Sunday, September 30, 1962: Farm labor unions

The National Farm Workers Association, led by Cesar Chavez, holds its first convention in Fresno, California. (In 1966 the group would merge with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee to form the United Farm Workers union.)
* Chavez entry from County of Los Angeles Public Library: @
* United Farm Workers chronology (from www.ufwfoundation.org): @
* "Broad Shoulders" (Smithsonian magazine, 2005): @
* "The Fight in the Fields" (PBS documentary): @
* "Cesar Chavez: Autobiography of La Causa" (Jacques E. Levy, 2007): @
* Farmworker Movement Documentation Project: @
* Photo gallery (Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University): @ 


Wednesday, September 26, 1962: 'The Beverly Hillbillies'

The comedy about an Arkansas family that strikes it rich and moves to California debuts on CBS-TV. Within a month it is the most-watched show on U.S. television.
* Entry from Museum of Broadcast Communications: @
* Episodes from Public Domain Comedy Video: @ 
* "Hillbillies" entry from Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture: @
* Entry from TV.com: @
* Entry from TVLand.com: @
* Entry from Archive of American Television: @
* Excerpt from "The Enduring Legacy of Old Southwest Humor" (Edward J. Piacentino, editor, 2006): @
* Excerpt from "Blockbuster TV: Must-See Sitcoms in the Network Era" (Janet Staiger, 2000): @ 


Sunday, September 23, 1962: 'The Jetsons'

"The Jetsons," a cartoon series set in the year 2062, premieres on ABC-TV. It was the network's first show to be broadcast in color.

* "50 Years of the Jetsons: Why The Show Still Matters" (from Paleofuture blog, Smithsonian.com): @
* "Jetsons" entries from yowpyowp.blogspot.com: @
* " 'The Jetsons' Turns 50: How the Future Looked in 1962" (from Techland, Time.com): @
* Entry from The Big Cartoon Database: @
* Entry from TV.com: @ 


Saturday-Sunday, September 22-23, 1962: Esalen Institute

From the organization's website:

The Esalen Institute was founded in 1962 as an alternative educational center devoted to the exploration of what Aldous Huxley called the "human potential" -- the world of unrealized human capacities that lies beyond the imagination. Esalen soon became known for its blend of East/West philosophies, its experiential/didactic workshops, the steady influx of philosophers, psychologists, artists, and religious thinkers, and its breathtaking grounds and natural hot springs. Once home to a Native American tribe known as the Essalen, Esalen is situated on 27 acres of spectacular Big Sur (California) coastline with the Santa Lucia Mountains rising sharply behind.

(The first seminar, "Expanding Vision," was held September 22-23.)

* www.esalen.org: @
* Esalen Center for Theory & Research: @
* "An Evolutionary Vision" (essay from www.esalen.org): @
* "Esalen Institute turns 50 this year" (San Francisco Chronicle, 2012): @
* "Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion" (Jeffrey J. Kripal, 2007): @
* "On the Edge of the Future: Esalen and the Evolution of American Culture" (edited by Kripal and Glenn W. Shuck, 2005): @
* "A Cultural History of the Humanistic Psychology Movement in America" (Jessica Lynn Grogan, 2008): @ 


Monday, September 17, 1962: Isolation experiment

From The New York Times (September 17):

Michel Siffre was removed today from the cave in southern France where he spent the last two months in isolation about 400 feet underground.
He was emaciated, pained by the light and unable to walk without assistance.
Mr. Siffre, who is 23 years old and one of France's leading cave explorers, had entered the underground chamber in an experiment to determine how well man could withstand such conditions of isolation.
He had no way of keeping track of time and the only illumination he had was from flashlights. ...
Mr. Siffre passed much of his time exploring the Alpine glacier in which the cave is situated, making notes, listening to Beethoven recordings on a portable phonograph and reading Plato by flashlight. ...
Fellow cave explorers visited Mr. Siffre Saturday, and told him that his two-month period underground would be over in just two days. Mr. Siffre told them that he guessed that he still had two or three weeks to spend underground.

* Interview with Siffre (Cabinet magazine, 2008): @
* "Time Warp" (Cosmos magazine, 2008): @
* "Time out of mind" (BBC magazine, 2006): @
* Article on chronobiology (from Canadian Institutes of Health Research): @
* Associated Press article: @
* United Press International article: @
* Reuters article: @
* Articles from Le Progres newspaper (in French): @


Wednesday, September 12, 1962: 'We choose to go to the moon'

Speaking at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas, President Kennedy forcefully reaffirms the United States' commitment to space exploration. The most famous passage:

But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain. Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon ... we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.

Photo from John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

* Transcript and video (Miller Center, University of Virginia): @
* Newsreel: @
* "50 years ago, Kennedy reached for stars in historic Rice speech" (Douglas Brinkley, Rice University, September 2012): @
* The Rice Thresher (student newspaper, September 19): @
* Speech materials from Kennedy library: @


1962: Ronald Reagan switches parties

Campaigning for Richard Nixon, who was running for the governorship of California, Reagan changes his political registration from Democrat to Republican. The move had been some time in coming, as Reagan had grown increasingly disenchanted with Democratic Party policies, particularly in regards to the size and scope of the federal government. (Reagan had also helped lead the Southern California Democrats for Nixon during the 1960 presidential campaign; "This is no longer the Democratic Party I joined as a young man," he said at the time.)

From Reagan's book "An American Life" (1990):

I spoke to a Republican fund-raising event near my home in Pacific Palisades and a woman in the audience stood up in the middle of my speech and asked me: "Have you reregistered as a Republican yet?"
"Well, no, I haven't yet," I said, "but I intend to."
"I'm a registrar," she said, and walked down the center aisle through the audience and placed a registration form in front of me. I signed it and became a Republican, then said to the audience, "Now, where was I?"

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library says this took place in the fall of 1962.

Note: Over the years, Reagan would be quoted as saying "I didn't leave the Democratic Party; the Democratic Party left me." That famous line echoes Nixon's acceptance speech at the 1960 Republican National Convention: "And in this campaign I make a prediction. I say that just as in 1952 and 1956 millions of Democrats will join us -- not because they are deserting their party, but because their party deserted them at Los Angeles two weeks ago."

1965 photo of Nixon, Reagan and Barry Goldwater from The Phoenix Gazette.

* "How Reagan Became Reagan" (Steven F. Hayward, Claremont Review of Books, fall 2004): @
* "The Education of Ronald Reagan: The General Electric Years and the Untold Story of His Conversion to Conservatism" (Thomas W. Evans, 2008): @ 
* "Life Before the Presidency" (Miller Center, University of Virginia): @
* "Encroaching Control" (Reagan speech from 1961): @ 

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