12.31.2012

Undated: The year in review, 1962

Top 10 stories, according to survey by The Associated Press:

   1. Russia establishes missile bases in Cuba, U.S. successfully blockades.
   2. Three-orbit flight of Astronaut John Glenn.
   3. James Meredith enrolls as the first Negro student in the University of Mississippi, two are killed in rioting.
   4. The drug thalidomide is found to have caused thousands of babies to be born deformed.
   5. Worst stock market dip since 1929.
   6. Red China invades India.
   7. Steel price rise is rescinded under pressure from President Kennedy.
   8. Off-year election.
   9. Two Russian spacemen orbit for several days and establish visual and radio contact.
   10. Investigation of business manipulations of Billie Sol Estes.
* Associated Press: @
* "1962: A Television Album" (CBS special with Eric Sevareid): @
* UPI (print): @
* UPI (audio): @

12.26.2012

Thursday, December 27, 1962: 'Dictionary of American Regional English'

At the annual meeting of the American Dialect Society, Frederic Cassidy (a professor at the University of Wisconsin) presents the paper "The ADS Dictionary -- How Soon?", giving momentum to what would be a years-long effort to compile the "Dictionary of American Regional English." Cassidy becomes the project's editor.
* From DARE site: @ (home page) and @ (history)
* DARE map: @
* American Dialect Society: @
* Harvard University Press: @
* "Regional Dictionary Finally Hits 'Zydeco' " (New York Times, February 2012): @
* "Words of America" (National Endowment for the Humanities, 2011): @ 

12.23.2012

Sunday, December 23, 1962: Bay of Pigs prisoners freed


From "Cuba and the United States: A Chronological History" (Jane Franklin, 1996):

In the first stage of an agreement with the United States, Cuba releases 1,113 Bay of Pigs invaders in exchange for $53 million in medicine and baby food. Cuba kept nine of the invaders in prison, releasing the final one in 1986. An additional part of the agreement is that Cuba will allow other Cubans to leave for the United States.

* The Miami News, December 23: @
* The Miami News, December 24: @
* The Miami News, December 25: @
* Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 24: @
* From BBC News: @
* From "The Kennedy Years" (Joseph M. Siracusa, 2004): @
* Bay of Pigs chronology (from National Security Archive): @
* Earlier post on Bay of Pigs (April 17-19, 1961): @

12.21.2012

Undated: 'The whole nine yards'

The exact origin of the phrase (meaning "everything that is pertinent, appropriate or available") remains a mystery, but it shows up in print at least twice in late 1962: first in a short story, and then in a letter to a car magazine.

* From www.visualthesaurus.com: @ and @
* From www.worldwidewords.org: @
* From www.phrases.org.uk: @
* From www.barrypopik.com: @ 

12.19.2012

December 1962: Vietnam

A U.S. crewman runs from a crashed CH-21 Shawnee troop helicopter near the village of Ca Mau in the southern tip of South Vietnam, on December 11. Two helicopters crashed without serious injuries during a government raid on the Viet Cong-infiltrated area. Both helicopters were destroyed to keep them out of enemy hands. (Associated Press photo by Horst Faas)

From "Vietnam War Almanac" (James H. Willbanks, 2009):

   Approximately 11,300 U.S. advisory and support personnel are now in Vietnam. One hundred and nine Americans have been killed or wounded during the previous year, almost eight times as many as in 1961. U.S. Army and Marine Corps aviation units have flown almost 50,000 sorties, about one-half of which were combat support missions. China claims to have armed the Viet Cong with more than 92,000 rifles and machine guns this year, and trained guerrilla forces in South Vietnam are estimated at 25,000, with active Viet Cong sympathizers numbered at 150,000. The Viet Cong are now killing and kidnapping 1,000 local officials per moth. South Vietnamese government regular troops number 243,o00, plus 65,000 Self Defense Corps members trained to defend their villages.

Sunday, December 2
   Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield, a Democrat from Montana, returns from a trip to Vietnam. His appraisal: that the U.S. should avoid escalation of military action.

* "Interests and Policies in Southeast Asia" (June speech given by Mansfield; from the book "Landmark Speeches of the Vietnam War" -- Gregory Allen Olson, 2010): @

Monday, December 3
   Roger Hilsman, director of the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, sends a memorandum titled "The Situation and Short-Term Prospects in South Vietnam" to Secretary of State Dean Rusk.
* Text: @
* Interview with Hilsman: @

Wednesday, December 12
From President Kennedy's press conference:
   Q: Mr. President, it was just a year ago that you ordered stepped-up aid to Vietnam. There seems to be a good deal of discouragement about the progress. Could you give us your assessment?
   A. Well, we are putting in a major effort in Vietnam. As you know, we have about 10 or 11 times as many men there as we had a year ago. ... We've had a number of casualties. We put in an awful lot of equipment. We are going ahead with the Strategic Hamlet proposal. In some phases, the military program has been quite successful. There is great difficulty, however, in fighting a guerrilla war. You need 10 to 1, or 11 to 1, especially in terrain as difficult as South Vietnam. ... So we don't see the end of the tunnel, but I must say I don't think it is darker than it was a year ago, and in some ways lighter.
* News conference transcript: @
* News conference audio: @

Tuesday, December 18
   Sen. Mansfield's official report to President Kennedy. Part of the conclusion reads: "The real question which confronts us, therefore, is how much are we ourselves prepared to put into Southeast Asia and for how long in order to serve such interests as we may have in that region?"
* Text: @
* Other December government documents: @

Saturday, December 29
From www.history.com:
   Saigon announces that 4,077 strategic hamlets have been completed out of a projected total of 11,182, The figures also stated that 39 percent of the South Vietnamese population was housed in the hamlets. U.S. officials considered these figures questionable. The strategic hamlet program was started in 1962 and was modeled on a successful British counterinsurgency program used in Malaya from 1948 to 1960. The program aimed to bring the South Vietnamese peasants together in fortified strategic hamlets to provide security from Viet Cong attacks. Although much time and money was put into the program, it had several basic weaknesses. There was much animosity toward the program on the part of the South Vietnamese peasants, who were forcibly displaced from their ancestral lands. Also, the security afforded by the hamlets was inadequate and actually provided lucrative targets for the Viet Cong. Finally, the entire project was poorly managed. After the assassination of the program's sponsor, President Ngo Dinh Diem, in November 1963, the program fell into disfavor and was abandoned.
* More about the strategic hamlet program (from the Pentagon Papers): @ 

Also   

   Esquire magazine decides against running a cover with the words "Merry Christmas. I'm the 100th G.I. killed in Vietnam."
* More about the cover, from designer George Lois's website: @
* "The King of Visceral Design" (New York Times, April 2008): @
* "The Esquire Decade" (Vanity Fair, January 2007): @
* "It Wasn't Pretty, Folks, But Didn't We Have Fun?" (Carol Polsgrove, 1995): @


12.15.2012

Saturday, December 15, 1962: Vail


The ski resort opens in Colorado, despite a mild winter and a relatively scarce amount of snow.  From www.vail.com: "The first year, ticket prices were set at five dollars for a skiing experience that consisted of one gondola, two chairs, eight ski instructors and nine ski runs."
* More from www.vail.com: @
* "Vail: The First 50 Years" (Shirley Welch, 2012): @
* From www.onthesnow.com: @
* From www.vailvalleymagazine.com: @
* From www.coloradoskihistory.com: @


12.14.2012

Friday, December 14, 1962: Mariner 2 and Venus



From The Associated Press (story published December 15):

   Mariner II, a miracle of U.S. space science, has given man his first close look at another planet.
   For 42 minutes yesterday it scanned Venus, flashing back 36 million miles the information which may unravel the secrets of the "veiled lady of the universe."
   Today, as the spacecraft explored deeper into space, U.S. scientists dug into the mass of data -- more information about the Earth's closest planetary neighbor than has been recorded in all the history of star-gazing.
   It was an incredible feat, and excited scientists rejoiced.
   The historic fly-by came at 3 p.m. after a 109-day, 182-million-mile journey that began at a Cape Canaveral launching pad.
   At its nearest approach to Venus the space laboratory was 21,100 miles from the planet -- relatively at its doorstep.
   Special monitoring devices began to probe the cloud-covered surface at 1:55 p.m. and were switched off at 2:37 p.m.
   Then the craft was speeding toward the sun, after having gone closer to a planet than any other space vehicle.
* From NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory: @
* "Dare Mighty Things" (from JPL): @
* From NASA's National Space Science Data Center: @
* From space.com: @
* From National Air and Space Museum: @ 


12.13.2012

Undated: Books of 1962

* A Clockwork Orange -- Anthony Burgess
* A Wrinkle in Time -- Madeleine L'Engle
* Capitalism and Freedom -- Milton Friedman
* Happiness is a Warm Puppy -- Charles Schulz
* One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich -- Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
* One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest -- Ken Kesey
* Sex and the Single Girl -- Helen Gurley Brown
* Ship of Fools -- Katherine Anne Porter
* Silent Spring -- Rachel Carson
* Something Wicked This Way Comes -- Ray Bradbury
* Spider-Man -- Marvel Comics
* The Guns of August -- Barbara Tuchman
* The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man -- Marshall McCluhan
* The Image: Or What Happened to the American Dream -- Daniel J. Boorstin
* The Man in the High Castle -- Philip K. Dick
* The Other America -- Michael Harrington
* Travels with Charley -- John Steinbeck

* List from www.goodreads.com: @

12.10.2012

Monday, December 10, 1962: 'The Tunnel'



NBC News broadcasts "The Tunnel," a documentary about students in West Berlin who dig a tunnel under the Berlin Wall; 26 people are shown escaping from East Berlin to the West.
* Watch the documentary (video from NBC): @
* Entry from The Paley Center for Media: @
* Excerpt from "The Unsilent Revolution: Television News and American Public Life" (Robert J. Donovan and Raymond L. Scherer, 1992): @
* Excerpt from "Now the News: The Story of Broadcast Journalism" (Edward Bliss, 1991): @ 

12.07.2012

Friday, December 7, 1962: Atlas supercomputer

Atlas, considered the most powerful computer in the world at the time, begins operating at the University of Manchester.

From the book "Computers: The Life Story of a Technology" (Eric G. Swedin and David L. Ferro, 1997): "The Atlas pioneered two important technologies: virtual memory and some aspects of time sharing. The Atlas was designed to use a memory space of up to a million words, with each word 48 bits long. No one could afford to put that much magnetic core memory in a machine, so the Atlas had actually core memory of only 16,000 words. A drum provided 96,000 more words. The operating system of the Atlas swapped memory from its magnetic core memory to the drum and back as needed in the form of pages, providing the illusion of more memory via this virtual memory scheme. The Atlas also was designed to be a time-sharing computer so that more than one program at a time could be run. To implement this time-sharing, the idea of extracode was developed, which is similar to what are now called system interrupts. These two ideas were adopted in all later operating systems of any sophistication."

* From the University of Manchester: @ and @
* From Atlas Computer Laboratory at Chilton: @ and @

* Timeline: @
* From BBC: @
* Video: @
* "The world's most powerful computer" (New Scientist, September 6, 1962): @ 

12.01.2012

December 1, 1962: Light-emitting diode (LED)


A paper (linked below) by Nick Holonyak Jr. and S.F. Bevacqua is published in the journal Applied Physics Letters. It showed how a light-emitting diode (LED) could display the color red.

From www.techterms.com: 
   An LED is an electronic device that emits light when an electrical current is passed through it. LEDs are commonly used for indicator lights (such as power on/off lights) on electronic devices. They also have several other applications, including electronic signs, clock displays and flashlights. Since LEDs are energy efficient and have a long lifespan (often more than 100,000 hours), they have begun to replace traditional light bulbs in several areas. Some examples include streetlights, the red lights on cars, and various types of decorative lighting. 

Illustration from Encyclopedia Britannica.
* Holonyak and Bevacqua's paper: @
* More about LEDs (from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute): @

* Promises and Limitations of Light-Emitting Diodes" (from www.academia.edu): @
* "The life and times of the LED -- a 100-year history" (from University of Southampton): @ 

Saturday, December 1, 1962: Khrushchev and modern art


Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, touring an exhibit of modern art in Moscow, calls the work "dog shit" and argues its merits with sculptor Ernst Neizvestny, above. (Photo from RIA Novosti.)

Footnote: Neizvestny would sculpt the graveside monument after Khrushchev's death in 1971. 

* "Centaur: The Life and Art of Ernst Neizvestny" (Albert Leong, 2002): @
* Excerpt from "Khrushchev: The Man and his Era" (William Taubman, 2003): @
* Excerpt from "The Experimental Group: Ilya Kabakov, Moscow Conceptualism, Soviet Avant-Gardes" (Matthew Jesse Jackson, 2010): @
* Excerpt from "Unofficial Art in the Soviet Union: (Paul Sjeklocha and Igor Mead, 1967): @
* "Khruschev on the Arts" (from www. soviethistory.org): @
* "Red Paper Hits Liberal Trends in Soviet Arts" (Associated Press, December 4): @
* Neizvestny's website: @
* Catalog on Neizvestny exhibition (University of Colorado, Anschultz Medical Campus, 2012): @
* Photos of Neizvestny's works (from Russian news agency RIA Novosti): @ 

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