On This Day

January 1962 in History

Events in History

  • 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 3 Ground is broken for the Houston Astrodome


Jan 3 Pope John XXIII excommunicates Fidel Castro

Cuban Revolutionary and President Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolutionary and President
Fidel Castro
Pope John XXIII
  • Jan 4 1st automated (unmanned) subway train in New York City

MurderAssassination Attempt

Jan 7 Assassination attempt fails on Indonesian President Sukarno

1st President of Indonesia Sukarno
1st President of Indonesia
  • Jan 7 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to John Hall Wheelock
  • Jan 8 Dutch express train crashes into slow commuter train, 93 die (Neth)
  • Jan 9 Mister M (Dr X) beats Verne Gagne in Minn, to become NWA champ
  • 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 Volcano Huascaran in Peru erupts killing 4,000

VietnamAgent 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
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An American aircraft sprays Agent Orange over the forest during the Vietnam War
An American aircraft sprays Agent Orange over the forest during the Vietnam War
  • Jan 12 Operation Chopper begins, America's first combat mission in the Vietnam War
  • Jan 15 Dutch & Indonesian navy encounter in Etna Bay New Guinea

  • Jan 16 Suit accuses NYC Board of Education uses "racial quotas"

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Astronaut & 1st Man on the Moon Neil Armstrong
Astronaut & 1st Man on the Moon
Neil Armstrong
  • Jan 18 Southern University 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 21 JFK arrives in Uruguay
  • Jan 21 Snow falls in San Francisco
  • Jan 22 The Organization of American States suspends Cuba's membership.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 23 British intelligence officer Kim Philby defects to USSR

  • Jan 23 Libya, Morocco, Algeria & Tunisia plan to form United Arab Maghreb
  • Jan 24 28 refugees escape from East to West Germany
  • Jan 26 Canadian Marine Service renamed Coast Guard
  • Jan 26 US launches Ranger 3, misses Moon by 22,000-mi (37,000-km)
  • Jan 28 Johanne Relleke gets stung by bees 2,443 times in Rhodesia & survives
  • 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

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 1 Ravshanbek Aliyev, Kirgiz, cosmonaut
  • Jan 3 Francesca Lia Block, American author
  • Jan 7 Aleksandr Dugin, Russian politician, born in Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
  • Jan 10 Michael Fortier, Canadian politician
  • Jan 11 Susan Lindauer, American peace activist and accused spy
  • Jan 12 Joe Quesada, American comic book writer, born in NYC, New York
  • Jan 14 Michael McCaul, American politician, born in Dallas, Texas
  • Jan 15 Creflo Dollar, American televangelist, born in College Park, Georgia
  • Jan 16 Joel Fitzgibbon, Australian Labor Party politician
  • Jan 17 Sebastian Junger, American journalist and author
  • Jan 21 Tyler Cowen, American economist
  • Jan 22 Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu, Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, born in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
  • Jan 23 Elvira Lindo, Spanish writer & journalist, born in Cádiz, Spain
  • Jan 30 Abdullah II of Jordan, King of Jordan (1999-present), born in Amman, Jordan
  • Jan 30 Mary Kay Letourneau, American convicted statutory rapist, born in Tustin, California

Deaths in History

  • Jan 1 Diego Martínez Barrio, Spanish president (1939), dies at 76
  • Jan 4 Hans Lammers, German SS officer and Nazi politician, dies at 82
  • Jan 6 Jacob "Jaap" Nanninga, Dutch painter (France, N Africa), dies at 57
  • Jan 12 Ariadna Tyrkova-Williams, Russian writer and feminist, dies at 92
  • Jan 16 Emanuel Stickelberger, Swiss writer (Holbein in England), dies at 77
  • Jan 16 Ivan Meštrović, Croatian sculptor and architect, dies at 78
  • Jan 16 Frank Hurley, Australian photographer (b. 1885)
  • Jan 17 Gerrit Achterberg, Dutch poet (Dead End), dies at 56
  • Jan 20 Robinson Jeffers, poet/playwright (Dear Judas), dies at 75
  • Jan 21 André Lhote, French painter and art historian (Traité du paysage), dies at 76
  • Jan 24 Stanley Lord, Captain of the SS Californian the night of the Titanic disaster, dies at 84
  • Jan 24 Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, Turkish poet, novelist, recognized as one of the most important representatives of modernism in Turkish literature (A Mind at Peace, The Time Regulation Institute), dies of a heart attack at 60

Person of interestCharles "Lucky" Luciano

Jan 26 Charles "Lucky" Luciano, NYC Mafia gangster, dies of a heart attack at 65

  • Jan 30 Manuel de Abreu, Brazilian physician (b. 1894)