In his annual report to the NAACP, Executive Secretary Roy Wilkins praised U.S. President John F. Kennedy's "personal role" in advancing civil rights, but said that he was "sorely disappointed" by the President's failure to honor his promise to ban racial discrimination in federally assisted housing.
A spokesman for Pope John XXIII revealed that Cuban leader Fidel Castro and several other officials had received a decree of excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church in 1961 under two sections of canon law, for impeding bishops in their work and for violence against clergymen. In September, Cuban bishop Eduardo Boza Masvidal and 135 priests had been forced to leave Cuba.
Broadway producer David Merrick submitted a full-page advertisement to seven New York City newspapers, with the tagline "7 OUT OF 7 ARE ECSTATICALLY UNANIMOUS ABOUT SUBWAYS ARE FOR SLEEPING", his musical comedy that had opened on December 27 to poor reviews. The ad contained favorable quotes, citing the names of seven well-known theater critics. Merrick had found seven other men with the same names. Next to a photo of the other Howard Taubman was the line ("One of the few great musical comedies of the last thirty years...". The New York Herald-Tribune ran the ad in its first edition before an editor spotted the hoax and alerted the other newspapers.
The Transit Authority of New York City introduced a subway train that operated without a crew on board. The "zombie" train kept a motorman on board to deal with any problems.
Prison inmate Clarence Gideon sent a letter, written in pencil, to the United States Supreme Court, asking them to reverse his conviction for burglary on the grounds that he had not been given the right to an attorney. The Supreme Court granted certiorari and, on March 18, 1963, issued the landmark decision of Gideon v. Wainwright, holding that the Sixth Amendment guarantee, of the right to assistance of counsel, required the appointment of a lawyer for any person unable to afford one.
Three crew members were killed in the crash of USAFB-47E-105-BW Stratojet, 52-615, piloted by Major Clarence Weldon Garrett, at March AFB, California. This would be the last fatal crash at that base until 19 October 1978.
A bomb exploded at the Paris apartment building where controversial existentianalist author Jean-Paul Sartre lived. Sartre was not home at the time, and his mother was not injured, but the fire destroyed most of his unpublished manuscripts.
Soviet theoretical physicist Lev Landau, who would win the Nobel Prize later in the year, was seriously injured in an auto accident, leaving him in a coma for two months. Landau survived, but was never able to return to work, and died on April 3, 1968.
An assassination attempt against Indonesia's President Sukarno failed, but the hand grenades thrown at his automobile killed three bystanders and injured 28 others in Ujung Pandang (at that time, Makassar).
The first two teams of the United States Navy SEALs, were commissioned as the United States Navy's Sea, Air and Land teams, with an order backdated to January 1, in order to carry out President Kennedy's recommendation for the development of "unconventional warfare capability". SEAL Team One, based in Coronado, California served the Pacific Fleet and SEAL Team Two served the Atlantic Fleet out of Little Creek, Virginia. Each team consisted of 50 men and ten officers.
In a closed session at the Presidium, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev delivered what was later referred to as the "meniscus speech", using the analogy of a wineglass filled to the point that it could overflow at anytime. In the speech, which was not revealed until 40 years later, Khrushchev told the ministers that the U.S.S.R. was weaker militarily than the United States, and that the only way to compete against American superiority was to maintain the threat that world tensions could spill over. "Because if we don't have a meniscus," Khrushchev said, "we let the enemy live peacefully."
The Yugoslavian freighter Sabac was cut in two by the British steamer Dorington Court in a collision in the English Channel. Only eight of the 33 men on the Sabac survived.
January 10, 1962: McCormack elected new U.S. Speaker of the House
An avalanche on Mount Huascarán, the tallest peak in Peru killed 4,000 people. At 6:13 pm, melting ice triggered the slide of three million tons of ice, mud and rock down the side of Huascaran, quadrupled in size as it gathered mass, and, within eight minutes, buried the town of Ranrahirca (population 2,700) the village of Yanamachico, and three other villages totaling 800 residents. Ranrahirca, which had only 50 survivors, would be rebuilt, then destroyed again in an earthquake and an even larger avalanche on May 31, 1970.
Soviet submarine B-37, nine days away from being dispatched to Cuba, was moored at Polyarny, conducting maintenance and pressurizing of outdated gas-steam torpedoes. At 8:20 am, a fire in the torpedo compartment detonated all twelve torpedoes and instantly destroying the submarine. Captain Anatoly Begeba, who had been outside, inspecting the top of the sub, survived. The 78 men inside the sub drowned as it sank to the bottom of the Barents Sea.
Piloting the newest model of long-range bombers, the B-52H Stratofortress, crewmembers broke 11 non-stop distance and course-speed records, for its aircraft class and time, when they successfully completed a more than 21 hour non-refueled flight—flying approximately 12,500 miles across the globe.
Nelson Mandela secretly left South Africa for the first time, as he was driven across the border to Botswana. From there, he went to Ethiopia to speak at a conference in Addis Ababa. He would tour the continent for the next six months. Upon his return to South Africa on August 5, he would be arrested.
Born:Kim Coles, American actress, in Brooklyn, New York
Operation Chopper, the first American combat mission in Vietnam, began as the American pilots transported hundreds of South Vietnamese troops to fight against a Viet Cong force near Saigon. Three days later, President Kennedy told reporters at a press conference that American troops were not being used in combat.
American comedian Ernie Kovacs, 42, was killed in a car accident while driving on Santa Monica Boulevard. Kovacs and his wife, Edie Adams, were driving home separately from a baby shower in honor Mrs. Milton Berle. At 2:00 in the morning, his station wagon skidded and crashed into a utility pole. Kovacs suffered a fatal head injury and died at the scene.
First Lady Jackie Kennedy brought Charles Collingwood and a CBS News television crew into the White House for an unprecedented look at the American presidential residence. The tape of the visit was edited into the program "A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy", and shown on CBS and NBC on February 14.
The NFL Pro Bowl, described by some as one that "may have been the best in history", was won by the all-stars of the NFL Western Conference, 31-30, on the last play of the game, before a crowd of 57,409 in Los Angeles.
A Netherlands warship sank an Indonesian torpedo boat after it approached the disputed territory of West Irian, a Netherlands colony claimed by Indonesia.
After the United Kingdom sought to join the European Economic Community, the Meteorological Office first began using Celsius temperature values in its public weather information, following the Fahrenheit values. In October, the Celsius values were listed first, and by January 1, 1973, when the government entered the EEC and completed its conversion to the metric system, Fahrenheit numbers were only used occasionally.
The Derveni papyrus, written in about 340 BC, was discovered in a cist that had been buried at the site of the Greek city of Derveni, near Thessaloniki. The oldest surviving manuscript in Europe, the papyrus roll contained a commentary on philosophy and religion.
A 13-year-old boy testified before a Chicago juvenile court judge and confessed to setting the Our Lady of the Angels School fire that had killed 92 children and 3 nuns on December 1, 1958 in Chicago. The boy said that he had asked to be excused from class, then tossed lit matches into a cardboard waste barrel filled with paper. After an investigation, the court concluded that the evidence did not support the boy's confession, and no charges were ever filed.
A military coup in the Dominican Republic, led by General Pedro Rodriguez Echavarria, forced President Joaquín Balaguer to resign and to go into exile. Earlier in the day in Santo Domingo, soldiers fired into a crowd of people protesting against the new regime, killing 8 people and wounding many more. Balaguer had been the leader of a council of state with seven civilians, and had pledged to hold elections on February 27, 1963. The junta consisted of two former state council members, two civilians from the old Trujillo government, and three military officers, but had no presiding leader. The other council members were placed under house arrest.
Sutan Sjahrir, who had been the first Prime Minister of Indonesia (1945–47), was arrested on orders of the President he had served, Sukarno. He would remain incarcerated for three years, until Sukarno sent him into exile for reasons of health, and would die in 1966.
A Strategic Air CommandB-47E Stratojet of the 380th Bomb Wing, Plattsburgh AFB, New York, on low-altitude bombing run training mission, was reported overdue at 0700 hrs. After a four-day search, wreckage was spotted in the Adirondack High Peaks. The bomber had clipped the top of Wright Peak (16th tallest mountain in the Adirondacks, at 4580 feet) after veering 30 miles off course in inclement weather, high winds. The remains of Aircraft Commander 1st Lt. Rodney D. Bloomgren, of Jamestown, New York, copilot 1st Lt. Melvin Spencer, and navigator 1st Lt. Albert W. Kandetski were found after a search, but those of Airman First Class Kenneth R. Jensen KWF were never recovered. A memorial plaque was later erected on a rock near the summit by the 380th Bomb Wing.
The Jackson State Times, an afternoon daily newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi, published its last issue, leaving the city with the two dailies owned by Mississippi Publishers, the Daily News and the The Clarion-Ledger.
United States government workers were given the right of collective bargaining by President Kennedy, in Executive Order 10988.
Ten former game show contestants, all of whom had testified under oath that they had not been given answers in advance of their appearances, pleaded guilty to perjury. The most prominent was former Columbia University instructor Charles Van Doren, who had won $129,000 on the program Twenty One.
A furniture warehouse fire in the German city of Nuremberg killed twenty employees, including four who jumped from the fourth story of the building. Police arrested one of the survivors, a paper press operator who had worked in the basement and was believed to have accidentally caused the blaze by throwing a cigarette.
Two days after seizing power in the Dominican Republic, General Pedro Rodriguez Echavarria was overthrown in a counter-coup by his own officers, who then freed members of the former council of state who had been under house arrest. The council's first act of business was to accept Balaguer's resignation, with Rafael Filiberto Bonnelly as his successor.
In the lead-up to the opening of negotiations on Ireland's entry to the European Community, Irish Prime Minister Sean Lemass addressed the members of the other EC governments at their headquarters in Brussels.
KGB agents identified Colonel Oleg Penkovsky as the man who was secretly meeting British national Janet Chisholm in Moscow. The agents, who had been shadowing Mrs. Chisholm, had first seen the two together on December 30, and followed Penkovsky to his apartment. Surveillance determined that Colonel Penkovsky, a high clearance official with the Soviet military intelligence agency GRU, had been bringing home classified material relating to ballistic missiles, photographing it, and giving the film to the British intelligence agency MI-6. Penkovsky, whose information alerted the United States to the placement of nuclear missiles in Cuba, would be arrested on October 22, when the Cuban Missile Crisis began, and would be executed on May 16, 1963 for treason.
The play Prescription: Murder, by Richard Levinson and William Link, was first presented, with the premiere at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco. Character actor Thomas Mitchell portrayed a disheveled police detective named Lt. Columbo. When the play was made into a TV movie in 1968, Peter Falk portrayed the detective, and then in the title role of Columbo, one of the recurring segments of the NBC Mystery Movie. Columbo had been seen once before, on July 30, 1960, in the presentation "Enough Rope", part of The Chevy Mystery Show.
The Organization of American States (OAS) began its Eighth Meeting of Consultation of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in the course of which the United States agreed to resume aid to Haiti in return for its support of sanctions against Cuba. Haiti's participation was essential because the United States was a vote short of having the 2/3rds majority of the 21 member nations.
The Organisation Armée Secrète (OAS), opposed to the independence of Algeria, bombed the French Foreign Ministry, by placing a time bomb inside a truck that was going into the compound. A mailroom worker was killed, and three people were seriously injured by the shattering of hundreds of windows at the Quai d'Orsay. Gunmen from the OAS also kidnapped a member of Parliament, Dr. Paul Mainguy, who was rescued that afternoon by French police.
The Organization of American States (OAS) suspended Cuba's membership. Whilst technically still a member, the Cuban government was denied the rights of representation, attendance at meetings and
In his first year of eligibility, Jackie Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall Of Fame, receiving 124 of the 160 ballots cast and becoming the first African-American to be enshrined at Cooperstown. In addition to being the first black MLB player of the modern era, Robinson had also been a six time All-Star, the 1947 Rookie of the Year, and the 1949 MVP for the National League. Cleveland Indians pitcher Bob Feller, elected on the same day, was also inducted in his first year of eligibility. It was the first time since the original five selections (Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Honus Wagner and Christy Mathewson) that anyone had won 75% of the votes on their first try.
Singer Tony Bennett first recorded what would become his signature song, I Left My Heart in San Francisco.Ralph Sharon, who accompanied Bennett's songs on the piano, had been shown the song in 1959 by writers George Cory and Douglass Cross, then put it away in a dresser drawer. Sharon ran across it again when Bennett was invited to perform in San Francisco, and Bennett sang it in December. The song was released as the B-side of Once Upon a Time, and went on to sell two million copies and to win two Grammy Awards.
The East German government instituted conscription into its armed forces, which formerly had been filled by volunteers. Western sources speculated that the East Germans had waited until the completion of the Berlin Wall before announcing the draft.
Brian Epstein made a verbal contract with the four members of The Beatles, becoming their manager in return for receiving up to 25 percent of their gross earnings.
An attempt by the United States, to launch five satellites into orbit from the same rocket, failed when the final stage of the Thor-Able-Star rocket failed to provide sufficient thrust to break the pull of gravity. Falling into the Gulf of Mexico "well south of Cuba" were the 80 foot rocket and the satellites SR-4, Injun II, Lofti II, Secor and Surcal, worth $3,500,000 altogether.
Anandyn Amar, who had served twice as Prime Minister of Mongolia (1928–30 and 1936–39) and Chairman of the Presidium of State (1932–36) before becoming a victim of a purge by Joseph Stalin, was posthumously rehabilitated, more than 20 years after his execution by the Soviet Union on July 27, 1941.
The American space probe Ranger 3 was launched to from Cape Canaveral at 3:30 pm local time with the objective of duplicating the Soviet feat of landing a satellite on the Moon. Hours later, NASA announced that the Atlas rocket had hurled Ranger 3 into its trajectory too quickly, and that the probe would miss its target by 22,000 miles. Intersecting the Moon's orbit after 50 hours instead of the planned 66 hours, the spacecraft arrived too soon, got no closer than 22,862 miles from the Moon and went into orbit around the sun.
Seventeen employees at the National Steel Company in Volta Redonda, Brazil, were killed when a ladle of molten steel poured down upon them during the morning shift.
Died:Lucky Luciano, 64, Sicilian-born American mafioso who had been deported from the U.S. months earlier. Exiled in Italy, Luciano had just greeted film producer Martin Gosch, who had arrived at the Capodichino Airport in Naples to discuss plans for a film about Luciano's life. As the two men walked out of the terminal with policeman Marcelo Resta, Luciano, who had ordered the murder of more than 40 rival gangsters during his career, collapsed from a fatal heart attack at 5:25 pm. A deputy commissioner of the U.S. Narcotics Bureau told reporters later that day that Luciano had been facing re-arrest for his role in a major drug ring. The film, Lucky Luciano, was made eleven years later and released in 1974, with Italian actor Gian Maria Volontè portraying Luciano.
Died:Gerald Rudolff Ford, 71, stepfather of future U.S. President Gerald R. Ford, died of injuries after slipping on an ice sidewalk. In 1917, the elder Ford had married Ford's mother and then changed the name of her 3-year-old son, Leslie Lynch King, Jr. to his own, with the exception of spelling the middle name as Rudolph.
Died:Eunice Gray, 77, in a fire at the Waco Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas, which she had operated for 40 years. Theories abound that Gray was the same person as Etta Place, former girlfriend, last seen in 1907, of the Harry Longabaugh, the Sundance Kid.
The planned 7:30 am launch of Lt. Col. John H. Glenn, Jr. was postponed after the countdown clock stopped 20 minutes before liftoff. Glenn had been in the capsule since 5:10 am and was prepared to become the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth, while much of the nation watched live coverage. After technical difficulties halted the countdown, the skies became overcast with thick cloud cover, and the mission was scrubbed at 9:20 am.
Peter Snell set a new world record for the mile, running the distance in 3 minutes, 54.4 seconds, at Cook's Gardens, Wanganui. Herb Elliott of Australia had held the record since August 6, 1958.
At a major conference in Beijing, Liu Shaoqi, President of the People's Republic of China, criticized the "Great Leap Forward" economic policies of Party Chairman Mao Zedong. "People do not have enough food, clothes or other essentials... agricultural output has dropped tremendously," Liu told the assembly, adding "There is not only no Great Leap Forward, but a great deal of falling backward." Chairman Mao made a rare self-criticism three days later, and eventually took revenge on Liu, who disappeared in 1968 and reportedly died in 1969.
The last streetcar in Washington, D.C. ran for the final time at 2:00 am, as the transit company retired its 27 car fleet. The day before, free rides were offered for all children accompanied by a paying adult and thousands took advantage of the offer. By 1962, only ten American cities still had trolleys.
Johannes Relleke, a tin miner at Kamativi in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), survived 2,443 bee stings and earned a spot in the Guinness category "Most bee stings removed".
The Automobile Manufacturers Association of the U.S. announced that all 1963 model American vehicles would be equipped with amber-colored turn signals on the front, rather than being the same color as the headlights, which had been the standard since the signals had first been introduced in 1938. The change was made after the manufacturers had lobbied for the repeal of bans in 25 states against amber-colored lights.
Two of the high-wire "Flying Wallendas" were killed when their famous 7-person pyramid collapsed during a tightrope walking performance at the Shrine Circus at the State Fair Coliseum in Detroit. Dieter Schepp, who had lost his footing and caused the group to topple, and Richard Faughnan both died of head injuries after falling 36 feet to the concrete arena floor. Mario Wallenda was paralyzed as a result of the accident, and Karl Wallenda and Jana Schepp were hospitalized for their injuries.
Fourteen of the 21 member states of the Organization of American States voted to oust Cuba. Six other nations abstained, and Cuba voted against the resolution, which barely passed by a 2/3rds majority.
Tanganyika laughter epidemic: Three students at a girls' boarding school in the Tanzanian village of Kashasha began laughing, and other students reacted. Within six weeks, 95 of the school's 159 students were laughing uncontrollably, and on March 18, the school closed and sent the pupils back to their home villages. The mass reaction spread to the villages of Nshamba, Ramanshenye, and Kanyangereka and affected hundreds of people before halting in 1963.
Telling reporters that "It's a tradition that the show must go on," tightrope walkers Gunther Wallenda and his father, Herman Wallenda walked the high wire at the Shrine Circus in Detroit, 24 hours after the disastrous had killed two members of the troupe, and put the three others in the hospital.
Twenty-eight people had been killed by the fourth day of an unusually heavy fog in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys in central California, with the deaths of 11 people on their way to a labor camp in Mendota. Their bus was hit by a Southern Pacific freight train. Since January 28, seventeen other people had been killed on U.S. Highway 99 in accidents related to visibility of less than 100 feet. The cloud cover dissipated by February 2.
^David Lawrence, Tanzania: The Land, Its People and Contemporary Life (New Africa Press, 2009) p202
^"1962: Thousands killed in Peru landslide", BBC.co.uk, "On This Day"; "SLIDE DEATHS MAY TOP 3,000", Spokane Daily Chronicle, January 11, 1962, p1; Lee Davis, Natural Disasters (Infobase Publishing, 2008) p17; McKay Jenkins, The White Death: Tragedy and Heroism in an Avalanche Zone (Random House, 2000) p74
^"House Elects McCormack", Miami News, January 10, 1962, p1
^"Mine Rescuers Find 11 Bodies", Montreal Gazette, January 12, 1962, p2
^Ramsey Flynn, Cry from the Deep: The Sinking of the Kursk, the Submarine Disaster That Riveted the World and Put the New Russia to the Ultimate Test (HarperCollins, 2005) pp27-28
^Craig Glenday, ed., Guinness World Records 2009 (Random House, 2009) p68
^Zakai Shalom, The Superpowers, Israel and the Future of Jordan, 1960-1963: The Perils of the pro-Nasser Policy (Sussex Academic Press, 1999) p42
^"Signals Turn To Amber", Miami News, January 29, 1962, p9A
^"Horrified Crowd Sees 2 Aerialists Die In Fall", The Deseret News (Salt Lake City), January 31, 1962, p1
^"O.A.S. Votes To Oust Red Cuba- Slim Margin Supports Move By United States", Windsor (ON) Star, January 31, 1962, p1
^Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler, Connected: The Surprising Power of our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives (Hachette Digital, 2009); "Laughing Malady Puzzle in Africa", New York Times, August 8, 1963, p29
^"2 Wallendas Back On Top-- 2 Others Dead, 3 Injured, But Show Must Go On And Does", Miami News, February 1, 1962, p9A
^"California Smothered By Killer Fog- Visibility Is Zero at Times; 28 Die", Miami News, February 1, 1962, p11A