On This Day

Historical Events in January 1962

  • Jan 1 Beatles' Decca Records audition is unsuccessful - they are told “guitar groups are on the way out..."
  • Jan 1 Rwanda granted internal self-government by Belgium
  • Jan 1 Western Samoa gains independence from New Zealand Susuga Malietoa Tanumafili II becomes co-chief of Western Samoa
  • Jan 1 United States Navy SEALs established.
  • Jan 1 48th Rose Bowl: #6 Minnesota beats #16 UCLA, 21-3
  • Jan 1 28th Sugar Bowl: #1 Alabama beats #9 Arkansas, 10-3`
  • Jan 1 28th Orange Bowl: #4 LSU beats #7 Colorado, 25-7
  • Jan 2 Nighttime version of "Password" with Allen Ludden premieres on CBS
  • Jan 3 Ground is broken for the Houston Astrodome
  • Jan 4 1st automated (unmanned) subway train in New York City

Music History

Jan 5 Tony Sheridan & Beatles record "My Bonnie" & "The Saints", produced by Bert Kaempfert, in Hamburg, Germany

  • Jan 7 1st AFL All Star Game, Balboa Stadium, San Diego, California: Western Division beats Eastern Division, 47-27; MVP Cotton Davidson, Dallas Texans, QB

Assassination Attempt

Jan 7 Assassination attempt fails on Indonesian President Sukarno

  • Jan 7 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to John Hall Wheelock [1]
  • Jan 8 Dutch express train crashes into slow commuter train, 93 die (Neth)

Sports History

Jan 8 21 year old future Hall of Fame golfer Jack Nicklaus makes his first professional appearance; tied 50th in Los Angeles Open

  • Jan 9 Mister M (Dr X) beats Verne Gagne in Minn, to become NWA champ
  • Jan 9 NFL prohibits grabbing of face masks
  • Jan 9 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Jan 10 Eruptions on Mount Huascaran in Peru destroy 7 villages & kill 3,500
  • Jan 11 Landslide at dormant volcano Huascaran in Peru kills an estimated 4,000

Agent Orange in Vietnam

Jan 12 Operation Ranch Hand begins, a US Air Force operation to spray South Vietnamese forests with defoliants such as Agent Orange

  • Jan 12 Operation Chopper begins, America's first combat mission in the Vietnam War
  • Jan 13 "Do Re Mi" closes at St James Theater NYC after 400 performances

Sports History

Jan 13 Philadelphia center Wilt Chamberlain scores 73 points in Warriors' 135-117 win over Chicago Packers; at the time, most points scored in NBA regulation game, and remains tied for 3rd-highest total

The Twist Dance Craze

Jan 13 Chubby Checker's song "The Twist", credited with starting the Twist dance craze, goes to #1 in the charts two years after first reaching number one spot

NFL Pro Bowl

Jan 14 12th NFL Pro Bowl, LA Memorial Coliseum: Western Conference beats Eastern Conference, 31-30; MVPs: Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns, RB; Henry Jordan, Green Bay Packers, DT

  • Jan 15 Dutch & Indonesian navy encounter in Etna Bay New Guinea

Film & TV History

Jan 15 Coco the Clown [Nicolai Poliakoff] is the subject of the BBC TV programme "This is Your Life"

  • Jan 15 50th Australian Championships Women's Tennis: Margaret Smith beats Jan Lehane O'Neill in the final for 3rd straight year 6-0, 6-2

Australian Men's Tennis Open

Jan 15 50th Australian Championships Men's Tennis: Rod Laver takes the 1st leg of his 1st Grand Slam; beats fellow Queenslander Roy Emerson 8-6, 0-6, 6-4, 6-4

  • Jan 15 Derveni Papyrus rediscovered - Europe's oldest surviving manuscript from c. 340 B.C., commentary on a Orphic poem, found in a tomb in Derveni, Northern Greece [1]
  • Jan 16 Shooting begins on "Dr No" the first James Bond film
  • Jan 16 Suit accuses NYC Board of Education uses "racial quotas"

NBA All-Star Game

Jan 16 12th NBA All-Star Game, St. Louis Arena, St. Louis, Mo: West beats East, 150-130; MVP: Bob Pettit, St. Louis Hawks, C; All-Star record 27 rebounds

Historic Event

Jan 17 NASA civilian pilot Neil Armstrong takes X-15 to 40,690m

  • Jan 17 Roy Harris' 8th Symphony, premieres in San Francisco
  • Jan 18 Southern University, Baton Rouge, closed due to demonstrations
  • Jan 18 US begins spraying foliage in Vietnam to reveal Viet Cong guerrillas
  • Jan 18 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Jan 20 "Kean" closes at Broadway Theater NYC after 92 performances

Historic Event

Jan 21 JFK arrives in Uruguay

  • Jan 21 Snow falls in San Francisco
  • Jan 22 The Organization of American States suspends Cuba's membership.

Historic Event

Jan 23 British intelligence officer Kim Philby defects to USSR

  • Jan 23 Libya, Morocco, Algeria & Tunisia plan to form United Arab Maghreb
  • Jan 23 Film "Jules et Jim", based on the novel by Henri-Pierre Roché, directed by François Truffaut and starring Jeanne Moreau is released
  • Jan 24 28 refugees escape from East to West Germany

Contract of Interest

Jan 24 Brian Epstein signs management contract with the Beatles

Hall of Fame

Jan 24 Jackie Robinson is 1st African American elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame. Bob Feller is also elected.

Music History

Jan 26 Bishop Burke of Buffalo Catholic dioceses declares Chubby Checker's "The Twist" to be impure and bans it from all Catholic schools

  • Jan 26 Canadian Marine Service renamed Coast Guard
  • Jan 26 David Diamond's 7th Symphony, premieres in Philadelphia
  • Jan 26 US launches Ranger 3, misses Moon by 22,000-mi (37,000-km)
  • Jan 27 "Family Affair" opens at Billy Rose Theater NYC for 65 performances
  • Jan 28 Johanne Relleke gets stung by bees 2,443 times in Rhodesia & survives

Historic Event

Jan 30 UN General Assembly censures Portugal over Angola

  • Jan 30 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • Jan 30 2 members of Flying Wallendas' high-wire act killed when their 7-person pyramid collapsed during a performance in Detroit
  • Jan 30 Laughter epidemic begins at a girls' mission school in Kashasha, Tanganyika, goes on to affect 14 schools and over 1000 people
  • Jan 31 General Charles P Cabell, USAF, ends term as deputy director of CIA
  • Jan 31 Samuel Gravely assumes command of destroyer escort "USS Falgout", first African American to command a combat ship