1962 events in history

Jan 1 United States Navy SEALs established
Jan 1 Western Samoa achieves independence from New Zealand; its name is changed to the Independent State of Western Samoa
Jan 3 Pope John XXIII excommunicates Fidel Castro
Jan 8 The Harmelen train disaster killed 93 people in the Netherlands
Jan 10 Apollo program: NASA announces plans to build the C-5 rocket launch vehicle. It became better known as the Saturn V Moon rocket, which launched every Apollo Moon mission
Jan 11 An avalanche on Huascarán in Peru causes 4,000 deaths
Jan 11 Cold War: While tied to its pier in Polyarny, the Soviet submarine B-37 is destroyed when fire breaks out in its torpedo compartment
Jan 12 Vietnam War: Operation Chopper, the first American combat mission in the war, takes place
Jan 15 The Derveni papyrus, Europe's oldest surviving manuscript dating to 340 BC, is found in northern Greece
Jan 22 The Organization of American States suspends Cuba's membership
Jan 26 Ranger program: Ranger 3 is launched to study the moon. The space probe later misses the moon by 22,000 miles (35,400 km)
Feb 5 French President Charles de Gaulle calls for Algeria to be granted independence
Feb 7 The United States bans all Cuban imports and exports
Feb 8 Charonne massacre. Nine trade unionists are killed by French police at the instigation of Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon, then chief of the Paris Prefecture of Police
Feb 10 Roy Lichtenstein's first solo exhibition opened, and it included Look Mickey, which featured his first employment of Ben-Day dots, speech balloons and comic imagery sourcing, all of which he is now known for
Feb 10 Captured American U2 spy-plane pilot Gary Powers is exchanged for captured Soviet spy Rudolf Abel
Feb 14 First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy takes television viewers on a tour of the White House
Feb 16 Flooding in the coastal areas of West Germany kills 315 and destroys the homes of about 60,000 people
Feb 20 Mercury program: While aboard Friendship 7, John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the earth, making three orbits in 4 hours, 55 minutes
Feb 27 Two dissident Vietnam Air Force pilots bomb the Independence Palace in Saigon in a failed attempt to assassinate South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem
Mar 1 American Airlines Flight 1 crashes on take off in New York
Mar 2 Wilt Chamberlain sets the single-game scoring record in the National Basketball Association by scoring 100 points
Mar 2 In Burma, the army led by General Ne Win seizes power in a coup d'état
Mar 4 A Caledonian Airways Douglas DC-7 crashes shortly after takeoff from Cameroon, killing 111 – the worst crash of a DC-7
Mar 6 Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 begins on the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States
Mar 13 Lyman Lemnitzer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivers a proposal, called Operation Northwoods, regarding performing terrorist attacks upon Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. The proposal is scrapped and President John F. Kennedy removes Lemnitzer from his position
Mar 16 A Flying Tiger Line Super Constellation disappears in the western Pacific Ocean, with all 107 aboard missing and presumed dead
Mar 18 The Evian Accords end the Algerian War of Independence, which had begun in 1954
Mar 19 The Algerian War of Independence against the French ends
Mar 19 Highly influential artist, Bob Dylan releases his first album, Bob Dylan, on Columbia Records label
Mar 29 Arturo Frondizi, the president of Argentina, is overthrown in a military coup by Argentina's armed forces, ending an 11½ day constitutional crisis
Apr 2 The first official panda crossing is opened outside London Waterloo station
Apr 6 Leonard Bernstein causes controversy with his remarks from the podium during a New York Philharmonic concert featuring Glenn Gould performing Brahms' First Piano Concerto
Apr 16 Walter Cronkite takes over as the lead news anchor of the CBS Evening News, during which time he would become "the most trusted man in America"
Apr 21 The Seattle World's Fair (Century 21 Exposition) opens. It is the first World's Fair in the United States since World War II
Apr 26 NASA's Ranger 4 spacecraft crashes into the Moon
May 6 St. Martín de Porres is canonized by Pope John XXIII
May 10 Marvel Comics publishes the first issue of The Incredible Hulk
May 19 A birthday salute to U.S. President John F. Kennedy takes place at Madison Square Garden, New York City. The highlight is Marilyn Monroe's rendition of "Happy Birthday"
May 22 Continental Airlines Flight 11 crashes after bombs explode on board
May 24 Project Mercury: American astronaut Scott Carpenter orbits the Earth three times in the Aurora 7 space capsule
May 25 The Old Bay Line, the last overnight steamboat service in the United States, goes out of business
May 27 The Centralia mine fire is ignited in the town's landfill above a coal mine
May 31 Adolf Eichmann is hanged in Israel
May 31 The West Indies Federation dissolves
Jun 1 The Pilkington Committee on Broadcasting concludes, among other things, that the British public did not want commercial radio broadcasting
Jun 2 During the 1962 FIFA World Cup, police had to intervene multiple times in fights between Chilean and Italian players in one of the most violent games in football history
Jun 3 At Paris Orly Airport, an Air France Boeing 707 overruns the runway and explodes when the crew attempts to abort takeoff, killing 130
Jun 11 Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin allegedly become the only prisoners to escape from the prison on Alcatraz Island
Jun 14 The European Space Research Organisation is established in Paris – later becoming the European Space Agency