April 1962

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April 21, 1962: Seattle World's Fair opens

The following events occurred in April, 1962

April 1, 1962 (Sunday)[edit]

April 2, 1962 (Monday)[edit]

  • The 3rd Lok Sabha began its five-year session in the Parliament of India, with 494 legislators. It would last until March 3, 1967.[3]
  • Born: Sridhar Rangayan, Indian filmmaker, in Mandya

April 3, 1962 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • U.S. District Judge J. Skelly Wright ordered the desegregation of elementary schools in New Orleans, with African-American and White students to attend first through sixth grade together. Wright's order came one week after Roman Catholic private schools in New Orleans were ordered integrated by Archbishop Joseph Rummel.[4]
  • Hawaii's Governor, William F. Quinn, declared a "state of food emergency" after a strike of American shipworkers entered its third week. Since March 16, longshoremen had refused to unload food from eight ships in Honolulu harbor. Governor Quinn estimated that Hawaii had only two weeks supply of staple foods left.[5] Two weeks later, a federal judge in California would invoke the Taft-Hartley Act to temporarily halt the strike.[6]
  • As the Algerian War for Independence came to an end, European OAS gunmen near Algiers carried out a terrorist attack against a Muslims hospital in the suburb of Beau-Fraisier. The 15 former French Army soldiers, armed with sub-machine guns, rushed past hospital employees and targeted bedridden patients, then exited. Most of the victims had been hospitalized for months, due to ailments unrelated to the war.[7]

April 4, 1962 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • James Hanratty was hanged in Bedford Gaol for the 1961 A6 murder. Afterward, witnesses came forward to testify that they had seen him in another town at the time. In 1997, a police committee would conclude that he had been wrongfully convicted, but the decision was reversed by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, and upheld by a court of appeal in 2002.[8]
  • John Kenneth Galbraith, at the time the U.S. Ambassador to India, wrote a letter to President Kennedy, proposed a negotiated peace between North Vietnam and South Vietnam, before the American presence escalated further. Kennedy felt the plan was feasible, and instructed Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Averell Harriman to reply favorably to Galbraith's idea. Years later, researcher Gareth Porter would locate Harriman's alteration of the telegram to Galbraith, replacing the President's approval of mutual de-escalation talks with instructions to threaten further escalation if North Vietnam did not withdraw.[9]

April 5, 1962 (Thursday)[edit]

  • A federal grand jury indicted Billie Sol Estes, a major supporter of then U.S. Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson, along with three of Estes's assistants, for charges of conspiracy to plot a $24,000,000 fraud of investors.[10]
  • U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter suffered a stroke while in his office, and was never able to return to hearing cases. He would resign on August 28.[11]
  • The last train ran on the west Cork railway in Ireland.
  • Born: Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Kalmyk multimillionaire politician, former President of the international chess federation FIDE, and leader of the Russian Republic of Kalmykia, in Elista, RSFSR, USSR; and Lana Clarkson, American model and actress who was murdered by Phil Spector (d. 2003)

April 6, 1962 (Friday)[edit]

  • The United Steel Workers of America and steel manufacturers agreed to a new contract, brokered by the U.S. Department of Labor, in which the union reduced its demands for a wage increase from 17 cents to 10 cents an hour, based upon the White House's determination to hold down prices. Four days later, the steel makers raised their prices anyway. A furious President Kennedy forced U.S. Steel and other companies to rescind the increase on April 13.[12]
  • Leonard Bernstein caused controversy by his remarks before a concert featuring Glenn Gould with the New York Philharmonic.[13]

April 7, 1962 (Saturday)[edit]

  • A five-man military tribunal in Cuba convicted the 1,179 surviving attackers of the Bay of Pigs Invasion of an attempt to overthrow the government a year earlier, with a sentence of 30 years incarceration for each prisoner. The tribunal levied "fines" totaling $62 million for the release of the prisoners.[14] The United States would negotiate release of the men by year's end with the delivery of $53,000,000 worth of medicine and food.[15]
  • At the Ealing Jazz Club in London, Brian Jones was introduced to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The three would become the heart of The Rolling Stones, formed later that year.[16]
  • Author Milovan Djilas, at one time a Vice-President of Yugoslavia and a possible successor to President Tito, was returned to prison after violating a new Yugoslavian law that made it a crime to write about "confidential subjects that may harm Yugoslavia". Djilas had been in prison from 1957 to 1961 after criticizing communism in his book The New Class. The new charges stemmed from a January magazine article in the Italian magazine Tempo Presente, and an upcoming book, Conversations With Stalin.[17]
  • Died: Jaroslav Durych, 75, Czech writer

April 8, 1962 (Sunday)[edit]

  • In France, the Évian Accords were ratified in a referendum, with 9 out of every 10 French voters in favor of letting French Algeria become its own independent nation.[18] The final result was 17,866,423 in favor of Algerian independence, and 1,809,074 against.[19]
  • Died: Juan Belmonte, 69, Spanish bullfighter who revolutionized the sport

April 9, 1962 (Monday)[edit]

April 10, 1962 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • U.S. Steel Chairman Roger Blough informed President Kennedy, at a 5:45 pm meeting at the White House, that the largest steel manufacturer in the world was planning to raise its prices by six dollars per ton at 12:01 a.m. Kennedy reportedly told Blough, "You've made a terrible mistake."[9] As Blough's press release reached American newspapers, the President announced that he would have a special press conference on Thursday.[25]
  • The Houston Colt .45s, later renamed the Houston Astros, played their very first game, defeating the visiting Chicago Cubs, 11-2, and in Los Angeles, the first MLB game was played at Dodger Stadium, where 52,564 fans watched the home team lose, 6–3, to the Cincinnati Reds.[26]
  • Jamaican general election, 1962: In advance of its independence from the United Kingdom, Jamaica held elections to determine its government. The Jamaica Labour Party won 26 of 45 parliamentary seats, making Alexander Bustamante the new Prime Minister. Losing its legislative majority was the People's National Party, led by colonial Chief Minister Norman Manley.[27]
  • Died: Stu Sutcliffe, 21, original bass player for The Beatles until being replaced by George Harrison; and Michael Curtiz (Kertész Kaminer Manó), 75, Hungarian-American director of multiple films, including Casablanca, for which he won an Academy Award.

April 11, 1962 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • As three other American steelmakers announced a price hike, President Kennedy denounced "Big Steel" in a press conference "with the strongest language he has leveled at anyone or anything since becoming President".[28] In March, the U.S. Department of Labor had helped mediate a contract between the United Steelworkers of America and the companies, with the union agreeing to a smaller wage increase in order to prevent a price rise.
  • The New York Mets played their first game, losing to the St. Louis Cardinals, 11-4, at St. Louis.[29]
  • After two divorces, Diana Churchill, daughter of Winston Churchill, legally takes back her maiden name.
  • Born: Vincent Gallo, American actor, director and screenwriter, in Buffalo, New York; Mark Lawson, English journalist and broadcaster
  • Died: George Poage, 81, first African-American athlete to win an Olympic medal

April 12, 1962 (Thursday)[edit]

  • President Kennedy demanded that American steelmakers completely roll back the price hike that they had announced earlier in the week, and the U.S. Department of Justice ordered a federal grand jury investigation for possible antitrust violations.[9] U.S. Steel Chairman Roger Blough said in a press conference that the $6 per ton increase would not be rescinded. Meanwhile, two smaller companies, Inland Steel and Armco Steel, refused to go along with the six that did raise their prices.[30]
  • Born: Jarosław Kalinowski, Polish politician, in Wyszków
  • Died: Antoine Pevsner, 76, Belarusian sculptor; and Pearl Oldfield, 75, first woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress from Arkansas (1929–1931)

April 13, 1962 (Friday)[edit]

  • U.S. Secretary of Labor Arthur J. Goldberg met privately in New York City with U.S. Steel Chairman Roger M. Blough, and outlined the steps that the Kennedy administration would take if the steel price increase continued.[31] At 3:05 pm, Kaiser Steel rescinded its price increase, followed by Bethlehem Steel at 3:21 pm. The largest of the companies, U.S. Steel, capitulated at 5:25 pm, followed by Republic Steel (5:57), Pittsburgh Steel (6:26), Jones & Laughlin (6:37), National Steel (7:33) and Youngstown Sheet & Tube (9:09).[9][32]
  • Edmond Jouhaud, the second-in-command of the Organisation de l'armée secrète, was sentenced to death in France. "Jouhaud Gets Death Penalty At Paris Trial",[33]

April 14, 1962 (Saturday)[edit]

April 15, 1962 (Sunday)[edit]

April 16, 1962 (Monday)[edit]

  • Walter Cronkite, a former United Press reporter best known for hosting the CBS program You Are There, replaced Douglas Edwards as the anchorman for the CBS Evening News, at that time a 15 minute program that ran from 6:45 to 7:00 pm Eastern Time. Cronkite, who would be nicknamed "The Most Trusted Man in America", would anchor the news until his retirement in 1981, when he would be replaced by Dan Rather.[41]
  • Folk singer Bob Dylan, who had recently released his debut album, made the first public performance of what would become his signature song, "Blowin' in the Wind". The setting was Gerde's Folk City, a "jazz club" located at 11 West 4th Street in New York City's Greenwich Village.[42]
  • Byron White was sworn in as a new Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, five days after being confirmed by the Senate on a voice vote. The first Justice to have been a former clerk, and the only former NFL player to ever serve on the High Court, White served until 1993, when he would be replaced by Ruth Bader Ginsburg.[43]
  • Born: Martin Zaimov, Bulgarian financier and politician, in Geneva, Switzerland

April 17, 1962 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • The Strategic Hamlet Program was started by United States funding in South Vietnam, with the forcible move of residents of small villages to new locations that could be protected from Viet Cong infiltration. Within the first year, nearly eight million people were settled in more than 6,000 such hamlets.[44]
  • After concluding that the sealing of East Germany's borders had been successful, the Politburo for the DDR's Germany's Communist Party, the SED, approved a new policy instructing police to make fewer arrests and for the courts to apply lesser penalties for violations of the law. In June, 6,000 prisoners would be released from prison.[45]
  • In a by-election for the UK parliamentary constituency of Derby North, caused by the death of sitting MP Clifford Wilcock, Niall MacDermot retained the seat for the Labour Party.

April 18, 1962 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • The Commonwealth Immigrants Act in the United Kingdom received royal assent, removing free immigration from the citizens of member states of the Commonwealth of Nations, requiring proof of employment in the UK. The law would go into effect on July 1.[46]
  • The Boston Celtics won their 4th consecutive NBA Championship in the 7th game of the best-of-seven series, in overtime. The Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers, tied 3–3 in the series, were tied 100-100 at the end of regulation. L.A.'s Frank Selvy had tied the game, then missed a jump shot that would have won in regulation.[47]
  • What was described as a fireball (a brighter than usual meteoroid) exploded ten miles south of the town of Eureka, Utah at 8:15 pm local time. The burst of light was visible across the western United States, as far east as Gridley, Kansas.[48] Although subsequent retellings of the story have referred to the sighting as an unidentified flying object that "landed near a power plant" in Eureka, stayed for 40 minutes, and blacked out the entire town until its departure,[49] p83, contemporary reports indicated that only the town's street lights were off momentarily because the photo-sensors reacted to the daylight-like brightness. Other authors books have described the object as being seen in Oneida, New York minutes before reaching Utah, while reports at the time noted that NORAD received one report "from as far away as New York", though all other sightings were from eleven western states.[50]
  • The first underground ballistic missile base in the U.S. became operational, with the delivery of the first nine Titan I missiles, to silos at Lowry Air Force Base, in, Colorado.[51] By September 28, all 54 Titans would be activated at bases in five western U.S. states.[52]
  • Died: Harry A. Franck, 80, American travel writer

April 19, 1962 (Thursday)[edit]

April 20, 1962 (Friday)[edit]

April 21, 1962 (Saturday)[edit]

  • The Century 21 Exposition World's Fair opened in Seattle, Washington at 11:00 am local time. A group of 1,000 newsmen had previewed the fair the day before. In addition to the 606 foot tall Space Needle building, which became a symbol of Seattle, the Fair included a carnival that would "fit a working man's budget". The carnival, in operation for the duration of the fair, was called "Gayway".[57] The fair would run until October 21, hosting 9,609,969 guests over six months.[58]
  • A flight formation of 24 U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy jets, part of the opening ceremonies of the Seattle World's Fair, ended in tragedy. One of the F-102 Dagger jet fighters experienced flight trouble. The pilot ejected safely, but the jet crashed into a residential neighborhood at the suburb of Mountlake Terrace, Washington, destroying two homes and killing an elderly couple. A five member family, that normally resided in the other home, had gone on Easter vacation to avoid the traffic associated with the fair opening.[59]
  • Carlos Ortíz defeated Joe Brown to win the world lightweight boxing championship. Ortíz had formerly been in a heavier class as the world junior welterweight champion. Brown had been the lightweight champion for more than five years.[60]
  • Died: Frederick Handley Page, 76, founder of Britain's first aircraft manufacturing company, Handley Page, Ltd.

April 22, 1962 (Sunday)[edit]

April 23, 1962 (Monday)[edit]

  • The American Ranger 4 satellite was launched at 2:50 pm local time from Cape Canaveral, with the objective of gathering data from the Moon. A few hours later, ground control found that the satellite would be unable to keep still enough toprovide useful information. One NASA official commented, "All we've got is an idiot with a radio signal."[63]
  • After starting with nine consecutive losses in their first season, baseball's New York Mets finally won a game, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates, who had started 1962 with ten consecutive wins.[64] The Mets would finish the 1962 season with a record of 40 wins and 120 loses, 60½ games out of first place.[65]
  • Transport Minister Dr. Richard Beeching initiated a study of traffic flows on all the railway lines in the UK.
  • At a motor racing meeting at Goodwood Circuit, UK, Graham Hill won the 1962 Glover Trophy and Bruce McLaren won the 1962 Lavant Cup. During the Glover Trophy race, Stirling Moss suffered serious injuries in an accident, which effectively ended his career as a top-level racing driver.
  • Born: John Hannah, Scottish actor, in East Kilbride

April 24, 1962 (Tuesday)[edit]

April 25, 1962 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • The United States ended its moratorium on atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons at 10:45 pm local time near Christmas Island.[70]
  • "We have created the first synthetic thunderstorm in space", NASA scientist Dr. Wernher Von Braun announced, after an American Saturn rocket released 95 tons of water into the ionosphere. At an altitude of 65 miles, explosives on the rocket were detonated by ground control, creating a 25 mile wide cloud of ice that was visible from Florida. Von Braun announced that electrical charges were detected in the ice mass.[71]
  • In Moscow, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev informed the USSR's legislature, the Supreme Soviet, that the nation would need to replace the constitution that had been in place since 1936.[72]
  • Born: Foeke Booy, Dutch footballer and manager, in Leeuwarden

April 26, 1962 (Thursday)[edit]

  • The American Ranger 4 satellite mission was not fully successful, but marked the first time that the United States was able to place an object on the Moon. A malfunction in the guidance system prevented Ranger 4 from sending back usable photographs or other data. Tumbling out of control, the satellite crashed (as planned) into the far side of the Moon at 7:49 a.m. Eastern Time (1249 UTC), after a 64 hour journey from Earth. Impacting at nearly 6,000 miles per hour, Ranger 4 was destroyed, but proved that the U.S. could land on the Moon.[73]
  • The first British satellite, Ariel 1, was launched at 1800 UTC from the Wallops Flight Facility in the United States, and remained in Earth orbit until April 24, 1976. The United Kingdom and United States collaboration made the launch the first multinational space effort in history.[69][74]
  • The A-12 Blackbird, prototype for the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird jet airplane, made its first flight, piloted by Lou Schalk, who took off and landed at the Groom Lake base in Nevada.[75]
  • At a stockholders meeting at the Studebaker-Packard Corporation, the Packard name was dropped entirely, bringing an end to the automobile brand that had existed since 1902. The company had assumed the name after Packard Motor Car Company had merged with Studebaker Corporation in 1954.[76]
  • Cleveland Indians catcher Harry Chiti was traded to the New York Mets "for a player to be named later". On June 15, the Mets would name Chiti as the player to be sent to the Indians' farm system, making him the first Major League Baseball player to be "traded for himself".[77]
  • Died: Clarence Skinner, 62, New Zealand politician and war hero

April 27, 1962 (Friday)[edit]

  • In Los Angeles, a confrontation outside a mosque between two LAPD officers, and two members of the Nation of Islam, led to a shootout that killed one of the men. When a group of Black Muslims came out of the building, the situation escalated involving 75 police. When the confrontation was over, mosque secretary Ronald Stokes was dead, and six other Muslims and seven policemen were injured. The two policemen claimed self-defense in the face of an attack[78] while the Muslims said that their secretary, Ronald Stokes, had been beaten and shot at close range, after which the officers fired into an unarmed crowd.[79] The incident, which heightened racial tensions in L.A., first brought Malcolm X to national attention, and led to a split between him and NOI leader Elijah Muhammad.[80]
  • Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, the General Secretary of Romania's Communist Party, announced that the implementation of collective farming nationwide had been successful, with the government fully controlling all agricultural production.[81]
  • Wake Forest University was made fully integrated, after trustees voted 17-9 to allow qualified undergraduates to be admitted regardless of race. A year earlier, the North Carolina college had dropped racial bars to admission to Wake's post-graduate schools, and for nighttime classes.[82]
  • The USAF Special Air Warfare Center was activated at Eglin Air Force Base near Valparaiso, Florida.[83]
  • The 3474 Linsley and 2334 Cuffey asteroids were discovered by Goethe Link Observatory at Brooklyn, Indiana, USA.
  • Died: A. K. Fazlul Huq, 88, Bengali statesman who had served as Governor of East Pakistan (now the nation of Bangladesh) from 1956–58, and Chief Minister of the Bengal state in British India (1937–43)

April 28, 1962 (Saturday)[edit]

  • Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Baker v. Carr, a federal court in Atlanta ruled that Georgia's county-unit system was unconstitutional. Since 1868, voting in primary elections was done in a system similar to that of the American electoral college, with each of Georgia's 159 counties having at least two "unit votes", and a provision that whichever candidate finished first in a county would receive that county's units. Eight counties had six units, and 30 had four units, so voters in rural and low populated counties had a greater share of representation in a statewide election.[84]
  • Norway's Parliament, the Storting, voted 113-37 in favor of Norway applying to join the European Economic Community. France would veto the application later in the year, but Norway would join the Common Market in 1972.[85]
  • Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist and Nazi Party member who had saved more than 1,200 Polish Jews from extermination by the Nezi government, was honored on his 54th birthday at the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem, and proclaimed as a ger toshav ("a righteous Gentile").[86]
  • Ipswich Town F.C. finished in first place in the English League, winning the league championship with a record of 24 wins, 8 draws and 10 losses. The team was in its first season in the soccer football league's First Division, having been promoted from Second Division play after its 1960–61 finish. It was the first time since 1889 that the major league championship was captured by a first year team. Dundee United F.C. won its first Scottish League title on the same day, with a record of 25-4-5.[87]
  • Jim Clark won the 1962 Aintree 200 motor race.
  • Died: Gianna Beretta Molla, 39, Italian pediatrician and mother who would be canonized as a Roman Catholic Saint in 2004.

April 29, 1962 (Sunday)[edit]

  • In one of the largest White House state dinners in modern times, the President and Mrs. Kennedy hosted 173 scientists, educators and writers, including 49 Nobel Prize laureates from the Western Hiemisphere. President Kennedy made the famous remark, "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge ever gathered at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."[88] Dr. Linus Pauling, winner of the 1954 prize in chemistry, picketed outside of the White House in an anti-nuclear demonstration earlier in the day, then went inside to join the President for dinner.[89] On greeting Dr. Pauling, Kennedy said, "I'm glad you decided to come inside."[88]
  • Dick Thompson won the President's Cup Race at Virginia International Raceway.

April 30, 1962 (Monday)[edit]

  • The pamphlet "Burmese Way to Socialism" (Myanma Hsoshelit Lanzin) was published and distributed throughout Burma, explaining the political philosophies of General Ne Win, who had overthrown the government on March 2.[90] Ne Win's Revolutionary Council would form the Burma Socialist Programme Party on July 4 to implement the his vision for transforming the nation by establishing "a socialist economy based on justice", and would be national dogma until he left office in 1988.[91]
  • NASA test pilot Joe Walker set a new altitude record for a fixed wing aircraft, flying an X-15 jet up to 246,700 feet (75,190 meters). Afterwards, Walker told reporters "there is no question that we can put a winged vehicle in orbit and land it".[92] On August 22, 1963, Walker would pass the 100 kilometer mark to reach outer space, though not orbit, in an airplane, attaining 107.955 km altitude.[93]
  • Died: Lester Volk, 77, child prodigy musician, physician, lawyer, journalist, and U.S. Congressman (R-N.Y.) 1920 to 1923)


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