This Week In 1962
On January 12, 1962, the first U.S. combat troops arrived in Vietnam. President Kennedy began the operation because the downfall of Saigon, the capitol of South Vietnam, seemed immanent. I find the most interesting aspect to be the fact that he did so without announcing the move to the public. While he did hold a press conference, Kennedy stated only that the U.S. was assisting South Vietnam with training and transportation. As it turned out, we would be in an undeclared war there until we abandoned it in 1973, in an ignominious retreat from the very rooftops of the capitol.
Pope Chosen as Person of the Year...in 1962
To close out 2013, Time Magazine designated Pope Francis at their Person of the Year. It’s not the first time the magazine has chosen a Pope: the first was for 1962. For that year, Pope John XXIII was chosen. One of the reasons was his convening the Ecumenical Council called Vatican II that year, to address the place of the Church in modern societies.
1962 In Advertising
It may be hard to imagine if your only connection to advertising in 1962 is from watching “Mad Men”, but most ads back then were rather simple and in black-and-white. Newspapers and magazines still had most pages without color, and most people watched TV on black-and-white sets. Here’s an example from a magazine that didn’t even fill up half a page. I’m sure Sony’s tape deck was state-of-the-art, but it couldn’t survive the next 50 years.
1962 Comic Buy of the Week
Peanuts #11 (Scan from Grand Comics Database.)
We’re all used to seeing Peanuts as a newspaper comic strip and as television specials, but the feature also enjoyed a short run as a comic book in the years around 1962. Reprints of Peanuts strips had been featured in Tip Top Comics since 1952. But when Dell Comics took over the license in 1957, they began to publish comics with brand new material. Much of this new material was drawn by Dale Hale and written in collaboration between him and Charles Schulz. Hale and Schulz had worked together at Art Instruction in Minneapolis and over lunches became friends. When Schulz moved to California, he asked Hale if he was interested in moving out there to work as his assistant. When the Peanuts issues ended later in 1962, Hale worked on many comic strips, including Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, and for 15 years he had his own syndicated comic: Figments.
Peanuts is once again in a comic book, with a fun mix of new stories and classic Charles Schulz strips, published by Kaboom.
About Roadtrip-'62 ™
US-6 Featured Trip Segment
Day 16 of our trip along highway US-6 heads through the farm country of northern Ohio. We’ll find lots of good locally-produced foods that were around in 1962, that we can still buy today. Also several unusual museums in Sandusky and Bowling Green, and a presidential library in Fremont (can you guess whose?).
Guest Blog of the Week
Sherry runs an antique shop in Laurel, Mississippi and used to blog about her finds. I’ve run across some nice information on mid-century items that remind me of 1962 there, like jelly glasses, holiday decorations, or Fenton glassware. I also found one of my favorites, the dishes that used to come packed in boxes of Duz laundry detergent!
US-23 Featured Trip Segment
When I traveled US-23 through Greenup, Kentucky back in 2008, the old truss bridge over the Little Sandy River there was closed to traffic. Well, they finally are replacing it. Photographer Sherman Cahal has some photos of the demolition, which you can contrast with my old photo. The old bridge dates to 1884 and is on the National Register of Historic Places, so I’m not sure if they will remove that last span sitting out in the river.
Museum of the Week
The Rabun County Historical Society, in Clayton, Georgia has both a museum and a research library. They have exhibits and information on several towns along US-23, including Clayton, Tallulah Falls, and Dillard. I found a photo of the Stuckey’s restaurant from the 1950s that probably looks similar to what we would have seen in 1962. Sometime after that, the building was expanded with the second story we see today. Stop in to see more if you’re in the area.
Enjoy Some Calendars of 1962
It’s a new year and that always means new calendars. To celebrate the new year, I’ve assembled a group of 1962 Calendars for your enjoyment. It’s my latest post at Roadtrip-'62 ™ .
Video of the Week
On January 11, 1962, one of the deadliest avalanches in history killed nearly 4,000 people in Ranrahirca, Peru, as snow and rock flowed down Mount Huascaran in a seven-minute disaster. This episode of the US Department of Defense series “The Big Picture” has scenes of the aftermath and a discussion of international survey efforts undertaken to assess the scope of the damage. “The Big Picture” was a half-hour documentary television program produced by the U.S. Army, which aired on ABC-TV from 1951 to 1964. It’s hard to imagine the Army producing a television program today, but I think it’s more informative than most shows on the Discovery Network today.
Public domain video from The Internet Archive.
Our front page changes frequently, so you may have missed some fun stuff if you don't check in frequently. Check the Home Page Archives for all the previous iterations of our front page. Discover links, videos, roadtrip suggestions, and lots of news from 1962!
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