The proto-Delorian pictured above is the 1962 Ford Seattle.
Why is it there?
It was the first picture to come up when I typed ‘1962’ into Google Images. Awesome, isn’t it?
And why did I type 1962 into Google Images in the first place?
Well, because earlier this week, I celebrated a grand half-century of existence.
And you know what? That got me thinking about the year I was born into. I thought about how much the world has changed in the years since. I was born into a world where a single computer took up an entire room, where telephones had rotary dials, television was black and white, and nobody had ever heard a single note of The White Album. Nobody had ever been terrified by a Dalek, nor had they said ‘beam me up, Scotty.’
But a quick Wikipedia search showed me a lot of interesting things did happen in the year of my birth. Politics, science, the arts, sports, religion… something cool or horrible or more vastly socially important than anyone could have known at the time happened in each category. People who matter in a global sense were born that year, and so, too, did some die.
It saddens me to realize that I missed sharing the earth with ee cummings by a matter of less than two weeks, and that Eleanor Roosevelt and Charles Laughton were both gone a couple months later. Other major losses that year include: William Faulkner, Stuart Sutcliffe, Marilyn Monroe, and Herman Hesse. I’m a lot less cut up about the death of Adolph Eichmann.
On the other hand, it delights me to know I share a birth year with such people as: Jon Stewart, Eddie Izzard, Lou Diamond Phillips, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Joan Cusack, Felicity Huffman, and Tom Colicchio. That’s not too shabby a list. Also? It’s painfully incomplete. 1962 was a good year to be born for greatness, it seems.
1962 saw the debut not only of moi, but of Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf on Broadway and Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen. Silent Spring debuted on bookshelves everywhere, as did Sex and the Single Girl. The Beatles released their first single and the Rolling Stones played their first major gig. Johnny Carson became the host of the Tonight Show, a job he would do for the next thirty years. AT&T launched the first communications satellite. The Hulk and Spider Man arrived on the comic book scene. Alas, the curtain came down on two of the Flying Wallendas who were killed when their famous seven-person pyramid trick didn’t go as planned.
On the political end of the spectrum, there was the Cuban Missile Crisis, the arrest and imprisonment of Nelson Mandela, the French Foreign Legion left Algeria, and Jamaica achieved independence. The US Supreme Court ruled that naked pictures of men were not pornography and that prayer in public schools could not be required. Fidel Castro was excommunicated by the Pope.
Oh, and there was that neato car.
So that’s a little bit about the year I was born.
What about the year you were born?
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go to Wikipedia and do a search on the year you were born. Tell me three interesting people who were born that year, three who died, and at least two culturally or politically significant things that happened – for good, for ill, or just for grins.
And if you don’t feel like revealing your ages, feel free to make it the year you were married, the year your dog was born, or any other year of significance to you for whatever reason you please.
Give me your best lists!