13. “Duke of Earl” Gene Chandler
14. “Palisades Park” Freddy Cannon
15. “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” Neil Sedaka
16. “Wolverton Mountain” Claude King
17. “Slow Twistin'” Chubby Checker & Dee Dee Sharp
18. “It Keeps Right On a-Hurtin'” Johnny Tillotson
19. “The One Who Really Loves You” Mary Wells
20. “Good Luck Charm” Elvis Presley
21. “Midnight in Moscow” Kenny Ball
22. “Sheila” Tommy Roe
23. “Twistin’ the Night Away” Sam Cooke
24. “The Wah-Watusi” The Orlons
25. “Peppermint Twist” Joey Dee and the Starliters
26. “Break It to Me Gently” Brenda Lee
27. “Playboy” The Marvelettes
28. “Ramblin’ Rose” Nat King Cole
29. “Sealed with a Kiss” Brian Hyland
30. “She Cried” Jay and the Americans
31. “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You” Connie Francis
32. “Dear Lady Twist” Gary U.S. Bonds
33. “Norman” Sue Thompson
34. “Love Letters” Ketty Lester
35. “Party Lights” Claudine Clark
36. “Cotton Fields” The Highwaymen
37. “Alley Cat” Bent Fabric
38. “Twist and Shout” The Isley Brothers
39. “Theme from Dr. Kildare (Three Stars Will Shine Tonight)” Richard Chamberlain
40. “Tuff” Ace Cannon

Fun Fact – “The Twist” by Chubby Checker reached #1 in 1960 and again in January of 1962. It was the only song to have two different No. 1 runs in separate years until Mariah Carey did it with “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

Other notable 1962 Songs that were in the Top 100
55. “Sherry” Frankie Valle & The Four Seasons, 57. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” Elvis Presley, 77. “Teen Age Idol” Rick Nelson, 98. “If I Had a Hammer” Peter, Paul & Mary, 100. “Surfin Safari” The Beach Boys

Monster Mash reach No. 1 in October of 1962, but it failed to crack the Top 100 Hits of 1962.

“Big Girls Don’t Cry” by The Four Seasons was No. 1 for 5 weeks (Nov. 17 – Dec. 15), but failed to crack the year end Top 100 for 1962 or 1963 because songs that came out in the last two months of the year weren’t counted on year end charts!

1962 Year in Sports

  • Football
    AFL Championship – Dallas Texans defeated Houston Oilers 20-17 in double overtime
    NFL Championship – Green Bay Packers defeated New York Giants 16-7
  • Horse Racing – Kentucky Derby – Decidedly
  • Ice Hockey – Stanley Cup – Toronto Maple Leafs defeated Chicago Black Hawks 4 games to 2
  • NBA Finals – Boston Celtics defeated Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 3 games
  • March 2nd – Wilt Chamberlain scores 100 points in a single NBA game.
  • Golf – U.S. Open – Jack Nichaus
  • Tennis
    Wimbledon Championships – Men’s Rod Laver, Women’s Karen Hantze Susman
    US National Championships (In ’68 becomes US Open) – Men’s Rod Laver, Women’s Margaret Smith
  • Baseball – World Series – New York Yankees defeated San Francisco Giants 4 games to 3 games.
  • Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • Tour De France – Jacques Anquetil of France wins. (He would win a total of 5 Tour De France races.)
  • FIFA World Cup – Brazil beats Czechoslovakia 3-1

1962 NCAA

  • Football
    Orange Bowl: January 1, 1962 – LSU defeated Colorado
    Rose Bowl: January 1, 1962 – Minnesota defeated UCLA
    Sugar Bowl : January 1, 1962 – Alabama defeated Arkansas
    Cotton Bowl: January 1, 1962 – Texas defeated Ole Miss (Mississippi)
  • Men’s Division 1 Basketball – Cincinnati defeated Ohio State 71 – 59

Celebrities Born in 1962

Check out these famous people born in 1962. For those born in the 60s, this might have you feeling old. Some look their age, while others look older and younger.

Tom Cruise Year Born 1962 How Old is Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise

Jodie Foster Born 1962
Jody Foster

How Old is Paula Abdul When Born
Paula Abdul

What year was Wesley Snipes Born 1962
Wesley Snipes

What year was Jon Bon Jovi Born 1962
Jon Bon Jovi

What year was Demi Moore born 1962
Demi Moore

More Celebrities and Famous People Born in 1962.

  • Matthew Broderick
  • Garth Brooks
  • Steve Carell
  • Jim Carrey
  • Roger Clemens
  • Suzanne Collins (Writer)
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Lou Diamond Phillips
  • Jeff Dunham (Ventriloquist)
  • Anthony Edwards
  • Emilio Estevez
  • Patrick Ewing
  • Craig Ferguson
  • Ralph Fiennes
  • Doug Flutie
  • Thomas Gibson
  • MC Hammer
  • Evander Holyfield
  • Steve Irwin (1962-2006)
  • Bo Jackson
  • Tommy Lee
  • Kristy McNichol
  • Bob Odenkirk
  • Rosie O’Donnell
  • Lou Diamond Phillips
  • Kelly Preston (1962 – 2020)
  • Jerry Rice
  • Axl Rose of Guns & Roses
  • Ally Sheedy
  • Kate Spade (Fashion Designer)
  • John Stewart

Top Baby Names of 1962

  • Girls Names – Lisa, Mary, Susan, Karen, Linda
  • Boys Names – Michael, David, John, James, Robert

Most Popular TV Shows of 1962

We include the ratings for the Top 20 TV shows for two seasons, since they are different. Interesting to see the shows shift in popularity from 1961-62 to 1962-63. Amazing how many of the top shows are Western themed in 61-62 and then how comedies and prime time game shows gained in popularity in 62-63.

Top TV Shows of 1961 – 1962 Season – based on Nielsen Media
1. Wagon Train 32.1
2. Bonanza 30.0
3. Gunsmoke 28.3
4. Hazel 27.7
5. Perry Mason 27.3
6. The Red Skelton Show 27.1
7. The Andy Griffith Show 27.0
8. The Danny Thomas Show 26.1
9. Dr. Kildare 25.6
10. Candid Camera 25.5
11. My Three Sons 24.7
12. The Garry Moore Show 24.6
13. Rawhide 24.5
14. The Real McCoys 24.2
15. Lassie 24.0
Sing Along with Mitch
17. Dennis the Menace 23.8
18. Ben Casey 23.7
19. The Ed Sullivan Show 23.5
20. Car 54, Where Are You? 23.2

Top TV Shows of 1962 – 1963 Season – based on Nielsen Media
1. The Beverly Hillbillies 36
2.  Candid Camera 31.1
The Red Skelton Show
4. Bonanza 29.8
The Lucy Show
6. The Andy Griffith Show 29.7
7.  Ben Casey 28.7
The Danny Thomas Show
9. The Dick Van Dyke Show 27.1
10. Gunsmoke 27.0
11. Dr. Kildare 26.2
The Jack Benny Show
13. What’s My Line 25.5
14. The Ed Sullivan Show 25.3
15. Hazel 25.1
16. I’ve Got a Secret 24.9
17. The Jackie Gleason Show 24.1
18. The Defenders 23.9
19. The Garry Moore Show 23.3
To Tell The Truth

Popular Saturday Morning Shows in 1962

Before blocks of Saturday morning cartoons became the norm, you had a mix of cartoons, education, and variety shows for kids. In the 1962-63 season Bugs Bunny arrives and will become a permanent fixture on Saturday mornings for decades.

  • Mighty Mouse Playhouse
  • The Roy Roger’s Show
  • Captain Kangaroo
  • The Magic Land of Allakazam
  • The Bugs Bunny Show
  • The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin
  • My Friend Flicka

What did things cost in 1962

Check out this 1962 prices for food, gas, and even gold.  These tend to be average prices for an item in the US during the year and the prices of items variety by region of the country. When possible we used US Govt. Economic data.

  • Stamp $0.04
  • Loaf of Bread $0.22
  • Gallon of Milk $0.49
  • Dozen Eggs $0.54
  • Bacon 1 lb. $0.69
  • Gallon of Gas $0.31
  • Movie Ticket $0.79
  • Minimum Wage $1.15
  • One Ounce of Gold $35.35
  • New Car $2,975
  • Average Income $5,520

Most likely if you are here researching What Happened in 1962, you are getting ready to plan a big event like a birthday celebration for a spouse or close friend. We hope that our 1962 trivia, fun facts, top movies, top 40 songs of 1962 and other information was helpful and interesting.

If you are hosting a birthday party for someone Born in 1962, be sure to check out these party supplies and decorations that will help make your event extra special.

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1962 News Facts Trivia Celebrities Born in 1962 TV Shows Movies What Happened 1962