What Happened in May 1962

Historical Events

  • May 1 1st French underground nuclear test in the Sahara at Ecker, Algeria

Event of Interest

May 1 JFK authorizes Area Redevelopment Act (ARA)

  • May 2 European Cup Final, Amsterdam: Eusébio scores twice as defending champions Benfica beat Real Madrid, 5-3; Puskás, hits all 3 for Madrid
  • May 2 OAS strikes in Algeria
  • May 2 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island
  • May 2 WMHT TV channel 17 in Schenectady-Alby-Tro, NY (PBS) 1st broadcast
  • May 3 Express train crashed into wreckage of a commuter train & a freight, killing 163, injuring 400 in Tokyo, Japan
  • May 4 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island

#1 in the Charts

May 5 "West Side Story" soundtrack album goes #1 & stays #1 for 54 weeks which is more than 20 weeks longer than any other album

  • May 5 88th Kentucky Derby: Bill Hartack aboard Decidedly wins in 2:00.4
  • May 6 1st nuclear warhead fired from Polaris submarine (Ethan Allen)

Election of Interest

May 6 Antonio Segni elected President of Italy

  • May 6 Pathet Lao breaks cease fire and conquer Nam Tha Laos
  • May 6 US performs nuclear test at Pacific Ocean
  • May 7 Pulitzer prize awarded to Theodore H. White (Making of President 1960)
  • May 7 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island
  • May 8 1st Atlas Centaur Launch
  • May 8 London trolley buses (electrically powered buses using overhead supply) go out of service

Schindlers Honored in Jerusalem

May 8 Oskar Schindler and his wife Emilie Schindler are honored for saving 1200 Jews during WWII, in a ceremony on the Avenue of the Righteous, Jerusalem

A Funny Thing Happened

May 8 Stephen Sondheim's musical "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" starring Zero Mostel and Jack Gilford, and directed by George Abbott, opens at Alvin Theater, NYC; runs for 965 performances, and wins 6 Tony Awards

  • May 9 Laser beam successfully bounced off Moon for 1st time
  • May 9 The Beatles sign their 1st contract with EMI Parlophone
  • May 9 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island
  • May 11 Antonio Segni becomes President of Italy
  • May 11 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island
  • May 11 US sends troops to Thailand
  • May 12 Grevelingen dam closes in major project to protect the southwest of the Netherlands from flooding
  • May 12 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island

Sports History

May 13 LPGA Western Open Women's Golf, Montgomery CC: Mickey Wright wins on the 4th hole of a sudden-death playoff with Mary Lena Faulk

Event of Interest

May 14 Ex-president of Yugoslavia Milovan Djilas sentenced to 5 years in jail

  • May 14 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan elected second President of India
  • May 14 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island
  • May 15 US marines arrive in Laos
  • May 17 Marin County withdraws from BART district
  • May 19 "Bravo, Giovanni" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 76 performances
  • May 19 "John Birch Society" by Chad Mitchell Trio hits #99
  • May 19 87th Preakness: John Rotz aboard Greek Money wins in 1:56.2
  • May 19 Indonesian paratroopers land in New Guinea

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

May 19 Marilyn Monroe sings "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" to JFK before 15,000 attendees, accompanied by jazz pianist Hank Jones, at Madison Square Garden, NYC

Baseball Record

May 19 Stan Musial breaks Honus Wagner's NL hit record with 3,431

  • May 19 US performs nuclear test at Christmas Island (atmospheric)
  • May 21 3 more Cleveland HR set AL record for most HR (26) over 8 games
  • May 22 Continental Airlines Flight 11 crashes after bombs explode on board
  • May 22 Major Robert A Rushworth, USAF, takes X-15 to 30,600m
  • May 22 Netherlands telephone network becomes completely automated

Baseball Record

May 22 Roger Maris walks 5 times (record 4 intentionally) in a 9 inning game

  • May 23 15th Cannes Film Festival: "Keeper of Promises" directed by Anselmo Duarte wins the Palme d'Or

Baseball Record

May 23 Joe Pepitone 2nd NY Yankee to hit 2 HRs in 1 inning (Joe DiMaggio)

  • May 23 OAS leader general Raoul Salan sentenced to life

Contract of Interest

May 24 The Beatles record "Sweet Georgia Brown" & "Swanee" in Hamburg, Germany to close out their contract with producer Bert Kaempfert; Tony Sheridan later dubs vocal over tracks

Event of Interest

May 24 US astronaut Scott Carpenter aboard Aurora 7 (Mercury-Atlas 7) orbits the Earth three times in a flight just under five hours [1]

  • May 25 Isley Brothers release "Twist & Shout"
  • May 25 US performs nuclear test at Christmas Island (atmospheric)
  • May 25 US unions AFL-CIO starts campaign for 35-hour work week
  • May 26 "All American" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 80 performances
  • May 28 Suit alleging de facto school segregation filed in Rochester, NY
  • May 28 US stock market drops $20.8 B in 1 day
  • May 28 Wide World of Sports with Chris Schenkel premieres on CBS radio
  • May 29 4th Grammy Awards: Moon River, Peter Nero win

TV Show Appearance

May 29 Barbra Streisand appears on "The Garry Moore Show"

  • May 30 69 killed in bus crash (Ahmedabad India)

War Requiem

May 30 Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem" incorporating the poems of Wilfred Owen premieres, marking the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral

  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Rodger Ward and Len Sutton finish 1st-2nd for Leader Cards Racing; Parnelli Jones breaks 150 mph (240 km/h) barrier in qualifying
  • May 31 "Tell It To Groucho" last airs on CBS-TV
  • May 31 The West Indies Federation, made up of former British Caribbean territories, dissolves
1962 History

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Gary Clark, American NFL wide receiver, 1984-95 (Super Bowl 1987, 91; Washington Redskins; Pro Bowl 1986, 87, 90, 91; All-Pro 1986, 87, 91), born in Radford, Virginia
  • May 1 Paula Weishoff, American volleyballer (Olympic silver 1984, bronze 1992), born in Hollywood, California
  • May 2 Big Boss Man [Ray Washington Traylor Jr.], American professional wrestler, born in Marietta, Georgia (d. 2004)
  • May 2 Elizabeth Berridge, American actress (Amadeus, Funhouse), born in Westchester, New York
  • May 2 Jimmy White, English professional snooker player, born in Tooting, England
  • May 3 Anders Graneheim, Swedish bodybuilder, born in Timrå, Sweden
  • May 4 Oleta Adams, American soul singer and pianist, born in Seattle, Washington
  • May 5 Gary Daly, British new wave rock keyboardist, singer, and songwriter (China Crisis - "Wishful Thinking"), born in Liverpool, England
  • May 5 Jenifer McKitrick, American songwriter ("Mine, Mine, Mine"), born in Defiance, Ohio
  • May 5 Kevin Mooney, British rock bassist (Adam & The Ants - "Ant Music"; "Goody Two Shoes"), born in Greenwich, London, England
  • May 6 Adam Yellin, American sound engineer and record producer (The Ramones), born in New York City
  • May 6 Neil Foster, English cricket fast bowler (29 Tests, 88 wickets, BB 8/107; Essex CCC), born in Colchester, England
  • May 6 Stan Cullimore, British guitarist (Housemartins, "Happy Hour"; "Caravan Of Love"), journalist, and music educator, born in Kingston upon Hull, England
  • May 7 Robbie Knievel, American motorcycle daredevil, son of Evel, born in Butte, Montana (d. 2023)
  • May 9 Dave Gahan, British new wave rock vocalist (Depeche Mode - "Dreaming of Me"), born in Essex, England
  • May 9 John Corbett, American actor (Northern Exposure - "Chris Stevens"; Sex and the City - "Aidan"; My Big Fat Greek Wedding), and country music singer, born in Wheeling, West Virginia
  • May 9 Paul Heaton, British singer-songwriter (Housemartins), born in Bromborough, England
  • May 10 Gary Daly, British new wave rock keyboardist and singer (China Crisis - Wishful Thinking), born in Kirkby, Merseyside, England
  • May 10 Joey Meyer, baseball player
  • May 10 Robby Thompson, infielder (SF Giants), born in West Palm Beach, Florida
  • May 11 Emmanuelle Haïm, French harpsichordist, and conductor (Le Concert d'Astrée, 2000-present), born in Paris, France
  • May 11 Steve Bono, American NFL quarterback (KC Chiefs, GB Packers-Super Bowl 31), born in Norristown, Pennsylvania
  • May 12 Brett Gurewitz, American guitarist and songwriter (Bad Religion), record label owner, and producer (Epitaph), born in Los Angeles, California
  • May 12 Emilio Estevez, American actor (Breakfast Club, Young Guns, Mighty Ducks), born in NYC, New York
  • May 13 Eduardo Palomo, Mexican actor (d. 2003)
  • May 13 Kathleen Jamie, Scottish poet
  • May 13 Paul McDermott, Australian comedian
  • May 13 Sean McDonough, American sports newscaster
  • May 14 C. C. DeVille, American rocker (Poison - "Talk Dirty to Me"), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • May 14 Ian Astbury, British-Canadian rock singer and songwriter (The Cult - "Fire Woman"), born in Heswall, Cheshire, England
  • May 16 Gary Crocker, cricketer (Zimbabwe Test batsman)

Craig FergusonCraig Ferguson (61 years old)

May 17 Scottish-American comedian, actor (The Drew Carey Show), writer and television host (The Late Late Show, 2005-14), born in Glasgow, Scotland

  • May 17 Lise Lyng Falkenberg, Danish writer
  • May 17 Scott Case, NFL safety (Dallas Cowboys)
  • May 17 Steven Honigberg, American classical cellist (National Symphony Orchestra; Potomac String Quartet), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 17 Tracey Bryn, American alt-rock vocalist (Voice of the Beehive - "Don't Call Me Baby; "I Think I Love You"), born in Encino, California
  • May 18 (Marianne) "Nanne" Grönvall (nee Nordqvist), Swedish pop singer and songwriter, born in Stockholm, Sweden
  • May 18 Mike Darnell, American television executive 'the King of Reality TV' (Fox, Warner Bros), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • May 18 Mike Whitmarsh, American beach volleyballer (Olympic silver 1996), born in San Diego, California
  • May 18 Sandra Cretu, German singer (Close to Seven), born in Saarbrücken, Germany
  • May 19 Iain Harvie, Scottish rock guitarist (Nothing Ever Happens)
  • May 20 Lydia Cheng, American Ms Big Apple bodybuilder (1982) (Pumping Iron 2), born in NYC, New York
  • May 20 Ralph Peterson Jr., American jazz drummer (Jazz Messengers; Fo'tet), and educator (Berklee), born in Pleasantville, New Jersey (d. 2021) [1]
  • May 20 Sylvie Rauch, Munich German FR, nude model/actress
  • May 21 David Crumb, American contemporary composer, and educator (University of Oregon, 1997-present), born in Colorado
  • May 22 Brian Pillman, American professional wrestler, born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1997)
  • May 23 Franca Masu, Italian jazz and world music singer-songwriter, born in Alghero, Sardinia, Italy
  • May 23 Imran Anwar, Pakistani Internet pioneer and American TV personality
  • May 23 Karen Duffy [Duff], American MTV VJ/actress (Meet Wally Sparks), born in NYC, New York
  • May 23 Keith Brantley, Scott AFB Ill, marathoner (Olympics 1996)
  • May 24 Dorothy Trapp, equestrian 3-day (Olympics 1996)
  • May 24 Héctor Camacho, Puerto Rican boxer (WBC super featherweight 1983-84, WBC lightweight 1985-87, WBO Jr. welterweight twice 1989-1992), born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico (d. 2012)
  • May 25 Zulqarnain, Pakistani cricketer (last person in alphabetical order to play Test), born in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
  • May 26 Bob[cat] Goldthwait, comedian (Police Academy), born in Syracuse, New York
  • May 26 Colin Vearncombe, British singer-songwriter (Black - "Wonderful Life"), born in Liverpool, Merseyside, England (d. 2016)
  • May 26 Genie [Eugenie] Francis, actress (General Hospital, Bare Essence), born in Englewood, New Jersey
  • May 27 Mariangela D'Abbraccio, TV actress (Passioni), born in Naples, Italy
  • May 27 Meg Parsont, personality (David Letterman Show)
  • May 27 Ravi Shastri, Indian cricketer, all-rounder (1981-92), commentator and coach of India (2017-), born in Bombay, Maharashtra, India
  • May 27 Ray Borner, Australian basketball center (Olympics 1984, 88, 92, 96)
  • May 27 Steven Brill, American film writer and director
  • May 28 Brandon Cruz, actor (Eddie-Courtship of Eddie's Father)
  • May 28 Phil Vassar, American country music singer-songwriter ("Just Another Day In Paradise"), born in Lynchburg, Virginia
  • May 29 Eric Davis, American MLB outfielder (3-time Gold Glove 1987-99), born in Los Angeles, California
  • May 29 Fandi Ahmad, Singaporean soccer striker, manager (Singapore 101 caps), born in Singapore
  • May 29 Perry Fenwick, English actor, born in Canning Town, London
  • May 30 Jan Gunnarsson, Swedish tennis star
  • May 30 John Alt, NFL tackle (KC Chiefs)
  • May 30 Kevin Eastman, American comic book creator
  • May 30 Tonya Pinkins, actress (Livia Frye-All My Children), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 31 Børge Ousland, Norwegian polar explorer, 1st person to complete solo crossing of the Antarctic, born in Oslo, Norway
  • May 31 Corey Hart, Canadian rock vocalist ("Sunglasses At Night"), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • May 31 Dina Boluarte, Peruvian politician (1st Female President of Peru 2022-), born in Chalhuanca, Peru
  • May 31 Henry 'Gizmo' Williams, American-Canadian CFL receiver (Edmonton Eskimos), born in Memphis, Tennessee
  • May 31 Joe Orsulak, American MLB outfielder (Florida Marlins), born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey
  • May 31 Sebastian Koch, German actor
Born in 1962

Famous Weddings

Christopher Plummer

May 4 Actor Christopher Plummer (32) weds columnist Patricia Lewis at the Marylebone Registry office in London

Juan Carlos I

May 14 Princess Sophia of Greece weds Don Juan Carlos of Spain


Famous Deaths

  • May 5 Ernest Tyldesley, English cricket batsman (14 Tests, 3 x 100, 6 x 50, HS 138; Lancashire CCC), dies at 73
  • May 7 Jimmy Conlin, American actor (Sin of Harold Diddlebock), dies at 77
  • May 11 Hans Luther, German politician (Chancellor, 1925-6), dies at 83
  • May 12 Dick Calkins, American comic strip artist and co-author of Buck Rogers), dies at 67
  • May 13 Frank Jenks, American stage and screen actor (Colonel Flack, Zombies on Broadway), dies of cancer at 59
  • May 13 Franz Kline, American abstract expressionist painter, dies of heart failure at 51
  • May 13 H. Trendley Dean, American dental surgeon who introduced fluoridation into water, dies from complications of asthma and emphysema at 68
  • May 14 Florence Auer, American actress (b. 1880)
  • May 19 Gabriele Münter, German expressionist painter
  • May 26 Jules Van de Leene, Belgian painter, dies at 75
  • May 27 Egon Petri, Dutch classical pianist, dies at 81
  • May 28 Jesse Crawford, American pianist, theatre organist for silent films, and recording artist, dies at 66
  • May 31 Eduardo Toldrà, Spanish Catalan composer and conductor, dies at 67
  • May 31 Henry F. Ashurst, American Democratic politician (U.S. Senator from Arizona), dies at 87