3.29.2012

Thursday, March 29, 1962: Jack Paar

From The New York Times:

Jack Paar did his final late show for the National Broadcasting Company last night after a run of almost five years.
The concluding telecast combined tributes to the star with comedy, controversy, sentiment and music.
Among those who paid their respects in a filmed segment of the program were Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, former Vice President Richard M. Nixon and the Rev. Dr. Billy Graham. All had appeared on Paar programs in the past.
Although the telecast was in the nature of a farewell to Mr. Paar, he is not leaving the air permanently. He will return to the network in the fall with a once-a-week show to be presented on Friday nights from 10 to 11 o'clock.
Last night's program marked his final appearance in a Monday-through-Friday series that began on July 29, 1957. The show has been presented from 11:15 p.m. to 1 a.m. In recent years it has been pre-recorded on tape earlier in the evening.

* "Jack Paar Gets All Misty-Eyed as Fans Tell Him How Great He Is" (Sarasota Journal, March 30): @
* Video from Archive of American Television: @
* "Jack Paar at the Berlin Wall" (from Television Quarterly): @
* Earlier post on appearance by John F. Kennedy (June 16, 1960): @
* Earlier post on appearance by Richard Nixon (August 25, 1960): @

3.28.2012

Undated: Miss Army Recruiting of 1962

Actress Jane Fonda is given the honorary title by the Pentagon, and speaks in Washington on behalf of the U.S. military.

The picture, credited to UPI Telephoto, would resurface a decade later. From the July 4, 1972 edition of The Lima (Ohio) News: "FROM JANE'S PAST -- Anti-war groups would be hard put to recognize one of their most staunch advocates, shown in this 1962 Army photograph. Bearing the title of "Miss Army Recruiting -- 1962" is none other than actress Jane Fonda, known today as an anti-war militant. With Patterson, N.J., recruiter Sgt. Robert Juhren, Miss Fonda was making radio spots about what a good idea joining the Army was. The photo was found by the Overseas Weekly newspaper in a 10-year-old edition of the Casemate, a Ft. Monroe, Va., post paper. Times have changed for the Army and for Miss Fonda."

Note: Some references, including Fonda's 2005 autobiography "My Life So Far," give the year as 1959.

* Excerpt from "Jane Fonda: The Private Life of a Public Woman" (2011 book by Patricia Bosworth): @
* More about Overseas Weekly: @ and @

3.27.2012

Tuesday, March 27, 1962: Shirt collars

From an Associated Press story dated March 27:

It might have been expected, what with the decline of the mustache and the watch chain, that the separate shirt collar also would go.
"For all practical purposes the separate collar is no longer a part of the American scene," said Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. today in announcing it was dropping the line after 60 years.
Cluett-Peabody & Co., another large manufacturer, declined comment on its competitor's announcement.
Phillips-Van Heusen was certain of its course.
"For several years," said a spokesman, "the company has been making separate shirt collars strictly as a service to the few who still wear them."
The company said it was saddened over what it believed to be the passing of an era in the men's wear field, but "demand has diminished to the point where the cost of continuing this service is prohibitive."
The collar was worn widely during the turn of the century, but it was in the dashing Twenties that it reached a peak of popularity.
In its more proper styles it made thin men look very refined but fat men rather confined. It wasn't as comfortable as it was neat, but it always was very distinguished.
Phillips-Van Heusen says the separate collar has, in recent years, been almost wholly supplanted by the collar-attached shirt. In 1924 it sold 24 million a year, in 1961 just 18,000.

Illustration from 1919 Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog.

* "The Shirt and Collar Industries" (U.S. Department of Commerce, 1916): @

3.26.2012

Undated: Elephant patrol in Vietnam


This photo, taken by Howard Sochurek, appears in the March 16 issue of Life magazine. The caption reads: "On the gently heaving backs of four bull elephants, a Vietnamese army patrol starts out into the hilly jungles of central South Vietnam, their weapons at the ready. For generations, warriors in the region rode to battle this way, and both the government and their enemy still use the huge beasts. A man on foot can cover not much more than three miles a day through the dense undergrowth and an elephant can do four times that. But the archaic scene belies the true nature of Vietnam's savage war. Somewhere ahead of the elephant patrol, the odds are strong that enemy guerrillas with deadly modern arms wait in ambush."

* "War Elephants" (2007 book by John M. Kistler, Richard Lair): @
* Audio interview with Kistler: @
* "War Elephants" (2008 book by Konstantin Nossov): @

3.25.2012

Sunday, March 25, 1962: 'Pop Goes the Easel'

The documentary on pop art, directed by Ken Russell, is televised as part of the BBC's "Monitor" series.


The film was nominally a portrait of Peter Blake, Peter Phillips, Derek Boshier and Pauline Boty (left), who had all achieved substantial reputations in the art word despite being in their twenties ... Russell's approach was far more visual and musical than verbal ...

As one would expect from the finished artworks, these were drawn from the contemporary world around them, and Russell duly constructs and elaborate, rapidly-cut kaleidoscope of images and pop stars (Brigitte Bardot, Buddy Holly), fashion magazines, fast cars, politicians, the space race, guns, girls, American culture in general, and anything else that could be made to convey a similar vitality.

* Watch the episode (from www.dangerousminds.net): @
* "The Thrill of It All" (Article from Frieze magazine, 2009): @
* Excerpt from "The Who Sell Out" (2006 book by John Dougan): @
* Excerpt from "Arts TV: A History of Arts Television in Britain" (1993 book by John Albert Walker): @

3.24.2012

Saturday, March 24, 1962: Emile Griffith vs. Benny (Kid) Paret



The welterweights meet for a third time in New York's Madison Square Garden in a fight televised by ABC. Griffith and Paret had split their first two fights, Paret having won the welterweight championship from Griffith in September 1961. Paret is brutally knocked out in the 12th round; he dies on April 3.

From a United Press International story published March 26:

Benny (Kid) Paret, beaten insensible in a savage world welterweight championship fight Saturday night, lay in deep coma today. ... The 25-year-old Cuban underwent delicate brain surgery early yesterday at Roosevelt Hospital where he was taken after being knocked senseless under a barrage of blows by Griffith ...
The third Paret-Griffith match was billed as a "grudge" fight because Griffith was incensed when he lost his title to the Cuban on an unpopular decision in the same Garden ring last September. The two battlers almost came to blows during the weigh-in Saturday noon when Paret made demeaning remarks about Griffith's manliness. (Note: Paret had called Griffith a "maricón," the Spanish slang equivalent of "faggot." The New York Times avoided the words "faggot" and "homosexual" in a March 27 story, instead using "anti-man.")
Because of those insults, Griffith, who hails from the Virgin Islands, was fighting mad when the bout started. He grew more furious when Paret floored him for a mandatory eight-count late in the sixth round.
The pattern of the fight, though, soon changed in Griffith's favor and he was ahead on all three scorecards entering the tragic 12th round.
Midway in the 12th Griffith caught Paret with a right to the jaw and the Kid sagged toward the ropes. Griffith then rained right after right to the head of the stricken champion, who was completely helpless but could not fall to the canvas because he was entwined on the ropes.
When (referee Ruby) Goldstein finally threw his arms around Griffith's shoulders and wrestled him into the center of the ring, Paret's knees buckled and he sagged slowly to the canvas, bleeding from the eyes and mouth.
Oxygen was administered to Paret immediately and after five minutes he was carried unconscious on a stretcher to the dressing room and thence to the hospital, where he underwent the operation to relieve pressure caused by blood clots on both sides of his brain.

* "Twenty-five Deadly Blows" (The New York Times, March 24): @
* "The Deadly Insult" (Sports Illustrated, April 1962): @
* "The Shadow Boxer" (Sports Illustrated, April 2005): @
* "Should Boxing Be Abolished?" (Ebony magazine, June 1962): @
* Article by Norman Mailer (Esquire magazine, February 1963): @
* Watch the end of the fight: @
* Watch "Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story" (2005 documentary): @

3.20.2012

Undated: Book vending machines


With such names as "Vend-A-Book," "Read-O-Mat" and "Book-O-Mat," vending machines that dispense books are highly touted but only mildly popular.

From the December 1962 edition of Library Journal: "It was inevitable that someone would think of it, and now it is here. A paperback vending machine has just been introduced, and it has exciting possibilities for libraries. True, it sells paperback books, two characteristics that may decrease its appeal for some libraries; but the U.S. in 1962 is an affluent society where very few of the adults using a library cannot afford the price of a paperback -- often less than the cost of a hamburger and coffee."

The concept was not a new one (and it continues to this day). English publisher Richard Carlile came up with the first book vending machine in the 1820s (specifically to sell Thomas Paine's "The Age of Reason"), and in the 1930s, Penguin Books installed a book dispenser in London, called the Penguincubator. The late 1940s also saw increased promotion and interest.

* Excerpt from "Vending Machines: An American Social History" (book by Kerry Segrave): @
* "Paperback promotionals" (from Paperback Quarterly, 1979): @

* "Old, Weird Tech: The Penguincubator, A Book Vending Machine" (from theatlantic.com, 2011): @

* "Book Publishers Eyeing Venders as Sales Decline" (from The Billboard magazine, February 28, 1948): @
* "Book Machines Get Williams Into Vending" (from Billboard Music Week, October 27, 1962): @

3.19.2012

Monday, March 19, 1962: Bob Dylan's first album

"Bob Dylan," consisting of 11 folk standards and 2 original songs, is released by Columbia Records. The album makes little impact in terms of sales.

From the April 14 issue of Billboard magazine, under the heading "Special Merit Albums":

Bob Dylan is a young man (20) from Minnesota who has already made an impact among folkniks with his exciting manner with folk, blues and pop-folk tunes. He plays, sings and composes and is one of the most interesting, and most disciplined youngsters to appear on the pop-folk scene in a long time. This album shows him off in fervid readings of such well-known items as "Highway 51," "Freight Train Blues" and "House of the Rising Sun," and moving readings of originals such as "Song to Woody" and "Talkin' New York." Dylan, when he finds his own style, could win a big following.

* Entry from allmusic.com: @
* Excerpt from "Bob Dylan: The Recording Sessions, 1960-1994" (1997 book by Clinton Heylin): @
* "How Bob Dylan, music's great enigma, first revealed his talent to the world 50 years ago" (2012 article from The Guardian newspaper): @
* Transcript of radio show from early 1962: @
* Earlier post on Dylan (September 26, 1961): @
* Earlier post on Dylan (January 24, 1961): @

3.13.2012

Tuesday, March 13, 1962: Operation Northwoods

A plan drawn up by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff under which the U.S. military would undertake a campaign of terrorism -- including, in some cases, acts of violence against Americans -- as a pretext for blaming and then invading Cuba. The proposal, presented to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, was never implemented.

Among the actions outlined in the plan:

"We could blow up a ship in U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba."

"We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington. The terror campaign could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the United States. We could sink a boatlad of Cubans en route to Florida (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized. Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots, the arrest of Cuban agents and the release of prepared documents substantiating Cuban involvement also would be helpful in projecting the idea of an irresponsible government."

"It is possible to create an incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner en route from the United States to Jamaica, Guatemala, Panama or Venezuela."

"It is possible to create an incident which will make it appear than Communist Cuban MIGs have destroyed a USAF aircraft over international waters in an unprovoked attack."

* Original Northwoods documents (from National Security Archive): @
* "Operation Northwoods and the Covert War Against Cuba, 1961-63" (2002, from the journal Cuban Studies): @
* "Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency" (book by James Bamford): @
* Memorandum from Joint Chiefs to Secretary of Defense re: Cuba (April 10, 1962): @
* "Probable Reactions to a U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba" (CIA document, April 10; from the Mary Ferrell Foundation): @

3.09.2012

Undated: 'Child with a toy hand grenade in Central Park'

The essence and lasting impact of this photo, taken by Diane Arbus in the spring or summer of 1962, as described by the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History (New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art):

"An iconic image that embodies the awkward tension between childhood tomfoolery and primal violence, this has become one of the most celebrated photographs in the history of the medium. America's historic transition from the complacent isolationism of the 1950s to the sociopolitical turmoil that would emerge in the late 1960s and 1970s seems to seethe beneath the surface of this image, underscoring Arbus' prescience and intuitive understanding of her time."

* Contact sheet: @
* "Post-developments" (article about Colin Wood, the boy in the photo; San Francisco Chronicle, 2003): @
* More photos by Arbus (from diane-arbus-photography.com): @
* Arbus biography (from masters-of-photography.com): @
* Arbus biography (from www.jewishvirtuallibrary.com): @
* Explaining Arbus' work (from www.haberarts.com): @
* "A Fresh Look at Diane Arbus" (Smithsonian magazine, 2004): @
* "Double Exposure" (The Washington Post, 2005): @

3.07.2012

Undated: Tax deduction for clarinets

A tax deduction that remains applicable to this day (from TurboTax, http://turbotax.intuit.com):

Does Your Child Have an Overbite?
If so, you might want to enroll them in clarinet lessons. Both the clarinet and music lessons are tax deductible thanks to a 1962 provision added after orthodontists argued that playing the clarinet helps with a child's overbite and thus may qualify as a medical expense.

The IRS ruling (Rev. Rul. 62-210, 1962-2 C.B. 89, text from www.charitableplanning.com):

The taxpayer's son has a congenital defect which results in a severe malocclusion of his teeth. An orthodontist recommended that the child take lessons in playing a clarinet, as he considered continued practice with this instrument therapeutic treatment towards alleviating the specific condition. Held, an amount which does not exceed the minimum cost of a clarinet of a quality sufficient to give effect to the therapeutic treatment recommended by the orthodontist and the cost of lessons necessary for the son to play the instrument to the degree required to obtain the benefits of the treatment may qualify as medical expenses within the meaning of section 213 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. Such amounts paid are deductible by the taxpayer to the extent provided in that section.

3.05.2012

Undated: 'Freedom and You' (aka 'Red Nightmare')

Made by Warner Brothers studio for the U.S. Department of Defense, "Freedom and You" was an hourlong propaganda film intended for viewing by military personnel. It was later shortened, retitled as "Red Nightmare" and shown on American television and in U.S. schools. It tells the story of a disinterested citizen who wakes up to a Communist-controlled society. Because of Warner Brothers' involvement, it had many more familiar faces than a typical propaganda movie -- Jack Webb (of TV's "Dragnet") was the narrator, and Jack Kelly (from TV's "Maverick") played the title character.

* Watch "Freedom and You" (from the Internet Archive):
@
* Watch "Red Nightmare" (also from the Internet Archive): @
* Summary from www.conelrad.com: @
* Summary from Peter Brown fan site: @
* " 'Red Nightmare': Asleep with the Defense Department" (1975 article from Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media): @
* Similarities between film and TV series "The Prisoner": @

3.02.2012

Friday, March 2, 1962: 'To Serve Man'


One of the more memorable episodes of "The Twilight Zone" airs. An alien race arrives on Earth, saying they only want to help humanity. As in many "Twilight Zone" episodes, there's a plot twist at the end. The telecast was adapted from a 1950 short story by Damon Knight.
* Watch the episode (from imdb.com): @
* The Twilight Zone Archives: @
* The Twilight Zone Museum: @
* "Into The Twilight Zone: The Rod Serling Programme Guide" (book by Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier): @
* "Dimensions Behind The Twilight Zone" (book by Stewart T. Stanyard): @
* Short biography of Damon Knight (from The Oregon Encylopedia): @
* Rod Serling Memorial Foundation: @

Friday, March 2, 1962: Wilt Chamberlain

The Philadelphia Warriors' Wilt Chamberlain scores 100 points in his team's 169-147 win over the New York Knicks. The game, played in Hershey, Pennsylvania, was seen by 4,124 people.

Excerpts from an Associated Press story on March 3 (photo, of Chamberlain's last basket of the night, also from AP):

"It's a record I'd hate to try to break myself," says Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain of his new 100-point National Basketball Association single game record.
Chamberlain's mark, eclipsing his own record of 78, came last night as the Warriors defeated the New York Knickerbockers, 169-147.
When Chamberlain scored the 78 earlier this year, in a triple overtime game against Los Angeles, coach Frank McGuire predicted, "someday he will hit 100."
The 7-foot-1 giant lived up to the prophecy as he scored 36 field goals, and 28 of 32 foul shots, both NBA records.
When he hit 100 on a dunk shot with 46 seconds left, the fans streamed out onto the court to mob him. The game was held up until the floor was cleared.

* Newspaper box score: @
* Video of Chamberlain on "The Ed Sullivan Show" (March 4, 1962): @
* "Wilt, 1962: The Night of 100 Points and the Dawn of a New Era" (book by Gary M. Pomerantz): @

3.01.2012

Thursday, March 1, 1962: 'Global village'

Marshall McCluhan's "The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man" is published.

From the book "The Internet: A Historical Encyclopedia" (2005):

"McCluhan formalized his theories about the changes in consciousness and society brought about by the advent of print culture. According to McCluhan, the 'invention of movable type' by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century, 'forced man to comprehend in a linear, uniform, connected, continuous fashion' -- a way of thinking that had not previously existed, when manuscript culture and the oral tradition that preceded it defined communications. McCluhan argue that those changes in consciousness, particularly the effect of isolation that reading created, opened the door for powerful cultural forces such as nationalism. ... McCluhan also discussed ... his concept of the global village ... the vast collective space that emerged as electronic media broke down the normal physical and temporal barriers associated with print and oral cultures. Thus, with the advent of television, for instance, the nationalism of print media would be supplanted by the globalism of electronic media."

Note as to publication date: Various sources show the book being published anywhere from March 1962 to sometime in the fall. McCluhan's son, Eric, said in a e-mail that the earliest review he knows of appeared in the (Toronto) Globe and Mail in mid-July. Along with other early reviews, he says, this likely indicates the book was published sometime in the spring of 1962. The University of Toronto Press later confirmed that the publication date was March 1, 1962.

* "The Gutenberg Galaxy": @
* "Marshall McCluhan: The Medium and the Messenger" (Philip Marchand, 1998): @
* Short biography from The Canadian Encyclopedia: @
* marshallmcluhan.com: @
* Marshall McCluhan Center on Global Communications: @
* McCluhan Global Research Network: @
* McCluhan Program in Culture and Technology: @
* CIOS/McCluhan Website Project: @
* International Journal of McCluhan Studies: @
* McCluhan Galaxy blog: @
* Source of term "global village" (from Eric McCluhan): @
* 1960 episode of CBC's "Explorations" (note use of "global village"): @
* Book review, American Journal of Psychiatry, October 1962: @
* Video resources (from University of Minnesota): @

Thursday, March 1, 1962: Kmart

The first Kmart discount store opens in Garden City, Michigan. The S.S. Kresge Company would open 17 more Kmarts before the year was out. (Photo from pleasantfamilyshopping.blogspot.com; search "Kmart" label on the site for more posts and pictures.)

* Kmart history (from www.fundinguniverse.com): @
* Kmart history (from Sears Holdings Corporation): @
* Article from Discount Store News (1992, includes excerpts from 1962 article): @
* "Kmart's 10 Deadly Sins: How Incompetence Tainted an American Icon" (2003 book by Marcia Layton Turner): @
* Album of store background music: @

Thursday, March 1, 1962: Parade for John Glenn

The largest ticker-tape parade in New York City history takes place as astronaut John Glenn, who had orbited Earth on February 20, was honored. The city's Sanitation Department reported 3,474 tons of paper were picked up. (Photo by Associated Press)

* Newsreel: @
* Audio from parade (from history.com): @
* "Canyon of Heroes" (from www.downtownny.com): @
* List of ticker-tape parades (from Alliance for Downtown New York, through November 2010): @
* Slideshow of parades (from New York Daily News): @
* Earlier post on John Glenn's flight: @

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