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Roadtrip-'62 Front Page News

Week of November 3, 1962

This Month In 1962

Former President Richard Nixon
Former President Richard Nixon (public domain photo)

Let’s take a break from the election and campaigning this week by taking a look at the elections of 1962. In case you thought that the US House of Representatives always has 435 members, you would be generally be correct, but NOT for 1960. In that year, 1 new representative was added for each of the new states of Alaska and Hawaii. That was because all the other seats had already been apportioned using the 1950 census. It went back to 435 seats with the 1962 election because representation was re-apportioned using the new 1960 census. As a result of this and election results, the Democrats lost 3 seats in the House, though they still held a majority. The Democrats also held a majority in the Senate, and picked up 3 seats from the Republicans there.

In other election news, President Kennedy’s brother Edward (Teddy) Kennedy was elected to the US Senate in Massachusetts, Mitt Romney’s father, George Romney was elected Governor of Michigan, and former Vice President Nixon lost his bid to become Governor of California. As a result of the loss, political commentators regarded Nixon's political career over. Donald Rumsfeld, who many of remember better as a Secretary of Defense, was elected to the freshmen class of the House of Representatives. Minnesota presaged the tight election of 2008 when Minnesota Senator Al Franken was elected with a margin of only 312 votes after months of recounts. The 1962 Minnesota Governor’s race was also in doubt for over four months as ballots were recounted all across the state. Eventually, Governor Elmer L. Andersen was re-lected by just 91 votes. Some things never seem to change. Or maybe some things do: I doubt anyone will win this year with 96% of the vote, as Alabama’s Governor George Wallace did in 1962!


Old-Fashioned Autumn Sweetness

Affy Tapple
Affy Tapple (from company advertisement)

One of the sweet treats of autumn is just-picked apples. Another is caramel apples. Affy Tapple may be the first caramel apple in the country, having been made with the same caramel recipe since 1948. Edna Kastrup developed her recipe and the name Affy Tapple back then. By 1962, caramel apples by many other confectioners were probably everywhere. Affy Tapple was first sold in a store on Clark Street in Chicago, Illinois but today it’s made in Niles, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago that lies on US-14. By 1960, the company sold Affy Tapples in school fundraising programs around the country. I can buy them in stores now and you probably can too (at least if you’re in Michigan). The factory also has many other treats that use their famous caramel at the store, including caramel corn and chocolate nut clusters.


1962 In Sports

Jim Clark in a Team Lotus car, 1962
Jim Clark in a Team Lotus car, 1962. (Photo by Lothar Spurzem from Wikimedia Commons, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Germany license.)

The 1962 US Grand Prix was held on October 7th and changed the outlook for the remainder of the races on the circuit. As the race began, Britisher Graham Hill could have become undisputed champion if he could beat Scotland’s Jim Clark. Clark had only begun racing in 1956 and his first win was earlier in 1962 at the Belgian Grand Prix. But Clark won the race and the championship was not settled until December 29th, in the South African Grand Prix race. All the big names of racing were in it this year including Jack Brabham, Roger Penske, Dan Gurney, and Bruce McLaren. It was a fast race that year too, with track records falling in qualifying runs the day before and the track record being broken during the race on Lap 3. Another measure of how the drivers were pushing their vehicles was that Dan Gurney’s Porsche had to be retired afterward. By the end of the race, only Clark and Hill were on the lead lap.


US-6 Featured Trip Segment

Historic US-6 sign
Historic US-6 sign on the western outskirts of Davenport, Iowa. (Photo by David W. Darby, Executive Director Iowa US Route 6 Tourist Association, used by permission.)

Check out the latest episode of our Roadtrip-'62 ™ journey down US-6: Day 21. We’re heading west on the Historic Iowa US-6 Route, passing through corn fields and small towns on our way to Iowa's first capital. We'll also see things that no longer exist and grab a "phosphate" at the soda fountain along the way.

1962 Comic Buy of the Week

Hey kids, click to buy comics!

Lonestar Comics

scan from Grand Comics Database

Speaking of racing, Charlton Comics published this issue of Hot Rods and Racing Cars in November, 1962. Charlton also published other racing themed comics such as Drag N' Wheels, Drag-Strip Hotrodders, Hot Rod Racers, Teenage Hotrodders, and even Grand Prix later in the 1960s. Hot Rods and Racing Cars was popular enough that it ran from 1951 to 1973, outlasting all the other titles. It maintained its popularity by covering nearly any vehicle that raced: stock cars, drag racers, formula cars, jalopies, and even motorcycles. Clint Curtis and the Road Knights were long-running characters who seemed to race just about everywhere in the early 1960s. Most issue covers can be counted on to show a car crash, many with a wheel breaking off and flying through the air. How exciting!

Museum of the Week

Roger Penske in Champion Spark Plug ad
"Roger Penske wins the 1962 Riverside Grand Prix in his Zerex Duralite Special -- sparked by silvery-plated Champions." (from Champion Spark Plug ad)

I mentioned above that Roger Penske was racing the Grand Prix circuit in 1962. Today, you could visit the the Penske Racing Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. They have a collection of cars, equipment, trophies, and memorabilia that chronicles Roger’s racing career and his Penske Racing team. The collection includes his 1963 Pontiac Catalina, in which he won the 1963 NASCAR Riverside 250. I don’t believe it includes the car he drove to win the 1962 Riverside Grand Prix.

Guest Blog of the Week

Jan’s Restaurant and Gift Store, Mackinaw City, Michigan, postcard
Jan’s Restaurant and Gift Store, Mackinaw City, Michigan (Postcard from collection of Don Harrison, used by permission.)

Don Harrison, the “The UpNorth Memories Guy” has an amazing collection of vintage postcards, which he posts regularly on Flickr and offers for sale at his eBay store. Many are relevant to the portion of our US-23 trip that traveled through Michigan, while others are just fun. This postcard of Jan’s Gift Store has the bonus of some 1962-era automobiles!

US-23 Featured Trip Segment

Jacksonville Union Terminal, 1960
Jacksonville Union Terminal, 1960 (Photo courtesy of the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory.)

Day 21 of our US-23 trip found us sitting in Jacksonville, Florida, at the end of the roadtrip. In my Roadtrip-‘62 Epilogue, I contemplate where to go next and how to get there. Should I go by freeway, another US-numbered 2-lane road, passenger train, or airplane?

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Check Out the Roadtrip-’62 Google+ Page

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You’ll find all kinds of tidbits about 1962 on our Roadtrip-'62 Google+ page! I post many things there that never appear on the website or the newsletter. Along with photos and links to interesting places on the internet, including resources on US-6 and US-23. And, it’s updated more often than this front page!

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Video of the Week

Here’s a video of Jim Clark winning the 1962 British Grand Prix at Aintree, Merseyside, England. Graham Hill also appears, seated in his race car. Same two top competitors as at the US Grand Prix in Watkins Glen, New York, with the same result.


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!

All photos by the author and Copyright © 2014, 2021 - Donald Dale Milne, except as noted.

All other content Copyright © 2014, 2021 - Donald Dale Milne.

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More Fun Stuff:

What's the weather in 1962?

Weather on November 3, 1962 for Watkins Glen, NY, from the National Climatic Data Center:

  • Low = 32°F
  • High = 40°F
  • Precipitation = no data
  • Mean Wind Speed = 14mph

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Events Calendar: happening for over 50 years!

City of Sevierville Christmas Parade, Sevierville, Tennessee

- December 6, 2014. Seeing as it’s November, it must be time to think of Christmas Events. The Annual City of Sevierville Christmas Parade has been held since 1962! This traditional parade in downtown Sevierville, Tennessee has everything from festive floats and marching bands to Santa Claus.

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Please visit our sponsors, some of whom were open to serve you in 1962, and others selling great products from that year. Buy from them today and keep Roadtrip-'62 ™ here to read again, and again!

Lonestar Comics Kitchen Aid