This Week In 1962
Let’s look ahead on US-6 this week, to Iowa. US-6 travels across the full width of the state, and this weekend a classic car road trip covers the same distance. Over the weekend of August 23-25, the Iowa division of the US Route 6 Tourist Association teams up with Dahl Ford of Davenport and the Children’s Therapy Center of the Quad Cities for the ultimate ride across Iowa. The River To River Classic Car Road Trip will be traveling from Davenport to Council Bluffs, stopping for lodging and food at vintage places along the way. The trip will be completely along the old US-6 alignment: no freeways here! Lodging, food, or historical stops will include the small towns of Newton, Brooklyn, Grinnell, Atlantic, Menlo, Adair, Marengo, Wilton, Anita, Greenfield, and even the big city of Des Moines. And you can bet you’ll see plenty of 1962 cars and buildings along the way. Anyone is welcome to participate in the road trip and there are no fees other than your travel costs. Join them if you’re in the area for a weekend of fun! RSVP to David Darby at 563-499-8211 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celebrity Birthdays in August, 1962
August of 1962 was a good month for celebrities of today to have been born. Here’s just a few I’ve found recently.
- Patrick Ewing - August 5 - Basketball player and inductee to the Basketball Hall of Fame. He is currently an assistant coach with the Charlotte Bobcats. He grew up playing cricket and soccer in Kingston, Jamaica and only learned to play basketball at the age of 12 after moving to Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Suzanne Collins – August 10 - Author of “The Hunger Games” trilogy and “The Underland Chronicles”. She began her career writing scripts for children's television programs, including “Clarissa Explains It All” and “Little Bear”. Today she is the top selling author of ebooks on Kindle.
- Steve Carell – August 16 - Actor most famous for his long-running role on the TV show “The Office”. He’s also acted in many movies including “Evan Almighty”, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”, and provided the voice for Gru in both “Despicable Me” movies. He worked as a mail carrier before joining a children's theater company.
- James Marsters – August 20 - Actor best known as Spike in the TV show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. He has also appeared in “Smallville” and “Torchwood”.
1962 In Sports
Track and field athlete Jim Beatty recently discussed the legendary night when he made history running the world’s first sub-four-minute mile indoors. Jim ran a 3:58.9 mile on February 10, 1962 at the Los Angeles Invitational. He accomplished this feat in the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, which is just off old US-6 at Exposition Park, the site of the 1932 Summer Olympics. Of course, we’ll visit the park when Roadtrip-’62 ™ gets to Los Angeles! Jim mentioned that he warmed up with wet socks because he had to walk from his car to the stadium during a downpour. As with all the big sports events of that day, it was broadcast on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Jim went on to have a great 1962, breaking 11 American records and three world records that year.
1962 Comic Buy of the Week
scan from Grand Comics Database
The first issue of Bullwinkle appeared on the newsstands in 1962. Based, of course, on the Rocky & Friends TV show that had debuted in November 1959, it capitalized on the fact that Rocky’s sidekick Bullwinkle J. Moose had become the star. The show mixed puns, cultural and topical satire, and self-referential humor, and in my opinion, it was a blast! The comic book series lasted until 1979, far longer than original shows on television. But those shows keep coming back. For example, in the early 1980s when a new television station began broadcasting in Flint, Michigan, they ran nothing but Rocky & Bullwinkle for their first week on the air!
Guest Blog of the Week
The Smithsonian Institute has a nifty blog called Paleofuture, where they look at important aspects of American history. They often cover people, culture, and events from 1962 or thereabouts. Check out this sample about the Googie commercial architectural style of the late 1950s-early 1960s. They’ve also done a whole series of articles about the Jetsons TV show, which debuted in 1962.
US-23 Featured Trip Segment
How about a pleasant summer drive along the Ohio River and its tributary along the Kentucky border, the Big Sandy River? On day 10 of our US-23 roadtrip, you can stop to watch the barges moving slowly, enjoy some mural art in several towns, wander downtown Asheville or Paintsville and grab a soft-serve ice cream cone and a great Kentucky soda, Ale-8-One. Maybe even end the day camping in the shade at Jenny Wiley State Park.
Museum of the Week
The Highlands Museum & Discovery Center in Ashland, Kentucky was not around in 1962, but it’s a great place to discover the history of northeastern Kentucky and the Ohio River towns along US-23. As an extra bonus, it’s housed in the former C. H. Parsons Department Store building, which would have been open in 1962. You know, the kind with a mezzanine level sandwiched between the first and second floors, like many of the finer department stores in medium-sized cities had back then. And you’re sure to find something interesting in their Scouting in America exhibit.
US Highway Systems: Present, Past, and Present
If you’re still hunting around for just the right road for your summer roadtrip, take a look at the old two-lane roads of the US-numbered route system. There are a couple hundred routes to choose from, between US-1 and US-830, though not every number was used. They range from less than 100 miles long to over 3,500! Most likely, there is one very close to you because that’s how the system was designed. Learn more about the system at our US Highway Systems page.
US-6 Featured Trip Segment
A new day on our virtual roadtrip along US-6 is up on the website this week. It’s our second day in Cleveland, Ohio and there are museums, parks, great architecture, and even a zoo to see today. Plus, you can imagine yourself sailing a great lakes freighter on Lake Erie!.
About Roadtrip-'62 ™
Video of the Week
Some cool jazz for this week: Oleo by the Grant Green Quartet. Personnel in the group are Grant Green - Guitar, Sonny Clark – Piano, Sam Jones – Bass, and Louis Hayes – Drums.
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