June 1962

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Significant National and World Events this month (indicated date): President Kennedy proposes to reduce the personal and corporate income tax rates (7). At this time, the tax rate on the highest income brackets in the United States is 91%, which prompts several movie stars, among others, to establish residences overseas to seek tax relief. The USSR signals that it will place nuclear missiles in Cuba, to shore up the security of its Communist ally in the Western hemisphere, a move that would culminate in the Cuban Missile Crisis in October (10). The last three prisoners to ever escape from the federal penitentiary at Alcatraz break out of the island prison. They would never be seen again. Clint Eastwood chronicled this episode in his 1979 film, Escape from Alcatraz (11). The U.S. Supreme Court issues two noteworthy decisions on the same date (25): Ruling that mandatory prayer in public schools was unconstitutional, and decriminalizing male pornography, asserting that photographs of naked men were not obscene.

In Sports, Jack Nicklaus wins the U.S. Open golf tournament in Oakmont Pennsylvania, the first of 18 career championships (17). And pitcher Don Newcombe, former Brooklyn Dodger, became the first American to appear in a Japanese professional baseball game (23).

In Entertainment and Pop Culture, the Amazing Spider-Man, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, is introduced by Marvel Comics as “Amazing Fantasy” issue #15 is released to newsstands (5). 20th Century Fox fires Marilyn Monroe from the ironically titled film Something’s Got to Give after she reports to the set only five days in three weeks (8). The movie would be scrapped and then restart production in 1963 with a new cast (Doris Day and James Garner), and be released as Move Over Darling.

On the Pop Music ChartsI Can’t Stop Loving You by Ray Charles is the #1 single for the entire month, a 5 week reign, to match his #1 album, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. Other best selling album charters during the month include Acker Bilk with Strangers on the Shore, The Best of the Kingston Trio, and the ongoing success of the movie soundtrack from West Side Story. Other top ten single records and their peak position in a busy month include: Palisades Park by Freddy Cannon, It Keeps Right On-A Hurtin’ by Johnny Tillotson, and Lovers Who Wander by Dion, all climbing to #3; The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance by Gene Pitney (#4), Second Hand Love by Connie Francis (#7), Cindy’s Birthday by Johnny Crawford, the teenage co-star of the TV western The Rifleman (#8), two early Motown hits, Playboy by the Marvelettes (#7), and The One Who Really Loves You by Mary Wells (#8), and That’s Old Fashioned by the Everly Brothers (#9), their fifteenth and final top ten hit.

Movies scoring at the Box Office include the month’s repeat champ, West Side Story, newcomer Advise and Consent (#2), holdover Judgement at Nuremberg (#3), The Road to Hong Kong (#4), the final edition of the Bob Hope-Bing Crosby comedy franchise after twenty years; The Counterfeit Traitor (#5), El Cid (#6) now in wide, post-roadshow release, and two family friendly flicks, Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (#7) and Walt Disney’s Big Red (#8)  launching the summer season. Variety noted that indoor theaters lost business to the reopened drive-ins, but after a slow start the month “wound up in a blaze of strong business figures,” lifting prospects for a strong summer. At the art houses and specialty theaters, Through a Glass Darkly, Only Two Can Play, and the Oscar-winning documentary, The Sky Above-the Mud Below, all did brisk business.

 

 

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