I'm heading down a new road, so to speak. Instead of the long articles relating a roadtrip down a complete highway, I'll now be posting much shorter articles. And the scope will be wider, covering just about everything from the year 1962. This should allow me to post more often, and allow you to have more fun reading. I'm not sure just how often I will post something, but this page will always show the five most recent articles, with the newest at the top. Older articles will be archived at the Blog Archives page. I may even include articles from other people, so if you have something to say about 1962, please let me know. Topics will cover:
- 1962 News of the World
- 1962 News of the Nation
- 1962 Local News
- 1962 in Sports
- 1962 in Entertainment and the Arts (including movies, TV, music, art, fashion, architecture, design, books, comics, and more)
- 1962 in Science
- Cars of 1962
- Consumer Products and Retail in 1962 (including just about anything you could buy, plus the stores you could buy it in)
- On the Road in 1962 (road and roadtrip topics, including things I typically covered on my long journeys)
5 World News Headlines from 1962
Roadtrip-'62 ™ usually travels the United States, but today we travel around the world of 1962, looking at the news.
While today we’re used to news about the Eurozone or the European Union, back in 1962 the buzz was all about the European Common Market, more formally known as the European Economic Community. The European Common Market was the forerunner of the European Union, and was established in 1958 under the Treaties of Rome. Originally, only six countries were members: France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands. It was created after several years of successful operation of treaties of smaller scope, governing coal, steel, and atomic energy. The Union was required, per comments by French State Secretary for European Affairs Maurice Faure, because Europe could no longer operate under , “…the fiction of the four great powers. In reality there are only two – America and Russia. Tomorrow there will be a third – China.” He added that it will depend on the countries of Europe as to whether there would be a fourth great power.
How was the European Common Market working by 1962? By that time, the six member countries had cut internal tariffs by 40%, were well underway on creating a common external tariff, had begun the free movement of capital and labor between countries, removed restrictions on the movement of industrial products, and settled on a common policy for agriculture. This last change presented one of the most difficult problems, as Germany was a heavy importer of farm products while France was an exporter. But agreement was reached in early 1962 and the European Common Market moved into Stage 2 of its integration. The efforts to achieve a single market also had significant impacts on consumer prices. The Paris department store Les Varietés, was able to advertise 62 products whose prices had dropped from 13-63% in just the past four years!
Several countries obtained independence in 1962. The African nations of Burundi and Rwanda were created out of the former Belgian colony of Ruanda-Urundi. Burundi chose to become a monarchy, naming Mwambutsa IV as king. The other half of the colony, Rwanda, established a republican form of government and held elections. Belgium withdrew all their troops and both countries were admitted to the United Nations late in the year. A third African country to obtain independence was Uganda, formerly a British colony. The difficulty in negotiating its breakaway was due to the existence of several smaller kingdoms within the area of Uganda, and the situation was finally settled by creation of the new country as a federated state, wherein internal areas would retain their own distinctive institutions and customs. Though the world had feared a complete breakdown of law and order in the three countries, as had happened in the nearby Congo in the previous year, the process in each was orderly.
Another African nation, Algeria, was not so fortunate. Algeria had been forcibly united with France in 1848. During the late 19th and early 20th century, the French government attempted to make Algeria an assimilated part of France, sending immigrants and taking native lands. But the indigenous cultural and religious resistance simmered for years. Tensions came to a head in 1954, when the first violent events of what became the 8-year Algerian War began. The French finally allowed a referendum which showed a clear preference among Algerians to form their own country, and after the French withdrew, Algeria elected a government and joined both the United Nations and the Arab League.
Jamaica and another island nation in the Caribbean, Trinidad & Tobago, both achieved independence from Great Britain in 1962. Both countries decided to remain members of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Their former fellow members of the West Indies Federation, Barbados, Grenada, and the Leeward Islands did not achieve independence this year. However, another island nation on the other side of the world, in the Pacific Ocean, also became an independent country. Samoa, previously called Western Samoa, also became independent in 1962. Samoa had been controlled by New Zealand under trusteeship through the League of Nations and later the United Nations, after it was lost as a colony by Germany in World War I. It was the first small-island country in the Pacific to become independent.
Refugees Turned Back (Video from British Pathé, 1962)
According to the United Nations, last year there were more refugees worldwide than at any time since World War II, as a result of many regional conflicts. In 1962, there were also several refugee crises, including one in Hong Kong. During and after the Chinese civil war that established Communist control on the mainland, hundreds of thousands of people fled war and famine. After the war was over, the years 1957, 1962, 1972 and 1979 marked four major jumps in illegal emigration to Hong Kong, as famine continued to visit China and the Cultural Revolution caused major upheavals.Some of this activity continued into the 1960s, when problems flared up. For example, in May, 1962, there was a sudden movement of people from China to Hong Kong. Hong Kong had to return up to 7,000 refugees a day before the Chinese effectively sealed the border. People even came to Hong Kong through the adjoining territory of Macau, because authorities there took no action to stem the tide. Hong Kong residents tried to help the situation by gathering on the streets to throw food parcels into the trucks returning refugees to the border. LIFE Magazine even captured the experiences of some of these refugees in photos, in an issue from that month. Those who stayed in Hong Kong eventually helped to fuel its booming manufacturing industry.
The Cuban Missile Crisis was not the only news coming from Cuba in 1962; the island created its own refugee crisis for the United States. Hundreds of thousands of Cuban refugees arrived in Florida in the early 1960s following the Revolution of 1959. Between November 1960 and October 1962, over 14,000 children were sent to the United States by their parents, in Operation Peter Pan. These children were assigned to the care of the Catholic Church and placed in foster homes until they could be reunited with their parents, who sent them away to keep them from communist indoctrination. The massive refugee movements prompted Congress to change U.S. immigration policy, approving the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act (MRA) in June, 1962. The MRA expanded existing programs and funding for refugee assistance and redefined a refugee as a non-U.S. citizen who fled their home country, “…because of persecution or fear of persecution on account of race, religion, or political opinion.” As a result of this and later migrations, more than third of the population of Miami-Dade County, Florida is of Cuban descent.
Many people find royalty fascinating and none more so than the family of Queen Elizabeth II of England. And while she was queen during 1962, many other royal personages around the world also figured in the news of 1962. Future King Juan Carlos of Spain married Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark in Athens in 1962. Juan Carlos is the grandson of Alfonso XIII, the last king of Spain prior to the monarchy's abolition in 1931. The marriage was performed a second time in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, Italy, after Princess Sophia converted from her Greek Orthodox religion to Roman Catholicism. At the time, Spain was ruled by the dictator Generalisimo Francisco Franco, so the prince did not have any power. However, during the later years of Franco’s rule, he set up a method of succession to reestablish the monarchy, and Juan Carlos was named King just two days after Franco’s death in 1975. Three years later the Spanish people formally acknowledged him as King in a referendum, as Spain is still a constitutional monarchy. Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014 in favor of his son.
Another future king was just born in 1962: King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He is the son of King Hussein of Jordan and though Jordan’s constitution automatically designated him heir apparent to the throne, Abdullah’s father appointed his own brother, Prince Hassan bin Talal, as his heir due to unstable times in the 1960s. This arrangement was retained until the dying king appointed Abdullah as his heir from his deathbed in 1999. King Abdullah II is claimed to be the 41st-generation direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed and is the namesake of King Abdullah I, his great grandfather who founded modern Jordan.
Royal funeral procession of former Queen Wilhemlmina of The Netherlands, December, 1962.
And as one future king is born in 1962, one past queen died. Despite reassurances from the Dutch Government that there was no reason for immediate concern, former Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands died a couple of weeks later at the age of 82, on November 28, 1962. As the video above shows, she was buried in the royal crypt at the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft a week later. If you are wondering about the white dresses, that was the protocol at her funeral. She reigned for nearly 58 years, longer than any other Dutch monarch, through both World Wars and the decline of the Netherlands as a major colonial power. During 1962, the final Dutch colony in the Pacific region, West New Guinea, was surrendered to Indonesian control after nearly a decade of increasing tension and military actions just short of a full-scale war. A year-long United Nations administration handled the transition. At the time of her death, her daughter Juliana was queen, as Wilhelmina had abdicated in her favor in 1948.
The newly created country of Burundi, as mentioned above, chose to remain a monarchy, which it had been while under Belgian control. The current reigning monarch, Mwambutsa IV Bangiricenge, was retained as king. He had been king since 1915 but would rule for only four more years. In October 1965, officers of the Hutu ethnic group attempted a coup d'état against the monarchy, which failed. Probably to avoid another coup attempt, Mwambutsa fled into exile in the nearby Republic of the Congo. In March 1966 he designated his only surviving son to exercise his powers in Burundi, but a third coup was successful and the monarchy was abolished in November 1966. Mwambutsa spent the rest of his life in Switzerland where he died in 1977.
Another newly created nation mentioned above also had a king when it became an independent country. Samoa had voted for independence in 1961 and achieved this goal in 1962. It retained an older unusual system with two monarchs trading rule. A third local royal line, Mata'afa, held the post of Premier. The royal line of Tupua and the royal line of Malietoa were to trade when one chief died, but with the new constitution creating a republic, the parliament would appoint new rulers for 5-year terms after the death of the current monarch. His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II, who was born 1913, continued to rule after the Tupua ruler died in 1963. At the time of his death in 2007, he was the world’s oldest reigning monarch and the third longest serving, after King Bhumibol Adulyade of Thailand and Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
The Philippines hosted royalty in 1962, though not their own, as the country was and is a republic. Current Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited the Philippines in 1962 when they were still crown prince and princess. Japanese Emperor Hirohito was still seated at that time and Akihito would not become Emperor until 1989. Japanese Emperor Akihito and his wife Empress Michiko made a return visit in 2014. Akihito is currently the only remaining monarch in the world reigning under the title of "Emperor", though there were several in 1962. The most well-known was Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.
The Philippines had long operated with two independence days, but settled on a single day that year. While it originally obtained independence from Spain in 1898, it was ruled by the United States for many years after. After having been liberated by the United States from the Japanese rule of World War II in 1946, a different day was recognized. However, in 1962, the government settled on the original date of June 12, 1898 for Philippine Independence.
The Philippines was also one of a number of countries negotiating to create an Asian Common Market, comparable to the European Common Market. A proposal was floated in 1962 that the Philippines might create a Confederation with Malaya as a Greater Malaysian Federation, as a way of dealing with the question of North Borneo. North Borneo had been ruled by a private corporate entity before the Japanese occupation in World War II, and was annexed to the United Kingdom at the war’s conclusion. It was scheduled to be granted independence in 1963, but the Philippines claimed that at least part of the original land grants by the sultan to the corporate entity in the 1870s were merely leases, and therefore the Philippines still had some control over the claims of the sultan’s heirs. Nothing came of the claim or the idea for federation and North Borneo instead joined Malaysia on its own in 1963.
National Parks and Recreation Along US-2: Part 2
We’re back for Part 2 of a Roadtrip-'62 ™ look at National Parks and other National lands along highway US-2. In my Part 1 discussion, we traveled from Bangor, Maine, to Sully’s Hill National Game Preserve in North Dakota. Today we begin west of there at Devil’s Lake National Wildlife Refuge, also in North Dakota. The refuge is what is known in the government terminology as a Waterfowl Production Area. Waterfowl Production Areas preserve both wetlands and grasslands critical to waterfowl and are funded by hunting stamps sold by the federal government. These stamps are known as “Duck Stamps” and the program they fund has been called the most successful conservation program ever. Places like Devil’s Lake and the connected Lake Alice National Wildlife Refuge, which was established in 1935, help benefit migratory birds and other wildlife. This area of the prairie contains many small lakes known as prairie potholes, which are small depressions or wetlands bordered by wetland grasses, left by receding glaciers after the Ice Age. Besides these areas in North Dakota, the Bowdoin National Wetland Management District in Montana, is another prairie wetlands and grasslands area we pass. It also contains many small lakes and was established using money from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps, with the first part being purchased in 1958. It encompasses 13 separate sites and over 150 grassland and/or wetland easements.
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail roughly retraces the 1804-1806 route of the famous expedition that explored the new Louisiana Purchase territory. It extends for about 3,700 miles from Wood River, Illinois, to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon. This makes it the second longest of the 23 National Scenic and National Historic Trails. But unlike most of the others, the Lewis and Clark is not a hiking trail. Instead, it provides some locations for hiking, along with locations for boating and horseback riding. This somewhat duplicates the experiences of the original Corps of Discovery, which crossed the country by walking, traveling in boats, and on horseback as conditions required. The National Park Service first proposed a "Lewis and Clark Tourway" along the Missouri River in 1948. Several designs later, and after the National Parks and Recreation Act amendments in 1978 provided for a new category of trails known as National Historic Trails, work began on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. The trail runs along US-2 from near Williston, North Dakota west to Nashua, Montana.
Just past Williston is Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site. Between 1828 and 1867, Fort Union was the most important fur trading post on the Upper Missouri River. Seven Native American Indian Tribes of the northern Great Plains traded here. The trading post was built by John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company and was not a government or military installation, but a privately owned business. The location was chosen because it was at the point where two important trade rivers, the Missouri River and the Yellowstone River, joined. Besides trade, the fort became important as a base of operations for artists and scientists who came west to learn about and document the region's native peoples, wildlife, and landscape. John James Audubon, George Catlin, Prince Maximilian of Wied, and Karl Bodmer were among the many who came and published their results and helped fuel the mass migration west that occurred after the Civil War. When the trading post closed in 1867, the fort was dismantled to build a new fort by the US Army at nearby Fort Buford and the remains were scavenged by others, leaving nothing of consequence at the site within a few years. The National Park Service acquired the site in 1966 and after archaeological excavations, Fort Union Trading Post was reconstructed and opened to the public in 1988.
Just a few miles from the fort, we cross into Montana and travel with the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail to the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, which just touches US-2 at Nashua, Montana. The refuge was named western artist Charles M. Russell, who often portrayed the refuge’s landscape in his paintings. Comprising 1.1 million acres along the Missouri River, running south and west from the Fort Peck Dam, the size and remoteness of the refuge has resulted in very little change from the historic voyage of the Lewis and Clark expedition. In addition to providing for wildlife, the refuge also allows camping, hunting, fishing opportunities, boating, and other recreation. Excellent wildlife viewing and photography opportunities include the return each fall of hundreds of elk in the Slippery Ann Wildlife Viewing Area, creating a spectacle not to be missed. Fossils are also found in the area, such as a new species of long-necked plesiosaur known as an elasmosaur in 2010.
One of the more spectacular National Parks is Glacier National Park in Montana. US-2 runs along the Middle Fork Flathead River and the entire southern border of the park. These high mountains sit at a triple continental divide, with rivers flowing to the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and to Hudson's Bay from here. The park was created in 1910, six years before the National Park Service was created. So unlike several of the sites we just mentioned, we could have visited Glacier in 1962. Glacier National Park is aptly named: you can still find active glaciers here today. The heart of the park is the area known as Many Glacier. While that area is far north of US-2, we will see snow at the tops of peaks over 9,000 feet tall during the early or late parts of the year. In the interior, these massive mountains are also home to lakes, hiking trails, and wildlife such as bighorn sheep, grizzly bears, and beavers. There’s even a golf course with spectacular views at West Glacier! (Though it didn’t open until 1969.)
Back at the east side of the park, near East Glacier Park Village, Montana, US-2 crosses the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. The height and difficult terrain of the Continental Divide has meant that hiking trails are harder to establish here than back east. Unlike the Appalachian Trail along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains, which was open from Maine to Georgia by 1937, the corresponding trail along the crest of the Rocky Mountains is much newer. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail was first declared in 1978 legislation and was only opened after 1985. Even today, it is considered only 70% complete and portions must be traveled by walking on nearby roads. The trail runs 3,100 miles from the Canadian border in Montana to the Mexican border in New Mexico. Often much higher than its eastern counterpart, the Continental Divide trail varies from 4,000 feet to over 13,000 feet in elevation.
Montana also has two national forests, now that we are out of the Great Plains. We come first to the Flathead National Forest and then to the Kootenai National Forest. The Flathead National Forest contains three wilderness areas, and cabins that are available to rent for overnight stays. Some of the cabins do not have electricity, only one has indoor plumbing, and some require that you hike, ski, or snowmobile in to them. Sounds like a great place to experience real solitude. The Flathead butts up against the Kootenai, sort of making for one giant national forest. Kootenai National Forest also extends into Idaho and encompasses over 2.2 million acres, making it nearly three times the size of Rhode Island! This is an area of high craggy peaks, with Snowshoe Peak at 8,738 feet, the highest point in the forest.
Also in Idaho is the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, an amalgamation of three former and smaller national forests. We pass through the Kaniksu, but the new forest also includes the former Coeur d'Alene and St. Joe National Forests. Kaniksu National Forest was established in 1908, being split from the Priest River National Forest. Parts of other national forests were added in 1933 and 1954, before it was eventually combined into the Idaho Panhandle in 1973. The combined forest has all the usual national forest features plus a working tree nursery that provides planting stock for forests all over the west. The combined forest is also a great place for water-based recreation, as it has Idaho's three largest lakes: Coeur d'Alene, and Pend Oreille and Priest Lake, which are both near US-2. We also pass another national land in Idaho using the Kootenai name: Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge was established in 1964 as a migratory waterfowl refuge. There is a 4.5 mile auto tour route and four hiking trails.
On the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, at Sandpoint, Idaho, we cross the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail. This trail meets us again at Spokane, Washington and then travels with us to Wilbur, Washington, crossing US-2 one final time near Dry Falls, Washington. The Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail marks a series of cataclysmic floods that came at the end of the last Ice Age, 12,000 to 17,000 years ago. In 2001, the National Park Service proposed that an Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail be established. This is not a hiking trail, but a network of marked auto touring routes through Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. It is not yet completed, but is expected to have several special interpretive centers along the routes, to bring the story of the Ice Age Floods to the public’s attention.
There are two more national forests, in Washington State, before we come to the end of US-2. The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest lies east of the Cascade Crest, and has elevations up to 9,000 feet at the crest. The original Wenatchee National Forest was established in 1908, and at that time there were nearly 150,000 sheep grazing on the lands within the forest. It was combined with Okanogan National Forest in 2000. That forest was also originally created in 1908. Both forests were home to several Conservation Corps Camps during the 1930, which improved roads and other infrastructure. The combined forest is large enough to have highly varied landscapes, from mountain valleys of old growth forest, to dry and rugged shrub-steppe country at its eastern edge.
Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is one of the most visited national forests in the country, due to its ease of access from the Seattle area on the west side of the Cascades. The forest contains glacier-covered peaks, mountain meadows, and old-growth forests. This forest was set aside from development before there was such a thing as a national forest, when President Grover Cleveland turned eight million acres into reserves. Washington State citizens were outraged at the time, because this action kept them from cutting timber, mining, farming and grazing. Since then, attitudes towards wilderness have changed and the forest is now seen as a natural wonder. This forest reserve was split into the Washington National Forest and the Snoqualmie National Forest in 1908. The Washington National Forest was later renamed the Mt. Baker National Forest and the two were reunited in 1973.
We have one more trail to cross, the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. This trail crosses US-2 near Deception Falls in the Stevens Pass area, Washington. The trail travels 2,650 miles from the Mexican border through California, Oregon, and Washington to the Canadian border. It is one of the original National Scenic Trails established by Congress in 1968, though that still makes it too new for Roadtrip-'62 ™. So, I guess we’re done. In our 2660-mile journey across the northern United States, we’ve seen 10 National Forests, 9 National Wildlife Refuges, 1 National Park, 1 National Historic Site, 6 National Scenic or other trails, 1 US Army Corps of Engineers project, 1 National Memorial, and 1 National Game Preserve. There are not a lot of big cities this far north, but plenty of forests and wildlife refuges. I hope you’ve found something to visit; I know I’ll be back to a few in the future.
National Parks and Recreation Along US-2: Part 1
Recently on Roadtrip-'62 ™, I discussed some points of interest along highway US-202 in Delaware. As that route number is a so-called “child” route of US-2, I decided to look at US-2 today. And because many of the most scenic places in the country are our National Parks and other National lands, I’m going to look at what locations we could have seen in 1962 along US-2. The route meets the previously discussed US-202 in Bangor, Maine, so let’s begin there. Route US-2 is an oddity among the US-numbered routes, as it is split in two parts. The eastern part runs 460 miles through Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and ends in the northeast corner of New York. The western part began in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan in 1962 and ran 2200 miles west to Everett, Washington. This section was shortened in 1984 and now runs only from St. Ignace, Michigan west. In between these sections is Canada, hence the disconnection. Neither of my roadtrips cross this road, but the US-23 trip gets close. We can just see it across the Straits of Mackinac from the very beginning of US-23 in Mackinaw City, Michigan.
While not technically National Parks, our National Forests, National Grasslands, and National Wildlife Refuges provide many of the same scenic and recreational opportunities, so I will consider them also. Additionally, National Historic Sites are administered by the National Parks Service, so I will consider them in this discussion. That makes for about 30 sites along or near US-2, so let’s get busy. Heading west from Bangor, the only location completely within Maine is Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, near Milford. The refuge was established in 1988 to help protect the ancient Sunkhaze Meadows peat bog. It is the second-largest and most unusual peatland in Maine, containing several raised bogs or domes, streamside meadows, cedar swamps, and red and silver maple floodplains. Near here, US-2 travels near the 45th parallel, the line halfway between the equator and the north pole. Peat bogs, which are remnants of the last Ice Age, are common along this line and to the north. In fact, we will see a lot of evidence of the glaciers of the last Ice Age along US-2, the most northerly of the transcontinental US-numbered routes.
We would have been able to see the next site, White Mountain National Forest, in 1962. White Mountain National Forest straddles the border of Maine and New Hampshire on the south side of US-2 and continues west nearly across the entire state of New Hampshire. This and most other National Forests that we will pass through were established in the early 1900s after commercial logging had decimated the original forests. The Weeks Act, passed by Congress in 1911, appropriated $9 million to purchase 6 million acres of land in the Eastern U.S. White Mountain National Forest was created as part of that effort in 1918. Over time, the forest has grown from 7,000 to almost 800,000 acres and now comprises 23 campgrounds, scenic overlooks, picnic areas, hiking trails, boat launches, waterfalls, and more.
We cross a linear recreation site in New Hampshire, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Some people might not think of a trail as a National Park, but it is administered by the National Park Service and is largely on federal lands. We cross the trail at Headmine State Forest, near Shelburne, New Hampshire. This hiking trail is more than 2,175 miles long, extending from Maine to Georgia. It was conceived in 1921 and first completed in 1937. We could have walked the whole trail or just this part back in 1962. It’s used for everything from short walks, to day hikes, to long-distance backpacking journeys, and offers spectacular scenery along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains. On its way, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail passes through more than 75 different federal and state forests and other park lands.
Next up, in Vermont, is Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge. It was established in 1943 to provide habitat for migratory birds and includes the Maquam Bog. The refuge offers varied wetland habitats that are home to over 200 species of birds including nesting bald eagles, osprey, and a great blue heron colony. The fall migration features 20,000-25,000 migrating ducks alone! Route US-2 does not see enough of New York to find any sites to visit, as it leaves the United States near Champlain. To complete the route, you need to drive about 656 miles, mostly on the Trans-Canada Highway, to reenter at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Since the Trans-Canada Highway was completed in 1962, with the final link at Rogers Pass between British Columbia and Alberta, that seems very appropriate.
So, coming back onto US-2 at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, we come to an unusual recreation site. One would not usually think of dams or shipping locks as recreation sites, but I like to think of the Soo Locks as one. Since the first lock opened in the 1850s, people have come to watch ships passing through and by the 1880s, a public park with strolling paths, benches, and a fountain had been constructed alongside the canal. Within the park, an observation platform alongside the MacArthur Lock was built, which still stands. This provides great views of boats in the locks and now has wheelchairs and stroller access. The US Army Corps of Engineers built a visitor center in 1966, so we could not have stopped in there. However, we could have taken a boat tour through the locks! There has been a private tour operator offering these trips since 1934.
We next travel through the Hiawatha National Forest to St. Ignace, Michigan. This forest has shorelines on three of the five Great Lakes: Superior, Huron, and Michigan. The forest is in two separate sections, with the eastern part originally designated as Marquette National Forest in 1909. It was administered with the Huron National Forest in southern Michigan as the Michigan National Forest from 1918 until 1962, when it was joined with the western part already known as Hiawatha National Forest. Because it includes lake shoreline, it includes some lighthouses, such as the Point Iroquois Light. This lighthouse occupies a point on Lake Superior and is operated as a museum. It was deactivated in 1962 and replaced by automated signals nearer the Soo Locks. The forest’s 1 million acres also surround five National Wild & Scenic Rivers, so if you’re interested in canoeing or kayaking, this is the place for you. I’ve camped on the shores of both Lake Superior and Lake Michigan and enjoyed the isolation.
The North Country National Scenic Trail also runs through the forest and we cross it twice in Michigan, once in the forest near St. Ignace, and once in the Ottawa National Forest near Iron Mountain, Michigan. We then cross the trail twice again in Minnesota, near Duluth and Grand Rapids. When completed, this trail will be the longest continuous hiking trail in the United States. It runs from Crown Point, New York, to Lake Sakakawea State Park, on the Missouri River, in North Dakota, where it joins the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. The North Country National Scenic Trail meanders through 7 states, which is why we can cross it so many times. Coming as no surprise, it also crosses both our US-23 and US-6 roadtrips. This trail is too new for our roadtrips, though, as it was only established as a component of the National Trails System in 1980.
At St. Ignace, we also find the Father Marquette National Memorial. The memorial honors and tells the story of Father Marquette, a French explorer and missionary whose travels proved that the middle of the North American continent could be colonized by Europeans. On a site in Straits State Park, established in 1924, the memorial tells his story and that of the meeting of French and Native American cultures in the North American wilderness. The memorial consists of a building and trail with signs, and overlooks the Straits of Mackinac. Father Marquette died in 1675 in present-day Ludington, Michigan and was originally buried there. His followers later moved his body to the chapel of the mission he established at St. Ignace, located at State and Marquette streets.
Continuing west through the western section of Hiawatha National Forest, we next come to Ottawa National Forest, also in Michigan. Portions of the Ottawa National Forest receive over 200 inches of snow annually! Of course, this makes for great skiing, both Alpine and Nordic, great snowmobiling, dog-sledding, and ice fishing over the winter. The forest includes over 50,000 acres in three different wilderness areas, but also includes easily accessible campgrounds. Many waterfalls are within the forest and though most are somewhat difficult to find, the Black River Drive near Ironwood Michigan has a wonderful road that parallels the Black River and reveals its waterfalls right along the road. Ottawa National Forest was established in 1931 and though this 12-mile road was not dedicated until 1992, the falls were here long before. They are my favorite place in the forest.
Wisconsin also has a national forest, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. In common with many other federal and state park and forest land, many facilities were originally constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930s on land that was heavily logged, burned over, and abandoned. There are buildings, bridges, tree plantations, former campsites and fire towers built by the CCC. Some of the sites are still in use, while others have been reconstructed or demolished or removed. In addition to the usual recreational opportunities of the national forests, Chequamegon-Nicolet includes Argonne Experimental Forest. This experimental forest was established in 1947 and hosts experiments of management techniques such as cutting schedules for northern hardwood forests. Vegetation types vary according to the soil type, allowing experiments on a wide variety of species. Most stands of trees are second-growth and even-aged, though there are small areas of old-growth northern hardwoods on the forest.
The Chippewa National Forest in Minnesota is the first National Forest established east of the Mississippi River. It was established in 1908 and includes more lakes and wetlands than any other National Forest. The forest was originally known as the Minnesota National Forest but the name was changed in 1928 to honor the original inhabitants of the area. The Leech Lake Indian Reservation is also within the Forest boundary, as are over 3000 archeological and historic sites. The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe offers visitors a chance to experience Anishinabe culture and learn about the past from prehistory. Chippewa National Forest is one of the largest breeding areas of bald eagles in the lower 48 states and eagles can often be viewed soaring over the lakes.
Minnesota contains two National Wildlife Refuges, Rydell National Wildlife Refuge and Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge. Rydell is a latecomer to the system, established in 1992. Rydell represents just about the most westerly of the northern forest and wetland habitat we have been driving through since Maine. Beyond here, we enter the prairie. This location at the intersection of the two landforms meant that people tried to practice typical prairie farming techniques here: at least 19 farmsteads, many of them log structures, were once located on the refuge. One, the Strom Building, has been protected under a canopy and is accessible from the 7-mile trail system. Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge is farther west in Minnesota and is the largest prairie-wetland restoration in the United States. It offers some spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities right from the road, where you can see waterfowl, swans, and sandhill cranes. Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge is even newer than Rydell, having been established in 2004.
North Dakota has more national land sites than we’ve seen in other states along US-2 so far. But because quite a lot of the land out west is still federally owned, we will see a higher concentration of sites the rest of the journey. In North Dakota, there are Devil’s Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Lake Alice National Wildlife Refuge, and Sully’s Hill National Game Preserve. While the two National Wildlife Refuges are similar to others we have seen, Sully’s Hill National Game Preserve is something different. The refuge was first established in 1904 as a national park but was re-designated by Congress as a big game preserve in 1914. It has an active buffalo herd on its mixed-grass prairie. It was transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1931 and its mission as a refuge was expanded to include breeding grounds for migratory birds and wildlife. Overlooking North Dakota's largest natural lake, Sully’s Hill National Game Preserve offers spectacular views along with wildlife viewing.
Well, there are so many more sites to see that I’m going to save them for another day. We haven’t seen an actual National Park yet, but there is one down the road. So, we’ll finish the Great Plains and head into the Rocky Mountains next time on Roadtrip-'62 ™!
Let’s Go Bowling Tonight!
As anyone who watched the Flintstones as a kid will remember, bowling was very popular in 1962. Fred and Barney would go bowling about every other episode, on their usual league bowling nights. In real life, many folks actually did have a date each week for their league bowling. Some high schools and colleges had bowling teams that competed with other schools. People would win trophies and proudly display them at home, in schools, and even in their offices. Today, Roadtrip-'62 ™ takes a look at bowling in our favorite year.
So where did this game of bowling come from? Some form of rolling a ball at targets to be knocked down has been around since at least 5200 BC, as evidenced by artifacts found in Egyptian tombs. The idea seems to have occurred to people more than once, with varieties from antiquity found in Europe and even Polynesian islands. The modern 10-pin bowling game seems to have evolved from games played in Germany in the 1300s, altered by way of lawn bowling in Scotland. New York City’s oldest park is named Bowling Green because the area was used for lawn bowling matches in the 1700s. In older games, the number of pins would vary from 3 to as high as 17! By the time the game came to the United States, bowling at 9 pins from a wooden plank was quite common. The game was unfortunately widely connected to gambling, which led local laws to prohibit it in the 1830s, leading to addition of the 10th pin to get around the laws. Within a couple of decades, indoor bowling lanes were being constructed across the northeast, both for the public and by wealthy families at their estates.
In 1895, the American Bowling Congress (ABC) was formed and it adopted standardized rules and equipment specifications for competitive play. Their first national tournament was held in 1901. The organization continued to grow, with the ABC reaching a membership of 1.6 million bowlers nationwide by 1952. During the 1950s and 1960s, as the economy boomed, so did bowling. The sport is considered to have reached its pinnacle in 1980, when it had 4.8 million ABC league players. By 2002, it was back down to just 1.7 million bowlers. Of course, other organizations came to the sport, including the Women’s International Bowling Congress, Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), United States Bowling Congress, and the short-lived National Bowling League. The National Bowling League attempted to turn bowling into a professional spectator sport, like baseball, with teams such as the Detroit Thunderbirds and Twin City Skippers. These two teams played a championship in 1962, after which the league suspended operations.
This boom occurred in typical chicken-and-egg fashion, with improvements in equipment, architecture, and even communication and transportation helping to both respond to and facilitate expansion of bowling. Prior to the 1950s, most pins were reset by hand, often by high school boys for whom it might have been their first job. My father had such a job in the 1940s, placing pins into a rack at the back end of the alley and setting them back on the lanes. During bowling’s heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, automated pinsetters began replacing pinboys. Additionally, electric scoring equipment, new ball materials, and innovations in architecture and design made the game more attractive and allowed owners to pack more lanes into a single building. Finally, television made superstars of professional bowlers, which fueled interest. Thirty-two tournaments were held in 1962 and the Winter Tour Finals was broadcast on television for the first time, on ABC-TV. This is up significantly from 1961, when only eleven tournaments were held and heralded a new normal, as numbers in the high 30s would continue for many years.
Many bowling alleys were quite small prior to this boom, with less that a dozen lanes each. I found a few of these across the Midwest on my US-6 roadtrip, such as Bryan Lanes in Bryan, Ohio and another one just up the road at Butler, Indiana. Bowling alleys became larger throughout the 1960s, with the country’s largest bowling alley opening in 1962. This is the 90-lane Thunderbowl in Allen Park, Michigan, which has hosted the Professional Bowlers Association World Series of Bowling. Tow other large centers are the Stardust Bowl in Addison, Illinois and Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe, Ohio, each having 84 lanes. Many of the large bowling centers that opened in the period around 1962 have already closed or are just now closing, as the popularity of the sport continues to contract. For example, Hollywood Star Lanes, in Los Angeles, California, opened in 1960 and closed in 2002. It was the Hollywood neighborhood’s only bowling alley for 40 years and became known worldwide after the 1998 bowling film "The Big Lebowski" was filmed there. Its elaborate outdoor sign was expected to be relocated to the new Lucky Strike Lanes, downtown.
The Professional Bowlers Association, organized in 1958, hosted a number of tournaments in 1962, with bowler Don Carter winning the most and becoming the top money winner on the PBA tour. Don won four tournaments, took home over $33,000, and was named “Bowler of the Year” for the sixth time. Shirley Garms took that title for the second year in a row in the women’s division. In the National Intercollegiate Championships, held in Des Moines, Iowa, the winner was George Pajer of Bowling Green University of Ohio. The PBA calendar of 30 tournaments was a full year long, moving to all parts of the country. Just as in other sports, many events received corporate sponsorship, with several named “Coca-Cola PBA Open”. The season included the first-ever PBA Tournament of Champions, which featured all 25 previous PBA Tour champions to date. It was won by Joe Joseph. Many of the games were broadcast on television, on shows such as ABC’s Wide World of Sports.
Bowling had a presence in other parts of pop culture too. A couple of games were built around a bowling theme, including Ed-U-Cards’ Bowling Card Game and Matchbox Bowling. The Ed-U-Cards Bowling Card Game was first produced in 1962 and had cards similar to their Baseball Game. Cards were provided for individually numbered pins as well as Strike or Spare cards, and cards showing several pins together. You drew cards to simulate rolling balls at the pins and totaled up your score as in regular bowling. It could be played as a solitaire or with up to four players. For reasons I have not been able to discover, it appears the name was changed to Bowl-A-Card Game the next year. A more popular game, the Eldon Bowl-A-Matic, was a miniature mechanical 10-pin bowling board game. This was also released in 1962, and won an honourable mention at the Popular Mechanics’ “Toys Of The Year” awards. It featured a miniature plastic and fibre-wood ten-pin bowling lane, complete with a working pin mechanism. The bowler shot a marble down the lane using a spring-loaded device that could be aimed. The set came complete with marbles, pins, and scoresheets.
Although alleys continue to close, America’s oldest operating bowling center, Garden Bowl, dates from 1913. Garden Bowl is located in downtown Detroit, Michigan and current operator Joe Zainea notes that, “This used to be a workingman’s country club. The man at the counter reserved your bowling ball, checked your coat and had your favorite cigar rolling on a machine. He rented you bowling shoes and took yours to polish while you bowled. He cleaned and blocked your hat while you bowled and served as your bookie, too.” Churches, YMCAs, and private clubs used to build bowling lanes during the early 1900s and some of those also remain. The Elks Club in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, has lanes built in 1909 and claims the oldest certification granted by the American Bowling Congress, now the United States Bowling Congress (USBC). And as I mentioned earlier, millionaires build alleys in their homes in the late 1800s, and George Jay Gould’s 1899 bowling lanes in the recreation building of his former estate, now Georgian Court University in Lakewood, New Jersey, are considered America’s oldest operational lanes.>/p>
Of course, folks who could afford to continued to build their own home bowling alleys in 1962. A home in Rockford, Michigan was constructed with a two-lane bowling alley in the basement that year. You can see a photo and read more over at Retro Renovation. Perhaps you could build your own bowling lanes in a new house today, considering all the closures occurring. One recent chance was to buy some of the equipment from Cloverlanes, in Livonia, Michigan. Cloverlanes is one of the latest bowling properties opened in 1962 to be closed, having been shuttered in 2015. Another is Covina Bowl, in Covina, California. This great example of Googie architecture, featuring an hourglass-shaped sign with "BOWL" spelled out in kooky lettering, an A-shaped roof that seems to hovers over the patrons walking in, and a zig-zag style overhang just closed in March, 2017. It was opened in 1956 and originally had an Egyptian-themed interior, though that had been watered down over time. So, there are still more chances to find some used bowling equipment for your dream home! And maybe we can find some more in a future Roadtrip-'62 ™ article.
All photos by the author and Copyright © 2017 - Milne Enterprises, Inc., except as noted.
All other content Copyright © 2017 - Milne Enterprises, Inc.