This article is about the year 1962.
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1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (dominical letter G) of the Gregorian calendar, the 1962nd year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 962nd year of the 2nd millennium, the 62nd year of the 20th century, and the 3rd year of the 1960s decade.
- July 1
- Rwanda and Burundi gain independence.
- Algerian independence referendum, 1962: Supporters of Algerian independence win 99% majority in a referendum.
- A heavy smog develops over London.
- Helsinki Convention on Nordic Co-operation of March 23 comes into force in the Nordic countries.
- July 2
- Charles de Gaulle accepts Algerian independence; France recognizes it the next day.
- The first Walmart store, at this time known as Wal-Mart (which remains the corporate name), opens for business in Rogers, Arkansas.
- July 5 – Algeria becomes independent from France.
- July 6 – Gay Byrne presents the first edition of The Late Late Show on RTÉ in the Republic of Ireland. Byrne goes on to present the show for 37 years, the longest period through which any individual hosts a televised talk show anywhere in the world, and the show itself becomes the world's second longest-running talk show.
- July 9 – American artist Andy Warhol premieres his Campbell's Soup Cans exhibit in Los Angeles.
- July 10 – AT&T's Telstar, the world's first commercial communications satellite, is launched into orbit and activated the next day.
- July 12 – The Rolling Stones make their debut at London's Marquee Club, Number 165 Oxford Street, opening for Long John Baldry.
- July 13 – In what the press dubs "the Night of the Long Knives", United Kingdom Prime Minister Harold Macmillan dismisses one-third of his Cabinet.
- July 14 – Norma Nolan of Argentina will crown Miss Universe 1962.
- July 17 – Nuclear testing: The "Small Boy" test shot Little Feller I became the last atmospheric test detonation at the Nevada Test Site.
- July 19 – The first annual Swiss & Wielder Hoop and Stick Tournament is held.
- 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 relayed the first live trans-Atlantic television signal.
- July 25
- July 31
- September 1
- A referendum in Singapore supports the Malayan Federation.
- Typhoon Wanda strikes Hong Kong, killing at least 130 and injuring 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 19 – Atlantic College opens its doors for the first time in Wales, marking the birth of the pioneering United World College educational movement.
- September 21 – A border conflict between China and India erupts into fighting.
- September 22 – 21-year-old Bob Dylan premieres one of his most preeminent songs, "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall", in the U.S.
- September 23 – The animated sitcom The Jetsons premieres on ABC in the U.S.
- September 25 – Sonny Liston knocks out Floyd Patterson two minutes into the first round of his fight for the boxing world title in Chicago.
- September 26 – North Yemen Civil War erupts.
- September 27 – A flash flood in Barcelona, Spain, kills more than 440 people.
- September 29 – The Canadian Alouette 1, the first satellite built outside the United States and the Soviet Union, is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
- September 30 – CBS broadcasts the final episodes of Suspense and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, marking the end of the Golden Age of Radio in the United States.
: Pictures of Soviet missile silos in Cuba, taken by US spy planes
- October 1
- October 3 – Project Mercury: Mercury-Atlas 8 – Walter Schirra orbits the Earth six times in the Sigma 7 space capsule.
- October 5
- October 8
- October 9 – Uganda becomes independent within the Commonwealth of Nations.
- October 10 – The beginning of Sino-Indian War, a border dispute involving two of the world's largest nations (India and the People's Republic of China).
- 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 (270 km/h); 46 are killed, 11 billion board feet (26 million m³) of timber is blown down, with $230 million U.S. in damages.
- Jazz bassist/composer Charles Mingus invites the public to a live recording session at The Town Hall (New York City), but the public is expecting a formal concert. Along with technical problems the event is the worst moment of his career.
- October 13 – Broadway debut of Edward Albee's drama Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.
- October 14 – The beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis: A U-2 flight over Cuba in the Caribbean photographs Soviet nuclear weapons being installed. A stand-off then ensues for another 12 days after President Kennedy is told of the pictures, between the United States and the Soviet Union, threatening the world with nuclear war.
- October 19 – Establishment of Thái Nguyên City, under Thái Nguyên, in Vietnam.
- October 22 – Cuban Missile Crisis: In a televised address, U.S. President John F. Kennedy announces to the nation the existence of Soviet missiles in Cuba.
- October 24 – Cuban Missile Crisis: First confrontation between the U.S. Navy and a Soviet cargo vessel. The vessel changes course.
- October 26 – Spiegel scandal: German police occupy Der Spiegel offices in Hamburg.
- October 28
- The end of the Cuban Missile Crisis: Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev announces that he has ordered the removal of Soviet missile bases in Cuba. In a secret deal between Kennedy and Khrushchev, Kennedy agrees to the withdrawal of U.S. missiles from Turkey. The fact that this deal was not made public makes it look as though the Soviets have backed down.
- A referendum in France favors the election of the president by universal suffrage.
- October 31 – The United Nations General Assembly asks the United Kingdom to suspend enforcement of the new constitution in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), but it comes into effect on November 1.
- November – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's novella One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Russian: Оди́н день Ива́на Дени́совича, Odin den' Ivana Denisovicha), the author's semi-autobiographical account of life in the gulag, is published in Novy Mir in an unprecedented acknowledgement of the Soviet Union's Stalinist past.
- November 1
- The Soviets begin dismantling their missiles in Cuba.
- First appearance of comic book antihero Diabolik in Italy.
- November 3 – Earliest recorded use of the term "personal computer" in the report of a speech by computing pioneer John Mauchly in The New York Times.
- November 5
- Franz Josef Strauß, the West German defense minister, is relieved of his duties over the Spiegel scandal, due to his alleged involvement in police action against the magazine.
- Saudi Arabia breaks off diplomatic relations with Egypt, following a period of unrest partly caused by the defection of several Saudi princes to Egypt.
- A coal mining disaster in Ny-Ålesund killed 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 "Richard Nixon's last press conference" and "you won't have Nixon to kick around any more".
- November 17 – Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., dedicated by President John F. Kennedy.
- November 20 – Cuban missile crisis: In response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, President John F. Kennedy ends the blockade of the island.
- November 21 – The Sino-Indian War ends with a Chinese ceasefire.
- November 23 – United Airlines Flight 297 crashes in Columbia, Maryland, killing all 17 on board.
- November 24 – The first episode of the groundbreaking satirical comedy program That Was the Week That Was, hosted by David Frost is broadcast on BBC Television in the U.K.
- November 26
- 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 Secretary-General of the United Nations.
- 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 to make a non-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
- December 9 – Tanganyika (modern-day Tanzania) becomes a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations, with Julius Nyerere as president.
- December 11
- In West Germany, a coalition government of Christian Democrats, Christian Socialists and Free Democrats is formed.
- The last execution by hanging in Canada
- December 14
- U.S. spacecraft Mariner 2 passes by Venus, becoming the first probe to transmit data successfully from another planet.
- Leonardo da Vinci's early 16th-century painting the Mona Lisa is assessed for insurance purposed at US$100 million before touring the United States for several months, the highest insurance value for a painting in history. However, the Louvre, its owner, chooses to spend the money that would have been spent on the insurance premium on security instead.
- December 15 – Storm over the North Sea: Belgian pirate radio station Radio Uylenspiegel is knocked off the airwaves, never to operate again.
- December 19 – Britain acknowledged the right of Nyasaland (modern-day Malawi) to secede from the Central African Federation.
- December 21 – Britain agrees to purchase Polaris missiles from the U.S.
- December 22
- 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
- January 3 – Guy Pratt, English musician and songwriter
- January 4 – Natalya Bochina, Russian athlete
- January 5 – Suzy Amis, American actress and model
- January 6 – Mark Ellis, English footballer
- January 7
- January 10 – C. Martin Croker, animator and voice actor (d. 2016)
- January 11 – Kim Coles, American actress and comedian
- January 12 – Alfred Schön, German manager and former footballer
- January 13
- January 14 – Michael McCaul, American politician
- January 17 – Jim Carrey, Canadian actor and comedian
- January 18 – Mike Lynch, American cartoonist
- January 20
- January 21
- January 22
- January 23
- January 25 – Chris Chelios, American ice hockey player
- January 26 – Anna LaCazio, American singer (Cock Robin)
- January 28
- January 30 – King Abdullah II of Jordan
- February 1 – Takashi Murakami, Japanese pop artist
- February 2 – Andy Fordham, English darts player
- February 3
- February 4 – Clint Black, American country musician
- February 5 – Jennifer Jason Leigh, American actress
- February 6 – Axl Rose, American rock singer
- February 7
- February 8 – Malorie Blackman, British-born author
- February 9
- February 10
- February 11 – Sheryl Crow, American singer-songwriter
- February 12
- February 13 – Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, Puerto Rican politician
- February 17 – Lou Diamond Phillips, American actor
- February 18 – Julie Strain, American actress and model
- February 21
- February 22
- February 25
- Birgit Fischer, German kayaker
- Junko Ogata, Japanese serial killer
- February 27 – Adam Baldwin, American actor
- February 28 – Angela Bailey, Canadian athlete
Jasmine Guy American Actor
- April 1
- April 2
- April 5 – Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, President of Kalmykia and FIDE
- April 7 – Hugh O'Connor, American actor (d. 1995)
- April 9 – Imran Sherwani, British field hockey player
- April 10
- April 12
- April 13 – Jennifer Rubin, American actress/model
- April 15
- April 18 – Jeff Dunham, American ventriloquist
- April 19 – Al Unser, Jr., American race car driver
- April 20 – Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf (Henry Joseph Nasiff Jr.), American comedian (d. 2001)
- April 23 – John Hannah, Scottish actor
- April 24 – Steve Roach, Australian champion rugby league prop forward
- April 26
- April 29 – Stephan Burger, German Roman Catholic archbishop
- May 2
- May 3 – Anders Graneheim, Swedish bodybuilder
- May 5 – Kaoru Wada, Japanese composer
- May 8 – Natalia Molchanova, Russian free-diver
- May 9
- May 12 – Emilio Estevez, American actor
- May 13
- May 14
- May 17
- May 18 – Sandra, German pop singer
- May 19 – Frances Ondiviela, Spanish/Mexican actress
- May 20 – Mike Jeffries, American soccer coach
- May 22 – Brian Pillman, American professional wrestler (d. 1997)
- May 24 – Gene Anthony Ray, American actor (d. 2003)
- May 26
- May 27 – Ravi Shastri, Indian cricketer
- May 28
- May 29
- May 30 – Timo Soini, Finnish politician
- May 31
- June 1 – Sherri Howard, American athlete
- June 4
- June 5 – Jeff Garlin, American comedian
- June 7 – Thierry Hazard, French singer and songwriter
- June 8 – Suzy Gorman, American photographer
- June 10
- June 11
- June 12
- June 13
- June 14 – Emilija Erčić, Yugoslav (Serbian) handball player
- June 15
- June 16 – Arnold Vosloo, South African actor
- June 17
- Bap Kennedy, Northern Irish singer-songwriter
- Lio, Belgian singer/actress
- June 18
- June 19 – Paula Abdul, American dancer, choreographer and singer
- June 20 – Alex Di Gregorio, Italian editorial cartoonist
- June 21
- June 22
- June 23
- June 26
- June 27
- June 28 – Don Chambers, American newspaper comic strip artist
- June 29
- June 30
- July 1 – Andre Braugher, American actor
- July 3
- July 4
- July 5 – Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, Indonesian terrorist (d. 2008)
- July 8 – Joan Osborne, American singer and songwriter
- July 11 – Pauline McLynn, Irish actress
- July 12
- July 13
- July 14 – Jeff Olson, American percussionist (Trouble)
- July 15 – Michelle Ford, Australian swimmer
- July 16 – Grigory Leps, Russian singer
- July 18
- July 19 – Anthony Edwards, American actor
- July 20
- July 21
- July 23 – Eriq La Salle, American actor
- July 24 – Johnny O'Connell, American race car driver
- July 26
- July 28 – Ray Shero, American hockey manager
- July 29 – Scott Steiner, American professional wrestler
- July 30
- July 31
- August 1
- August 2 – Cynthia Stevenson, American actress
- August 4 – Roger Clemens, American baseball player
- August 5 – Patrick Ewing, Jamaican-born basketball player
- August 6 – Michelle Yeoh, Malaysian-born Hong Kong actress
- August 7
- August 8
- August 13 – John Slattery, American actor and film director
- August 14 – Kevin Harris, Canadian skateboarder
- August 15 – Tom Colicchio, American chef
- August 16
- August 17 – Pierre Sanoussi-Bliss, German actor and director
- August 18 – Felipe Calderón, President of Mexico
- August 19 – Valérie Kaprisky, French actress
- August 20
- August 21
- August 23
- Shaun Ryder, English musician, singer-songwriter, actor, television personality, author, and newspaper columnist
- August 24
- August 25 – Theresa Andrews, American swimmer
- August 26
- August 27 – Vic Mignogna, American voice actor
- August 28 – David Fincher, American film director
- August 29
- August 30 – Alexander Litvinenko, Russian ex-KGB colonel and ex-FSB lieutenant-colonel (d. 2006)
- August 31
- September 1 – Ruud Gullit, Dutch footballer
- September 4 – Shinya Yamanaka, Japanese physician and researcher
- September 6 – Chris Christie, American politician and 55th Governor of New Jersey
- September 7 – Kylie InGold, Australian fantasy artist
- September 8 – Thomas Kretschmann, German actor
- September 11
- September 12
- September 13 – Hisao Egawa, Japanese voice actor
- September 14 – Robert Herjavec, Croatian-born Canadian businessman, investor, author, dancer, and television personality
- September 15
- September 16 – Stephen Jones (Babybird), English singer and musician
- September 17
- September 19 – Gottfried von Bismarck, German aristocrat and socialite (d. 2007)
- September 21 – Rob Morrow, American actor
- September 22 – Martin Crowe, New Zealand cricketer (d. 2016)
- September 24
- September 25 – Aida Turturro, American actress
- September 26
- September 27 – Kimberly Carson, American pornographic actress
- September 28 – Grant Fuhr, Canadian hockey player
- September 30 – Frank Rijkaard, Dutch football player and manager
- October 1
- October 2
- October 3 – Tommy Lee, American rock musician and drummer
- October 5
- October 6 – Rich Yett, American baseball player
- October 11 – Joan Cusack, American actress and comedian
- October 12
- October 13
- October 16
- October 17 – Mike Judge, American animator
- October 19
- October 20 – Anatoly Khrapaty, Soviet Olympic weightlifter (d. 2008)
- October 21 – Miki Itō, Japanese voice actress
- October 23
- October 24 – Jay Novacek, American football player
- October 25
- October 26 – Cary Elwes, British actor
- October 27
- October 28 – Daphne Zuniga, American actress
- October 30 – Courtney Walsh, West Indian cricketer
- November 1
- November 3
- November 6 – Aznil Nawawi, Malaysian TV host
- November 7 – Bettina Hoy, German equestrienne
- November 11
- November 12
- November 13 – Steve Altes, American humorist
- November 14
- November 15 – Judy Gold, American comedian and actress
- November 17 – Jamie Moyer, American baseball player
- November 18 – Kirk Hammett, American rock musician (Metallica)
- November 19
- November 21 – Steven Curtis Chapman, American Christian musician
- November 22 – Sumi Jo, Korean operatic soprano
- November 23 – Nicolás Maduro, President of Venezuela
- November 24 – John Kovalic, American cartoonist
- November 27 – Marumi Shiraishi, Japanese actress
- November 28 – Jon Stewart, American actor, comedian, media critic, television personality, and former host of The Daily Show (1999-2015)
- November 29
- November 30
- December 1
- December 3 – Tammy Jackson, American basketball player
- December 4
- December 5 – José Cura, Argentine tenor
- December 6 – Janine Turner, American actress
- December 9
- December 10 – Scott Capurro, American comedian
- December 11
- December 12
- December 14 – Yvonne Ryding, Swedish pageant winner (Miss Universe 1984)
- December 16 – Maruschka Detmers, Dutch actress
- December 17
- December 19 – Jill Talley, American actress
- December 22 – Ralph Fiennes, English actor
- December 23 – Keiji Mutoh, Japanese professional wrestler
- December 27
- December 28
- December 30 – Alessandra Mussolini, Italian politician
- December 31 – Lance Reddick, American actor
- June 1 – Adolf Eichmann, German SS officer and a major organiser of the Holocaust (executed) (b. 1906)
- June 2 – Vita Sackville-West, English writer and landscape gardener (b. 1892)
- June 4 – Charles William Beebe, American oceanic pioneer (b. 1877)
- June 6
- June 7 – Korneli Kekelidze, Georgian philologist (b. 1879)
- June 8 – Eugène Freyssinet, French civil engineer (b. 1879)
- June 12 – John Ireland, English composer (b. 1879)
- June 13 – Sir Eugene Goossens, English composer (b. 1893)
- June 15 – Alfred Cortot, Swiss pianist (b. 1877)
- June 19
- June 24 – Lucile Watson, Canadian actress (b. 1879)
- June 27 – Paul Viiding, Estonian poet, author and literary critic (b. 1904)
- June 28 – Mickey Cochrane, American baseball player (Philadelphia Athletics) and a member of the MLB Hall of Fame (b. 1903)
- July 1 – Bidhan Chandra Roy, Indian physician and politician, Chief Minister of West Bengal (b. 1882)
- July 4 – Rex Bell, American actor (b. 1903)
- July 6
- July 8 – Georges Bataille, French writer (b. 1897)
- July 10 – Yehuda Leib Maimon, Bassarabian-born Israeli rabbi and government minister (b. 1875)
- July 12 – Roger Wolfe Kahn, American band leader (b. 1907)
- July 13 – Jerry Wald, American screenwriter and producer (b. 1911)
- July 21 – G. M. Trevelyan, English historian (b. 1876)
- July 23 – Victor Moore, American actor (b. 1876)
- July 29 – Leonardo De Lorenzo, Italian flautist (b. 1875)
- July 27 – Richard Aldington, English poet (b. 1892)
- July 30 – Myron McCormick, American actor (b. 1908)
- August 5 – Marilyn Monroe, American actress (b. 1926)
- August 6 – Ángel Borlenghi, Argentine labor leader and politician (b. 1904)
- August 9 – Hermann Hesse, German-born writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1877)
- August 15 – Lei Feng, Chinese soldier (b. 1940)
- August 18 – Cleo Ridgely, American actress (b. 1893)
- August 22 – Charles Rigoulot, French weightlifter (b. 1903)
- August 23 – Hoot Gibson, American actor and film director (b. 1892)
- August 24 – Mykolas Biržiška, Lithuanian politician (b. 1882)
- August 27 – Leopoldo Panero, Spanish poet (b. 1909)
- August 28 – John Collum, American actor (b. 1926)
- November 7 – Eleanor Roosevelt, American politician, diplomat, activist, First Lady of the United States (b. 1884)
- November 15 – Irene Lentz, American costume designer (b. 1900)
- November 18 – Niels Bohr, Danish physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1885)
- November 22 – René Coty, 17th President of France (b. 1882)
- November 25 – Forrest Smithson, American athlete (b. 1884)
- November 28
- November 29 – Erik Scavenius, former Prime Minister of Denmark (b. 1877)
- November 30 – Joseph Lade Pawsey, Australian radio astronomer. (b. 1908)
- December 6 – Harry Bauler, American politician (b. 1910)
- December 7 – Kirsten Flagstad, Norwegian soprano (b. 1895)
- December 10 – Robert C. Giffen, American admiral (b. 1886)
- December 13 – John Cunningham, British admiral (b. 1885)
- December 15 – Charles Laughton, English actor and director (b. 1899)
- December 16 – Lew Landers, American TV and film director (b. 1901)
- December 17 – Thomas Mitchell, American actor (b. 1892)
- December 18 – Garrett Mattingly, American historian (b. 1900)
- December 20 – Emil Artin, Austrian mathematician (b. 1898)
- December 24
- December 30 – Arthur Lovejoy, American philosopher and historian (b. 1873)