John Herschel Glenn in 1962 was the first American and the third person to orbit the earth. He circled the earth in Friendship 7 three times in almost five hours. In 1998, at the age of 77, he returned to space on the space shuttle Discovery.
Laser beam was bounced off the moon’s surface successfully in 1962. Scientists from MIT illuminated a bit of the moon’s surface. A lunar laser ranger from Apollo 11 helped refine future laser beams aimed at the moon. Scientists have found that the moon is moving a bit away from the earth and that the moon has a liquid core.
Burundi and the Republic of Rwanda both celebrate their Independence Days. Belgium gave up control of both countries in 1962.
Burundi, according to the CIA World Factbook, is about the size of Maryland. This landlocked country in central Africa is covered by mountains with an eastern plateau. It borders Lake Tanganyika. The tropical climate means that coffee and tea can be exported. Almost 11 million people live in Burundi, and Bujumbura is the capital.
Republic of Rwanda is also about the size if Maryland and is also landlocked. The climate is temperate, and geography is mostly grassy uplands. Subsistence agriculture and mining are the major occupations for the 12 million inhabitants. Kigali is the capital.
Jamaica celebrates Independence Day. It became free from Great Britain in 1962, but Jamaica remains a part of the British Commonwealth. Located in the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica is about the size of Connecticut. This mountainous island has a tropical climate. Almost three million people live there, and tourism is an important industry. Kingston is the capital. Children could learn more at: Jamaica.
Chad celebrates Its Independence Day from France. Chad became a sovereign country in 1962. It is a landlocked country, about three times the size of California. This African country’s arid climate allows some farming and some pastoral activity. It has huge oil reserves. Over eleven million people live in Chad. N’Djamena is the capital. Idea: Children could make a map of Chad and its neighbors.
Trinidad and Tobago celebrate Independence Day. The two islands located off the northeastern coast of South America became free of British rule in 1962. The combined area is about the same as the area of Delaware, and over 1.2 million people live there. Port of Spain is the capital. The islands export petroleum, cocoa, and sugar.
Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was first published in 1962. It helped create an awareness of earth’s fragility and pollution’s hazards. Carson stressed the negative environmental consequences of pesticides.
James Meredith enrolled as the first African-American at the then all-white University of Mississippi in 1962. President Kennedy sent federal troops to quell the riots. Three people died, and 50 more were hurt.
Uganda celebrates Independence Day. This African land-locked country became free from British rule in 1962. Slightly smaller than the state of Oregon, Uganda is home to almost 35 million people. Farmers comprise about 80 percent of the population, and coffee is one of its biggest exports. The capital is Kampala.
James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology for theorizing the double-helix structure of DNA.