1959 1960 1961 - 1962 - 1963 1964 1965
1930s 1940s 1950s - 1960s - 1970s 1980s 1990s
Events of 1962
- January 1 - Western Samoa becomes independent from New Zealand.
- January 1 - The United States Navy SEALs are activated. SEAL Team One is commissioned in the Pacific Fleet and SEAL Team Two in the Atlantic Fleet.
- January 3 - Pope John XXIII excommunicates Fidel Castro.
- January 8 - Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa is exhibited in the United States for the first time, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C..
- January 8 - Harmelen train disaster: 93 die in the worst Dutch rail disaster.
- January 9 - Cuba and the Soviet Union sign a trade pact.
- January 10 - An avalanche on Nevado Huascarán in Peru causes 4,000 deaths.
- January 12 - The Indonesian Army confirms that it has begun operations in West Irian.
- January 13 - Albania allies itself with the People's Republic of China.
- January 15 - Portugal abandons the U.N. General Assembly due to the debate over Angola.
- January 16 - A military coup occurs in the Dominican Republic.
- January 19 - A counter-coup occurs in the Dominican Republic; the old government returns except for the new president Rafael Filiberto Bonnelly.
- January 22 - The Organization of American States suspends Cuba's membership.
- January 24 - The East German government readopts conscription.
- January 24 - The Organisation armée secrète (OAS) bombs the French Foreign Ministry.
- January 26 - Ranger 3 is launched to study the Moon; it later misses the Moon by 22,000 miles.
- January 27 - The Soviet government changes all place names honoring Molotov, Kaganovich and Georgi Malenkov.
- January 30 - Two of the high-wire "Flying Wallendas" are killed, when their famous 7-person pyramid collapses during a performance in Detroit, Michigan.
- February 3 - The United States embargo against Cuba is announced.
- February 4 - The Sunday Times becomes the first paper to print a colour supplement.
- February 5 - French President Charles de Gaulle calls for Algeria to be granted independence.
- February 6 - Negotiations between U.S. Steel and the United States Department of Commerce begin.
- February 7 - The United States Government bans all U.S.-related Cuban imports and exports.
- February 7 - A coal mine explosion in Saarland, West Germany kills 299.
- February 9 - The Taiwan Stock Exchange Corporation opens.
- February 10 - Captured American spy pilot Francis Gary Powers is exchanged for captured Soviet spy Rudolf Abel in Berlin.
- February 12 - Six members of the Committee of 100 of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament are found guilty of a breach of the Official Secrets Act.
- February 14 - First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy takes television viewers on a tour of the White House.
- February 15 - Urho Kekkonen is re-elected president of Finland.
- February 16 - Heavy storms flood Germany's North Sea coast, mainly around Hamburg; more than 300 people die, thousands lose their homes.
- February 20 - Project Mercury: While aboard Friendship 7, John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth, three times in 4 hours, 55 minutes.
- February 23 - Twelve European countries form the European Space Agency.
- March 1 - An American Airlines Boeing 707 crashes on takeoff at New York International Airport, after its rudder separates from the tail, with the loss of all life on board.
- March 2 - A military coup in Burma brings General Ne Win to power.
- March 8–12 - In Geneva, France and the Algerian FLN begin negotiations.
- March 15 - Katangan Prime Minister Moise Tshombe begins negotiations to rejoin the Congo.
- March 18 - Évian Accords: France and Algeria sign an agreement in Évian-les-Bains ending the Algerian War.
- March 19 - An armistice begins in Algeria; however, the OAS continues its terrorist attacks against Algerians.
- March 23 - The Scandinavian States of the Nordic Council sign the Helsinki Convention on Nordic Co-operation.
- March 24 - OAS leader Edmond Jouahud is arrested in Oran.
- March 26 - France shortens the term for military service from 26 months to 18.
- April 3 - Jawaharlal Nehru is elected de facto Prime Minister of India.
- April 6 - Belgium reestablishes diplomatic relations with the Congo.
- April 10 - In Los Angeles, California, the first MLB game is played at Dodger Stadium.
- April 13 - OAS leader Edmond Jouhaud is sentenced to death in France.
- April 14 - A Cuban military tribunal convicts 1,179 Bay of Pigs attackers.
- April 18 - The Commonwealth Immigration Bill in the United Kingdom removes free immigration from the citizens of member states of the Commonwealth of Nations.
- April 20 - OAS leader Raoul Salan is arrested in Algiers.
- April 21 - The Century 21 Exposition World's Fair opens in Seattle, Washington.
- April 26 - The Ranger 4 spacecraft crashes into the Moon.
- May 2 - An OAS bomb explodes in Algeria - this and other attacks kill 110 and injure 147.
- May 3 - 160 die in a triple-train disaster near Tokyo.
- May 5 - Twelve East Germans escape via a tunnel under the Berlin Wall.
- May 6 - Antonio Segni is elected President of the Italian Republic.
- May 14 - Milovan Djilas, former vice-president of Yugoslavia, is given further sentence for publishing Conversations with Stalin.
- May 23 - Drilling for the new Montreal subway commences.
- May 23 - Raoul Salan, founder of the French terrorist Organisation armée secrète, is sentenced to life imprisonment in France.
- May 24 - Project Mercury: Scott Carpenter orbits the Earth 3 times in the Aurora 7 space capsule.
- May 25 - The new Coventry Cathedral is consecrated in London.
- May 29 - Negotiations between the OAS and the FLA lead to a real armistice in Algeria.
- June 1 - Adolf Eichmann is hanged in Israel.
- June 3 - Air France charter flight Chateau de Sully, a Boeing 707, over-runs the runway at Orly Airport in Paris; 130 of 132 passengers are killed, 2 flight attendants survive. Most victims are cultural and civic leaders of Atlanta, Georgia.
- June 6 - President John F. Kennedy gives the commencement address at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
- June 11 - President John F. Kennedy gives the commencement address at Yale University.
- June 11 - Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin become the only apparently successful escapees from the Alcatraz Island prison. There is no conclusive evidence that they survived the attempt.
- June 15 - Students for a Democratic Society complete the Port Huron Statement.
- June 17 - The OAS signs a truce with the FLN in Algeria, but a day later announces that it will continue the fight on behalf of French Algerians.
- June 22 - An Air France Boeing 707 jet crashes into terrain during bad weather in Guadeloupe, West Indies, killing all 113 on board. It is the airline's second fatal accident in just 3 weeks, and the third fatal 707 crash of the year.
- June 25 - Engel v. Vitale: The United States Supreme Court rules that mandatory prayers in public schools are unconstitutional.
- June 26 - A 2-day steel strike begins in Italy, in support of increased wages and a 5-day working week.
- June 28 - The United Lutheran Church in America, Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, American Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church merge to form the Lutheran Church in America.
- June 30 - The last soldiers of the French Foreign Legion leave Algeria.
- July 1 - Rwanda and Burundi gain independence.
- July 1 - Supporters of Algerian independence win 99% majority in a referendum.
- July 1 - A heavy smog develops over London.
- July 2 - Charles de Gaulle accepts Algerian independence; France recognizes it the next day.
- July 2 - The first Wal-Mart store opens for business in Rogers, Arkansas.
- July 5 - Algeria becomes independent from France.
- July 10 - AT&T's Telstar, the world's first commercial communications satellite, is launched into orbit, and activated the next day.
- July 17 - Nuclear testing: The "Small Boy" test shot Little Feller I becomes the last atmospheric test detonation at the Nevada Test Site.
- July 20 - France and Tunisia reestablish diplomatic relations.
- July 22 - Mariner program: The Mariner 1 spacecraft flies erratically several minutes after launch and has to be destroyed.
- July 23 - Telstar relays the first live trans-Atlantic television signal.
- July 25 - Puerto Rico becomes a commonwealth of the United States of America.
- July 28 - A locust swarm threatens New Delhi.
- July 31 - Algeria proclaims independence; Ahmed Ben Bella is the first President.
- July 31 - A crowd assaults the rally of Sir Oswald Mosley's right-wing Union Movement in London.
- August 5 - The South African government arrests Nelson Mandela in Howick, and charges him with incitement to rebellion.
- August 6 - Jamaica becomes independent.
- August 15 - The Netherlands acknowledge that Irian Jaya is part of Indonesia.
- August 16 - Algeria joins the Arab League.
- August 17 - East German border guards kill 18-year-old Peter Fechter, as he attempts to cross the Berlin Wall into West Berlin.
- August 22 - A failed assassination attempt is made against French President Charles De Gaulle.
- August 24 - A group of armed Cuban exile terrorists fire at a hotel in Havana from a speedboat.
- August 27 - NASA launches the Mariner 2 space probe.
- August 31 - Trinidad and Tobago becomes independent.
- September 1 - A referendum in Singapore supports the Malayan Federation.
- September 1 - Typhoon Wanda strikes Hong Kong, killing at least 130 and wounding more than 600.
- September 2 - The Soviet Union agrees to send arms to Cuba.
- September 8 - Newly independent Algeria, by referendum, adopts a constitution.
- September 12 - President John F. Kennedy, at a speech at Rice University, reaffirms that the U.S. will put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
- September 21 - A border conflict between China and India erupts into fighting.
- September 26 - Civil war erupts in Yemen.
- September 27 - A flash flood in Barcelona, Spain, kills more than 440.
- September 27 - Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring is released, giving rise to the modern environmentalist movement.
- September 28 - Prime Minister Ahmed Ben Bella founds the first government in Algeria.
- September 29 - The Canadian Alouette 1, the first satellite built outside the United States and the Soviet Union, is launched from Vandenberg AFB in California.
- October 1 - The first black student, James Meredith, registers at the University of Mississippi, escorted by Federal Marshals.
- October 5 - The French National Assembly censures the proposed referendum to sanction presidential elections by popular mandate; Prime Minister Georges Pompidou resigns, but President de Gaulle asks him to stay in office.
- October 8 - Algeria is accepted into the United Nations.
- October 9 - Uganda becomes independent within the Commonwealth of Nations.
- October 10 - The Sino-Indian War, a border dispute involving two of the world's largest nations (India and the People's Republic of China), begins.
- October 11 - Second Vatican Council: Pope John XXIII convenes the first ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church in 92 years.
- October 12 - The infamous Columbus Day Storm strikes the U.S. Pacific Northwest with wind gusts up to 170 mph (270km/h); 46 are killed, 11 billion board feet (26 million m³) of timber is blown down, with $230 million U.S. in damages.
- October 14 - Cuban Missile Crisis begins: A U-2 flight over Cuba takes photos of Soviet nuclear weapons being installed. A stand-off then ensues the next day between the United States and the Soviet Union, threatening the world with nuclear war.
- October 22 - In a televised address, U.S. President John F. Kennedy announces to the nation the existence of Soviet missiles in Cuba.
- October 26 - Spiegel scandal: German police occupy Der Spiegel offices in Hamburg.
- October 28 - Cuban Missile Crisis: Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev announces that he has ordered the removal of Soviet missile bases in Cuba.
- October 28 - A referendum in France favours the election of the president by universal suffrage.
- October 31 - The UN General Assembly asks the United Kingdom to suspend enforcement of the new constitution in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), but the constitution comes into effect on November 1.
- November 1 - The Soviets begin dismantling their missiles in Cuba.
- November 3 - The term "personal computer" is first mentioned by the media.
- November 5 - Franz Josef Strauß, the West German defence minister, is relieved of his duties over the Spiegel scandal, due to his alleged involvement in police action against the magazine.
- November 5 - Saudi Arabia breaks off diplomatic relations with Egypt, following a period of unrest partly caused by the defection of several Saudi princes to Egypt.
- November 5 - A coal mining disaster in Ny-Ålesund kills 21 people. The Norwegian government is forced to resign in the aftermath of this accident in August, 1963.
- November 6 - Apartheid: The United Nations General Assembly passes a resolution condemning South Africa's racist apartheid policies, and calls for all UN member states to cease military and economic relations with the nation.
- November 7 - Richard M. Nixon loses the California governor's race. In his concession speech, he states that this is his "last press conference" and that "you won't have Dick Nixon to kick around any more".
- November 17 - In Washington, D.C., U.S. President John F. Kennedy dedicates Dulles International Airport.
- November 20 - The Cuban Missile Crisis ends: In response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, U.S. President John F. Kennedy ends the quarantine of the Caribbean nation.
- November 23 - United Airlines Flight 297 crashes, killing all 17 on board.
- November 26 - Spiegel scandal: German police end their occupation of Der Spiegel's offices.
- November 27 - French President Charles De Gaulle orders Georges Pompidou to form a government.
- November 29 - An agreement is signed between Britain and France to develop the Concorde supersonic airliner.
- November 30 - The United Nations General Assembly elects U Thant of Burma as the new UN Secretary-General.
- December 2 - Vietnam War: After a trip to Vietnam at the request of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield becomes the first American official not to make an optimistic public comment on the war's progress.
- December 7 - Rainier III, Prince of Monaco revises the principality's constitution, devolving some of his formerly autocratic power to several advisory and legislative councils.
- December 8 - The first period of the Second Vatican Council closes.
- December 8 - The North Kalimantan National Army revolts in Brunei, in the first stirrings of the Indonesian Confrontation.
- December 9 - Tanganyika (now Tanzania) becomes a republic within the Commonwealth, with Julius Nyerere as president.
- December 11 - In West Germany, a coalition government of Christian Democrats, Christian Socialists, and Free Democrats is formed.
- December 14 - U.S. spacecraft Mariner 2 flies by Venus, becoming the first probe to successfully transmit data from another planet.
- December 19 - Britain acknowledges the right of Nyasaland (now Malawi) to secede from the Central African Federation.
- December 19 - The last foreign-occupied territory of India, Daman and Diu, is integrated into India.
- December 22 - "Big Freeze" in Britain: There are no frost-free nights until March 5, 1963.
- December 24 - Cuba releases the last 1,113 participants in the Bay of Pigs Invasion to the U.S., in exchange for food worth $53 million.
- December 30 - United Nations troops occupy the last rebel positions in Katanga; Moise Tshombe moves to South Rhodesia.
- March 18 - George Sylvester Viereck, propagandist and defendant in the Great Sedition Trial of 1944 (b. 1884)
- June 1 - Adolf Eichmann, German officer (b. 1906)
- November 20 - Merwin K. Hart, American nationalist (b. 1881)