Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s - 1960s - 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
Years: 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 - 1962 - 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967
Sino-Indian War border dispute involving two of the world's largest nations (between India and the People's Republic of China).
January 1 - Western Samoa becomes independent from New Zealand.
January 3 - Pope John XXIII excommunicates Fidel Castro.
January 4 - New York City introduces a train that operates without a crew on-board.
January 8 - Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa is exhibited in the United States for the first time (National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC).
January 9 - Trade pact between Cuba and the Soviet Union
January 10 - Avalanche on Nevado Huascarán in Peru; 4000 deaths.
January 22 - The Organization of American States (OAS) suspends Cuba's membership.
January 26 - Ranger 3 is launched to study the moon. The space probe later missed the moon by 22,000 miles.
January 30 - Two of the high-wire "Flying Wallendas" are killed when their famous seven-person pyramid collapsed during a performance in Detroit, Michigan
February 7 - The United States Government bans all US-related Cuban imports and exports.
February 14 - First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy takes television viewers on a tour of the White House.
February 2 - For the first time in 400 years Neptune and Pluto align.
February 5 - French President Charles De Gaulle calls for allowing Algeria to be an independent nation.
February 10 - Captured American spy pilot Francis Gary Powers is exchanged for captured Soviet spy Rudolf Abel.
February 12 - Six members of the Committee of 100 of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament are found guilty of a breach of the Official Secrets Act.
February 20 - Mercury program: While aboard Friendship 7, John Glenn orbits the Earth three times in 4 hours, 55 minutes becoming the first American to orbit the Earth.
March 1 - Uganda becomes self-governing.
March 2 - Military coup in Burma.
March 18 - France and Algeria sign an agreement ending the Algerian War.
March 23 - Scandanavian States of Nordic Council sign Helsinki Convention on Nordic Co-operation.
April 26 - The Ranger 4 spacecraft crashes into the Moon.
May 14 - Milovan Djilas, former vice-president of Yugoslavia, is given further sentence for publishing Conversations with Stalin.
May 23 - Drilling for new Montreal, Quebec subway commences
May 24 - Scott Carpenter orbits the Earth three times in the Aurora 7 space capsule.
May 25 - Consecration of the new Coventry cathedral
June 25 - The Supreme Court rules in Engel v Vitale that prayers in public schools are unconstitutional.
July 1 - Independence of Rwanda and Burundi.
July 5 - Algeria becomes independent from France.
July 6 - Irish broadcaster, Gay Byrne, presents his first edition of The Late Late Show. Byrne would go on to present the show for 37 years making it the longest running chat show in the world.
July 10 - Telstar, the world's first communications satellite, is launched into orbit.
July 17 - Nuclear testing: The "Small Boy" test shot Little Feller I becomes the last atmospheric test detonation at the Nevada Test Site.
July 22 - Mariner program: Mariner 1 spacecraft flies erratically several minutes after launch and has to be destroyed.
July 23 - Telstar relays the first live trans-Atlantic television signal.
August 5 - Film actress and sex icon, Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her Los Angeles, California home after apparently overdosing on sleeping pills.
August 6 - Jamaica becomes independent.
August 17 - East German border guards kill 18-year-old Peter Fechter as he attempts to cross the Berlin Wall into West Berlin.
August 31 - Trinidad and Tobago become independent.
September 2 - Soviet Union agrees to send arms to Cuba.
September 12 - President John F. Kennedy declares the USA will get a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
October 1 - The first black student James Meredith registers in University of Mississippi escorted by Federal marshals.
October 5 - French National Assembly censures the proposed referendum to sanction presidential elections by popular mandate; prime minister Georges Pompidou resigns, but President de Gaulle asks him to stay in office
October 9 - Uganda becomes independent within the Commonwealth
October 10 - Der Spiegel publishes an article on a NATO exercise criticizing the weakness of the West German army (the offices of the paper are occupied by the police on the 16th)
October 11 - Second Vatican Council: Pope John XXIII convenes the first ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church in 92 years.
October 13 - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf opens on Broadway.
October 14 - Cuban Missile Crisis begins: A U-2 flight over Cuba takes photos of Soviet nuclear weapons being installed. A stand-off then ensues the next day between the United States and the Soviet Union, putting the entire world under threat of a nuclear war.
October 28 - Cuban Missile Crisis: Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev announces that he had ordered the removal of Soviet missile bases in Cuba.
October 28 - a referendum in France favours the election of the president by universal suffrage
October 31 - the UN General Assembly requests the United Kingdom to suspend enforcement of the new constitution in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), but the constitution comes into effect on November 1
November 5 - Franz Josef Strauß, the West German defence minister, is relieved of his duties over the Spiegel affair because it is alleged that he was involved in police action against the magazine
November 5 - Saudi Arabia breaks off diplomatic relations with Egypt following a period of unrest partly caused by the defection of several Saudi princes to Egypt
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 his "last press conference" and that "you won't have Dick Nixon to kick around any more".
November 17 - In Washington, DC, US President John F. Kennedy dedicates Dulles International Airport.
November 20 - Cuban Missile Crisis ends: In response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, US President John F. Kennedy ends the quarantine of the Caribbean nation.
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 UN Secretary-General.
December 2 - Vietnam War: After a trip to Vietnam at the request of US President John F. Kennedy, US Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield becomes the first American official to not make an optimistic public comment on the war's progress.
December 8 - Closing of first period of Second Vatican Council
December 9 - Tanganyika (now Tanzania) becomes a republic within the Commonwealth, with Julius Nyerere as president
December 11 - Formation in West Germany of coalition government of Christian Democrats, Christian Socialists, and Free Democrats
December 19 - Britain acknowledges the right of Nyasaland (now Malawi) to secede from the Central African Federation
Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring released, giving rise to the modern environmentalist movement.
American ad man Martin K. Speckter invents the interrobang, a new English-language punctuation mark
Year in topic
1962 in film
Lawrence of Arabia
The Longest Day
To Kill a Mockingbird, starring Gregory Peck
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance starring Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne
''How the West Was Won'\', starring Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck, John Wayne, George Peppard, Debbie Reynolds
Hatari starring John Wayne
1962 in literature
Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
1962 in music
Release of first Beatles recording: the single "Love Me Do"/"P.S. I Love You" on October 5 (in the United Kingdom only)
1962 in sports
1962 in television
March 16 - Walter Cronkite succeeds Douglas Edwards as anchorman of the CBS Evening News.
Les Crane and Regis Philbin host The Tonight Show for a short time, until Johnny Carson took over later in the year.
January 17 - Jim Carrey, actor, comedian
January 21 - Marie Trintignant, French actress († 2003)
February 4 - Clint Black, country musician
February 5 - Jennifer Jason Leigh, actress
February 6 - Axl Rose, musician ("Guns N'Roses")
February 7 - Garth Brooks, country music star
February 7 - Eddie Izzard, British actor and comedian
February 10 - Bobby Czyz, boxer
February 11 - Sheryl Crow, American singer
February 11 - Scott Kolden, actor
February 17 - Lou Diamond Phillips, actor
February 21 - Vanessa Feltz, British TV presenter
February 21 - Chuck Palahniuk, author
February 21 - David Foster Wallace, American writer
February 22 - Steve Irwin, Australian herpetologist and TV personality (The Crocodile Hunter)
February 24 - Michelle Shocked, musician
March 2 - Jon Bon Jovi, singer, songwriter, and actor
March 3 - Jackie Joyner-Kersee, athlete
March 12 - Darryl Strawberry, baseball player
March 15 - Terence Trent D'Arby, singer
March 17 - Clare Grogan, Scottish actress and singer
March 21 - Rosie O'Donnell, comedian, actress, talk show host, publisher
March 21 - Matthew Broderick, actor
March 23 - Steve Redgrave, five times Olympic gold-medallist
March 26 - John Stockton, former basketball player, all-time NBA leader in assists and steals
April 11 - Vincent Gallo, actor
April 15 - Nawal El Moutawakel, Moroccan hurdler
April 23 - John Hannah, Scottish actor
May 3 - Anders Graneheim, bodybuilder
May 9 - David Gahan, singer in Depeche Mode
May 10 - David Fincher, film director
May 12 - Emilio Estevez, actor
May 24 - Gene Anthony Ray, actor († 2003)
May 26 - Bobcat Goldthwait, actor, comedian
May 27 - Ravi Shastri, Indian cricketer
June 10 - Gina Gershon, actress
June 13 - Ally Sheedy, actress
June 19 - Paula Abdul, dancer, choreographer and singer; American Idol judge
June 29 - Amanda Donohoe, actress
July 3 - Tom Cruise, actor
July 8 - Rob Burnett, former head writer for David Letterman
July 19 - Anthony Edwards, actor
July 31 - Wesley Snipes, actor
August 4 - Roger Clemens, baseball pitcher, six-time Cy Young Award winner
August 5 - Patrick Ewing, former NBA star
August 6 - Michelle Yeoh, actress
August 29 - Rebecca De Mornay, actress
September 1 - Ruud Gullit, Dutch footballer
September 11 - Elizabeth Daily, actress
September 17 - Baz Luhrmann, film director
September 24 - Jack Dee, comedian
September 26 - Melissa Sue Anderson, actress
September 26 - Tracey Thorn, singer
October 1 - Esai Morales, actor.
October 11 - Joan Cusack, actress and comedienne
October 13 - Kelly Preston, actress
October 13 - Jerry Rice, NFL star, holds most league receiving records
October 19 - Evander Holyfield, heavyweight boxer
October 23 - Doug Flutie, American and Canadian Football star
October 25 - Nick Hancock, British actor and television presenter
October 26 - Cary Elwes, British actor (The Princess Bride)
November 11 - Demi Moore, actress
November 19 - Jodie Foster, actress and director
November 21 - Steven Curtis Chapman, contemporary Christian music star
November 27 - Samantha Bond, British actress
November 29 - Andrew McCarthy, actor
November 30 - Daniel Keys Moran, science fiction writer
December 12 - Tracy Austin, tennis champion
December 22 - Ralph Fiennes, actor
December 28 - Michel Petrucciani, French jazzman († 1999)
December 30 - Alessandra Mussolini, Italian politician
January 13 - Ernie Kovacs, comedian (* 1919)
January 20 - Robinson Jeffers, poet (* 1887)
January 24 - André Lhote, French painter (* 1885)
January 26 - Lucky Luciano, American mobster (* 1897)
January 29 - Fritz Kreisler, Austrian violinist (* 1875)
February 10 - Eduard von Steiger, former president of Switzerland (* 1881)
February 17 - Bruno Walter, conductor (* 1876)
February 19 - Georgios Papanikolaou, inventor of the Pap smear (* 1883)
March 24 - Auguste Piccard, physicist and explorer (* 1884)
April 10 - Michael Curtiz, film director (* 1886)
May 27 - Egon Petri, classical pianist (* 1881)
May 31 - Adolf Eichmann, Nazi official (executed) (* 1906)
June 2 - Vita Sackville-West, landscape gardener (* 1892)
June 4 - Charles William Beebe, American oceanic pioneer (* 1877)
June 6 - Yves Klein, French painter (* 1928)
June 12 - John Ireland, English composer (* 1879)
June 13 - Eugène Aynsley Goossens, English composer (* 1893)
June 15 - Alfred Cortot, French pianist (* 1877)
July 6 - William Faulkner, American novelist (* 1897)
July 9 - Georges Bataille, French writer (* 1897)
July 12 - Roger Wolfe Kahn, band leader (* 1907)
July 20 - George Macaulay Trevelyan, English historian (* 1876)
August 5 - Marilyn Monroe, American actress (* 1926)
August 9 - Hermann Hesse, author (* 1877)
August 15 - Lei Feng, eminent PLA soldier (* 1940)
September 3 - E. E. Cummings, poet (* 1894)
September 6 - Hanns Eisler, composer (* 1898)
September 7 - Isak Dinesen, Danish writer (* 1885)
October 6 - Tod Browning, director of Freaks (* 1882)
October 9 - Milan Vidmar, Slovene electrical engineer and chess player (* 1885)
October 27 - Enrico Mattei, Italian politician (* 1906)
November 7 - Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady (* 1884)
November 18 - Niels Bohr, Danish physicist (* 1885)
November 28 - Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands (* 1880)
December 15 - Charles Laughton, actor and director (* 1899)
December 20 - Emil Artin, mathematician (* 1898)
December 24 - Wilhelm Ackermann, mathematician (* 1896)
Physics - Lev Davidovich Landau
Chemistry - Max Ferdinand Perutz, John Cowdery Kendrew
Medicine - Francis Harry Compton Crick, James Dewey Watson, Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins
Literature - John Steinbeck
Peace - Linus Carl Pauling
Heads of state in 1962