This Week In 1962
On May 28, 1962, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 5.7%. This is on a par with what we now call a “flash crash”, like the one that happened in just 20 minutes when the Dow lost 9% on May 6, 2010. One noticeable difference is that today, they are blamed in part on computer trading, where computer trading programs see a drop and sell, feeding the drop the next computer sees. Back in 1962, trading was still done by real people writing paper orders, so what happened? People couldn’t keep up with the trading. The ticker, which showed everyone else what was happening got backlogged and didn’t finish reporting for nearly 2½ hours after the market closed. So traders kept feeding a downtrend instead of stepping in to buy at the low prices. Who needs computers to cause a panic?
What’s In a Name?
Ever wonder what baby names were popular in 1962? Maybe you’d like to use a retro name for you next newborn. Well, here’s a Top 100 list, for both girls and boys. I notice that naming conventions change slowly; a lot of the top 10 are the same names I remember for kids I went to school with in 1962, despite the fact that they were born 9 years earlier. I knew plenty of Michaels, Davids, and Johns, and Marys, Susans, and Karens.
1962 In Sports
The 1962 New York Mets hold the modern record for most games lost by a major league baseball team in a regular season. That was the debut year for the Mets, and they ended their first season with 120 losses and only 40 wins. This year, the Miami Marlins are on a pace to break that record, comparing the Marlins 2013 split of 13-41 to the 1962 Mets split of 12-30 through May 31. But teams have come close before and the Mets have stayed the worst for over 50 years. The last time a baseball team nearly broke their record was in 2003, when the Detroit Tigers lost 119 games, only pulling out of a tailspin at the very end of the season by winning five of their last six games. Will the Mets hold on?
1962 Comic Buy of the Week
scan from Grand Comics Database
One of my favorite reads growing up in 1962 was MAD Magazine. Some of you may not consider it a comic book, but it mostly consisted of comic stories, including the still-running Spy Vs. Spy. Some of the other highlights of this issue were a look at America’s secret weapon to destroy the Berlin Wall, Madmen dreaming up ad campaigns, and what’s in Frank Sinatra’s wallet. And the cover is typical madness: the bullseye is worth 0 points for hitting Alfred but you get 500 points for missing altogether!
US-23 Featured Trip Segment
Speaking of popcorn, our US-23 Roadtrip-‘62 ™ also went through popcorn country. We visited the Wyandot Popcorn Museum in Marion, Ohio on day 7 of that trip. Among their exhibits, they have the world's largest collection of popcorn poppers and peanut roasters! Marion also holds the annual Marion Popcorn Festival, this year on September 5-7.
Guest Blog of the Week
What does it take to restore a vintage car…or a travel trailer? Janet Marie shares her experience in restoring a 1962 Shasta Airflyte trailer, along with copious photos of the process. This model was affectionately nicknamed the "canned ham" because its rounded shape looked like a canned ham. Over several blog posts, she shows everything from the original beat up condition to the final glory. The end result is stunning and almost makes me wish to have one behind the 1962 Impala as we head down the road.
Museum of the Week
Fort Donelson National Battlefield in Dover, Tennessee has been largely unchanged since 1962. But no longer, as Thursday, June 6, is the last day to view the old exhibits at the visitor center. These exhibits were installed when the visitor center opened in 1962, on the 100th anniversary of the 1862 Battles of Forts Henry and Donelson. As is typical for modern museum installations, some of the exhibit will now be interactive. While no longer available to the public, the National Battlefield will preserve the original 1962 panels as part of the park’s museum collection. Now, even 1962 is history.
Other National Battlefields
Our nation has a variety of National Parks and other lands, showcasing our natural beauty and history. In the southeastern part of the country, many Civil War sites are preserved and have been since before 1962. That year was part of the Centennial years of the war, as 2013 is now part of the Sesquicentennial remembrance. You can find information on some Civil War sites in Kentucky, along with other National Parks information in Roadtrip-‘62’s ™ two-part essay on National Parks, Forests, and More.
US-6 Featured Trip Segment
Actually, just a teaser for later in the trip. I just finished a quick trip through part of the Ohio and Indiana farm fields on US-6 and found some great topics. One is popcorn, specifically TV Time brand. I found these neat corn storage silos, painted with the product name, outside of Napoleon, Ohio. They’re a leftover from an early brand of convenience popcorn you could buy in 1962, long before the days of microwave popcorn. TV Time Foods was based in Bremen, Indiana, which is further west on US-6. Their claim to fame was a two-part package that held popcorn and butter flavored salt in one side and coconut oil in the other. This allowed the buyer to have everything in a single package, but kept it fresh while on the shelf. They hit the market in the early 1950s, as television took America by storm and people wanted to enjoy movie-style popcorn at home. Some of their early advertising was of course on TV, on the Annie Oakley show from 1954-1957. The company overspent on advertising though, and went bankrupt three times. TV Time was finally sold to Great Western Products in 1992 and the brand was last available in 2002. Great Western still sells their own version of the product though, in the same Dual Pak pouch.
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Video of the Week
Actress Jean Stapleton died at age 90 last week. While she was best known for playing Edith Bunker in “All in the Family” during the 1970s, she had a long career both before and after that. Watch her in a 1962 television broadcast of “Dennis The Menace”.
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