August 1962

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The following events occurred in August 1962:

August 5, 1962: Nelson Mandela begins 27 years incarceration
August 6, 1962: Jamaica independent
August 4, 1962: Marilyn Monroe takes fatal overdose
August 31, 1962: Trinidad & Tobago independent

August 1, 1962 (Wednesday)[edit]

August 2, 1962 (Thursday)[edit]

August 3, 1962 (Friday)[edit]

  • "Tusko", a 14-year-old male Indian elephant at the Oklahoma City Zoo, was injected with 270 mg of the hallucinogen LSD in an experiment by researchers at the University of Oklahoma to simulate musth, the periodic condition of aggressive behavior and rage by male elephants. Tusko collapsed five minutes after the injection and died less than two hours later.[7]
  • President John F. Kennedy made the decision to break ties with singer Frank Sinatra after his brother, U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, delivered him a report detailing Sinatra's connections with organized crime. Sinatra, reportedly, was so enraged by the President's decision to no longer visit the singer's home in Palm Springs, California, that he took a sledgehammer and personally destroyed a landing pad built to accommodate visits by the presidential helicopter, Marine One.[8]
  • The Urdu film Aulaad, Waheed Murad's directorial debut, was released in Pakistan.
  • Died: Dean Cromwell, 82, American athletics coach, nicknamed "Maker of Champions", who coached the USC Trojans track team to 12 national championships, including nine consecutive tites from 1935 to 1943.

August 4, 1962 (Saturday)[edit]

August 5, 1962 (Sunday)[edit]

  • Nelson Mandela was arrested in South Africa, and lost his freedom for more than 27 years. After having returned home from a tour that he had made of African nations, Mandela was being driven by Cecil Williams to Johannesburg. Their car was near the village of Cedara, outside of Howick, when a Sergeant Vorster recognized both men and pulled them over. Mandela, who identified himself as David Motsamayi, was taken to Pietermaritzburg. While serving part of a five-year sentence for illegally leaving the country, he was tried and convicted on new charges in 1963 for sabotage and given a life sentence. He would not be released until February 11, 1990. In 1994, Mandela would be elected the first black President of South Africa.[10]
3C 273

August 6, 1962 (Monday)[edit]

  • Jamaica became independent. Princess Margaret of the United Kingdom and U.S Vice-President Lyndon Johnson were among the dignitaries who watched the lowering of the British flag in Kingston.[15]
  • Born: Stefan Sagmeister, Austrian-born graphic designer, in Bregenz
  • Died: Ángel Borlenghi, 58, Argentine labour leader and politician, Interior Minister and enforcer for dictator Juan Perón 1946-55

August 7, 1962 (Tuesday)[edit]

Dr. Kelsey and President Kennedy

August 8, 1962 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • Elizabeth "Ma" Duncan, 58, became the last woman to be executed in the United States prior to the restoration of the death penalty in 1977 being put to death in the gas chamber at California's San Quentin State Prison on the same day as the two men whom she had hired to murder her pregnant daughter-in-law. On November 17, 1958, Mrs. Olga Kupczyk Duncan and her unborn daughter had been beaten to death by Augustine Baldonado and Luis Moya, to whom Elizabeth had promised $8,000 which was never paid. Duncan, Baldonado and Moya[20]
  • The 3rd Nippon Jamboree came to an end in Gotenba, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.
  • Born: Charmaine Crooks, Canadian athlete, in Mandeville, Jamaica
  • Died: Don Davis, 28, of injuries sustained in a sprint car race three days earlier at New Bremen, Ohio. Less than three months earlier, Davis had finished in 4th place in the 1962 Indianapolis 500.

August 9, 1962 (Thursday)[edit]

August 10, 1962 (Friday)[edit]

  • The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library was dedicated and opened to the public in West Branch, Iowa. Hoover, who had served as the 31st President of the United States (1929-1933) was present and was celebrating his 88th birthday.[22]
  • Cuban Missile Crisis: CIA Director John McCone provided his first memorandum to U.S. President Kennedy, describing an increase of Soviet shipments to Cuba, and his speculation that the Soviet Union was placing offensive missiles in the Caribbean island nation, and gave three more warnings that month.[23]
  • The Bell 533 research helicopter made its first flight, at Bell's Fort Worth, Texas headquarters.[24]
  • Died:

August 11, 1962 (Saturday)[edit]

  • Andriyan Nikolayev became the third Soviet cosmonaut, and the fifth man into space, when Vostok 3 was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome.[25] Although the Soviets kept with the practice of not announcing the launch until after it had happened, live video of a Soviet cosmonaut in orbit was broadcast for the first time.[26]
  • Pyotr Bolotnikov of the Soviet Union broke his own world record for the 10,000 metres, in Moscow.
  • Harry Wexler, an American meteorologist who had been researching the link between depletion of stratospheric ozone and aerosol propellants, died of a heart attack while on vacation. Wexler had accepted an invitation to deliver a lecture entitled "The Climate of Earth and Its Modifications" at the University of Maryland Space Research and Technology Institute. Another twelve years would pass before the first papers about the effect of chlorofluorocarbon on the ozone layer were published. "Had Wexler lived to publish his ideas", an author would comment later, "they would certainly have been noticed and could have led to a different outcome and perhaps an earlier coordinated response to the issue of stratospheric ozone depletion."[27]

August 12, 1962 (Sunday)[edit]

  • Vostok 4 was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, with cosmonaut Pavel Popovich on board, marking the first time that two manned spacecraft were in orbit at the same time. The two Vostok capsules came within 6.5 km (4.0 mi) of one another and ship-to-ship radio contact was established.[28][29] Arthur C. Clarke would write later that the double launch "stunned the world", because the Soviet Union accomplishment "required synchronization of Herculean proportions at the launch site", with the second launch "at exactly the right moment to ensure the near-perfect rendezvous... only their fourth manned space flight," something well-beyond the American space program at the time.[26]

August 13, 1962 (Monday)[edit]

  • Renato Daguin and Giovanni Ottin made the first complete ascent of the west face of the Matterhorn.[30] This was the last face to have been completely ascended.
  • On the first anniversary of the creation of the Berlin Wall, three minutes of silence were supposed to be observed at noon in West Berlin. Instead, angry crowds began hurling stones across the border at police in East Berlin, who responded by firing a water cannon across the Wall and into the crowd. After more stones were thrown by the Western protesters, tear gas grenades were fired from East Berlin, after which West Berlin riot police sent their own tear gas across the border. The clash ended after an hour, and there were no serious injuries.[31]
  • A thief started a fire at Mangurian Furniture in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that completely destroyed the building and caused over $315,000 in damage, and resulted in more stringent fire codes to be implemented in the city.[32]
  • Finnish actor Elis Sella married actress Seela Sella Virtanen.
  • The Bob James trio recorded their album, Bold Conceptions.
  • Jean Marie Bertrand became Administrator Superior of Wallis and Futuna.
  • Born:
  • Died: Mabel Dodge Luhan, 83, American patron of the arts

August 14, 1962 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • In the Plymouth Mail Robbery, robbers armed with submachineguns held up a U.S. Mail truck near Plymouth, Massachusetts and heisted its $1,500,000 cargo that had been en route to the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston. The truck was flagged down by a man dressed as a police officer, and two cars pulled out from side roads.[33] The caper was financed by mobster Gennaro "Jerry" Angiulo and carried out under the direction of John "Red" Kelley. Kelley would later arrange for the murder of six of the participants in the plot, would later avoid prison by becoming a witness against his fellow criminals, and, after being relocated by the federal witness protection program, would eventually die of natural causes.[34]
  • For only the fifth time in its history, and for the first time in 35 years, the U.S. Senate invoked cloture, the ending of a filibuster against the Communications Satellite Act of 1962. The vote was 63-27 in favor of ending debate, three more than the 2/3rds necessary.[35] When it came up for a vote, the bill, establishing COMSAT, passed the Senate 66-11 and the House, 371-10, and was signed into law on August 31.[36]
  • Born: Ikililou Dhoinine, President of the Comoros since 2011, in Djoièzi
  • Died: Rudi Arnstadt, 35, East German border guard captain, was shot by Hans Plüschke, a 23-year-old West German border guard. Plüschke claimed to be returning fire after his patrol was shot at.[37]

August 15, 1962 (Wednesday)[edit]

August 16, 1962 (Thursday)[edit]

August 17, 1962 (Friday)[edit]

  • Peter Fechter, 18, was killed by East German border guards as he attempted to cross the Berlin Wall into West Berlin. Fechter's death has been described as "the most notorious incident of all"[49] in the 27-year history of the Wall, because Fechter slowly bled to death from his bullet wounds, in front of newspaper photographers and hundreds of spectators who were unable to assist him, and East German guards who refused to approach him until he died an hour later. In 1996, indictments would be returned against the two former guards, Rolf Friedrich and Erich Schreiber, who had shot Fechter.[50] They would be convicted of manslaughter on March 5, 1997 and placed on probation.
  • Television was first broadcast in Indonesia, at the time a nation of 97,000,000 people, as Jakarta station TVRI began broadcasting on Channel 5, coming directly from the Presidential Palace on the Indonesian independence day.[51] Regular broadcasting began on August 24, with transmission of the Asian Games.
  • Foy D. Kohler was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the new United States ambassador to the Soviet Union.[52]
  • The British Royal Navy frigate HMS Penelope was launched at Vickers-Armstrongs (Shipbuilders) Ltd, Newcastle. Almost twenty years later, the ship would be involved in the Falklands War.

August 18, 1962 (Saturday)[edit]

  • Denied the right to an abortion in her home state of Arizona and anywhere else in the United States, Sherri Finkbine received the procedure in Stockholm.[53] Mrs. Finkbine, host of a children's TV show in Phoenix, had been seeking to terminate her pregnancy since late July after learning that a medicine she had taken was thalidomide, which was found to cause severe birth defects, and her search for a legal abortion began the first nationwide debate in the U.S. over the pro-life and pro-choice movements.
  • Seventeen children from the Blessed Hope Missionary Baptist Church of Quincy, Florida, ranging in age from 5 to 14 years old, drowned along with their Sunday school teacher, when their boat capsized in Lake Talquin. Seven of the children were from the same family.[54]
  • Ringo Starr made his first appearance as a full member of the Beatles, at a Horticultural Society dance at Port Sunlight.[55]
  • The 1962 European Aquatics Championships opened in Leipzig.
  • An experiment in publishing a "worldwide newspaper" by satellite was conducted from New York City, as seven newspaper pages were photographed, reduced in size, transmitted to the orbiting Telstar satellite, and then received at ground stations on various continents.[56]
  • Born: Felipe Calderón, President of Mexico since 2006, in Morelia, Michoacán state

August 19, 1962 (Sunday)[edit]

August 20, 1962 (Monday)[edit]

  • Fifteen people were killed in the crash of a Panair do Brasil DC-8 airliner, after it skidded off the runway while attempting to take off on Flight 121 from Rio de Janeiro to Lisbon. Another 90 were rescued, or escaped, from the flaming airliner.[58]

August 21, 1962 (Tuesday)[edit]

August 22, 1962 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • An assassination attempt against French President Charles De Gaulle failed, as he, his wife, and son-in-law were near Petit Clamart, being driven in his Citroën DS from Paris to the Villacoublay Airfield. A team of 12 OAS gunmen, led by former French Air Force Lt.Col. Jean Bastien-Thiry, attacked the limousine. The rear window and two tires of De Gaulle's car were shot out, and the President was struck by shattered glass, as ambushers fired more than 120 bullets at the automobile, but, miraculously, nobody was injured.[63] Bastien-Thiry would be arrested on September 17, and executed by firing squad on March 11, 1963.[64]

August 23, 1962 (Thursday)[edit]

  • John Lennon secretly married Cynthia Powell at Mount Pleasant Register office in Liverpool.[65] Lennon's fellow Beatles, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, attended the ceremony, and their manager Brian Epstein was best man.
  • The National Reconnaissance Office of the United States made its first successful launch of a weather satellite intended to determine cloud cover in advance of a pass by spy satellites and spy planes.[66]
  • Soviet writer Valery Tarsis was punished for his anti-government novel, The Bluebottle Fly, by being forcibly committed to the Kuschenko Psychiatric Hospital with a diagnosis of "expansive paranoia". He would not be released for six months, and would later describe the experience in his novel Ward 7.[67]
  • Mohammad Ichsan and Abdul Wahab Surjoadiningrat were appointed to the Third Working Cabinet of President Sukarno in Indonesia.
  • Died: Hoot Gibson, 70, American western actor

August 24, 1962 (Friday)[edit]

  • In the most dramatic attack on Cuba since the Bay of Pigs Invasion the year before, a suburb of Havana was shelled from speedboats operated by the Cuban exile terrorist group Directorio Estudiantile. Operating from a 31-foot boat, the attackers, led by Manuel Salvat fired 60 artillery shells at buildings in Miramar, an upscale section of the Havana suburb of Playa. Nine rooms of the Icar Hostel, formerly the Hotel Rosita de Hornedo, were damaged, and 20 people were injured. The boat departed after seven minutes.[68]
  • The 1962 Asian Games opened in Jakarta, Indonesia.

August 25, 1962 (Saturday)[edit]

  • Venera 2MV-1 No.1, also called Sputnik 19, was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome,[69] with the aim of being the first craft to land on Venus. However, it never succeeded in leaving low Earth orbit and re-entered the atmosphere three days later.[70] At the time, Soviet policy was to never announce a space mission until after it was launched, and never to announce a failed launch.[71]
  • Born:

August 26, 1962 (Sunday)[edit]

August 27, 1962 (Monday)[edit]

August 27, 1962: U.S. launches Mariner 2 to Venus
  • NASA launched the Mariner 2 space probe toward Venus, with liftoff from Florida at 1:58 am local time.[74] As the first successful mission to another planet, Mariner 2 would reach the second planet on December 14, 1962, gathering data for 42 minutes and approaching within 21,600 miles (34,752 km).[75] The launch came a month after the failed American launch of Mariner 1 to Venus, and three days after the Soviet launch of Sputnik 19 to Venus.
  • The proposed Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, outlawing the poll tax, was submitted to the states for ratification. The House of Representatives voted 295-86 to approve the resolution, which had passed the U.S. Senate 77-16 on March 27.[76] By 1962, only two American states (Alabama and Mississippi) still used the poll tax to deter African-Americans from voting, and only three others (Arkansas, Texas and Virginia) had a poll tax law.[77] The Amendment would be ratified on January 23, 1964, when South Dakota would become the 38th of 50 states to approve it.[78]
  • At a meeting in Guangzhou between China's Prime Minister Zhou Enlai and North Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Van Dong, the People's Republic committed to supplying the Viet Cong, at China's expense, "with enough weapons to arm 230 infantry battalions".[79]
  • Born: Sjón (Sigurjón Birgir Sigurðsson), Icelandic novelist, poet and lyricist, in Reykjavík

August 28, 1962 (Tuesday)[edit]

August 29, 1962 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • Photographs by an American U-2 spyplane over Cuba first revealed the presence there of Soviet SA-2 missiles, for anti-aircraft defense. Offensive, nuclear-armed missiles would not be discovered in Cuba until later flights, precipitating the Cuban Missile Crisis. [81]
  • FC Nuremberg defeated Fortuna Düsseldorf, 2-1, in the final of the 1961–62 DFB-Pokal, the postseason tournament of the 16 highest finishing West German clubs.[82]

August 30, 1962 (Thursday)[edit]

  • An American U-2 spyplane, flying from Japan, accidentally drifted over the Soviet Union's Sakhalin Island, the only known incursion after the 1960 U-2 incident. The U.S. State Department formally apologized to the Soviet Union following a protest.[83]
  • The Supremes recorded their fourth single, "Let Me Go the Right Way", at Studio A of "Hitsville U.S.A.", the Motown Records recording studios at 2648 West Grand Boulevard in Detroit.[84]
  • Born: Alexander Litvinenko, Russian defector who was murdered by polonium-210 radiation poisoning in 2006 after publishing two books critical of the regime of Vladimir Putin; in Voronezh
  • Died:
    • Aaslaug Aasland, 72, Norwegian politician
    • Al Tomaini, 50, retired American circus performer billed as "The Tallest Man in the World" and verified as being 8 feet, 4 1/2 inches tall in 1931), died in Gibsonton, Florida, of complications after the removal of a pituitary gland tumor a few weeks earlier. [85]

August 31, 1962 (Friday)[edit]

  • Trinidad and Tobago, consisting of the two southernmost islands of the West Indies, became independent after 165 years as a British colony. As midnight approached in Port of Spain on August 30, the British flag was slowly lowered as the Royal Marine Band played Taps, and after a moment of silence, the new nation's red, white and black flag was quickly run up the flagpole as the National Guard and police bands played the new national anthem, Forged from the Love of Liberty. Eric Williams served as the nation's first Prime Minister, while former governor Solomon Hochoy became Governor-General.[86]


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