1962 was the 91st year after the founding of the city of Birmingham.
- January 9: A rare snowfall brought 3.5 inches to Birmingham.
- March: The City of Moody was incorporated.
- March 29: Del Shannon, Roy Acuff, Larry Finnegan, Charlies Rich, Geroge Morgan, Chuck Reed, Claude Gray, The Louvin Brothers, and Billy Walker appeared in the WVOK-AM Shower of Stars concert.
- May: Hayes High School graduated its first senior class.
- May 20: Our Lady of the Angels Monastery was officially established in Irondale by Mother Angelica.
- May 31: Liberty National Life Insurance began offering tours to its Miss Liberty statue, hosted by "Liberty Belles".
- Operation New Birmingham was created as a committee of the Downtown Improvement Association.
- The last Red Mountain ore was mined.
- A group of local architects met with business leaders to elaborate a downtown plan to elaborated on the 1961 Birmingham comprehensive plan.
- Birmingham Post-Herald editor Jimmy Mills was arrested for publishing an election-day editorial suggesting how citizens should vote.
- November: Birmingham voters approved a change in government from a City Commission to a Mayor and City Council.
- The Civiettes Club moved their annual dance to Eastwood Mall as the "Mall Ball."
- Jim Henson's Muppet characters "Wilkins and Wontkins" began appearing in advertisements for Red Diamond.
- Former Coasters member Bobby Nunn founded "Bobby Nunn's Coasters".
- Cullman's Saint Bernard College dropped its college preparatory program.
- Hortense and Isadore Pizitz donated the Boulder Canyon Nature Area to Vestavia Hills.
- The Hoover Volunteer Fire Department was organized.
- Rock and roll band The Counts formed in Ensley Highlands.
- Putnam Middle School was given its name to honor former Birmingham Board of Education staffer W. E. Putnam.
- Festival of Arts: Salute to Arts Around Us
- Southeastern Bible College was recognized by the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges.
Civil Rights Movement
- January 1: Rather than integrate city parks, the Birmingham City Commission closed them to the public altogether.
- January 16: New Bethel Baptist Church, St Luke's AME Zion Church, and Triumph Church and Kingdom of God in Christ were each damaged by bombs.
- February 12: Martin Luther King Jr spoke at an ACMHR-sponsored "Lincoln's Birthday Rally" at 16th Street Baptist Church, telling the crowd "We are prepared to walk in, sit in, ride in or anything else that it takes to do away with segregation."
- March - June: Student leaders from Miles College, Daniel Payne College, Booker T. Washington Business College and Birmingham-Southern College organized a Selective Buying Campaign to pressure merchants to desegregate their stores and hire black workers.
- April 3: In retaliation for boycotts, the Birmingham City Commission ended its appropriation to a surplus food program.
- May: During the SCLC's annual meeting, Shuttlesworth invited King to lead demonstrations in Birmingham.
- July 24: Judge Hobart Grooms issued an injunction against segregated service at the Dobbs House Flight Kitchen at Birmingham Municipal Airport.
- September 22: Two African Americans who attended the Alabama-Georgia game at Legion Field were assaulted by a crowd of as many as 100 white persons outside the game when they made their exit during the 4th quarter.
- November 6: A 1962 Birmingham special election, widely viewed as a referendum on the power wielded by Bull Connor, resulted in a change to a Mayor-Council form of government.
- December 14: Bethel Baptist Church was bombed a third time, the explosion occurred across the street, but still shattered windows at the church and parsonage.
- Joe and Lola Hendricks filed a lawsuit to desegregate the Birmingham Public Library.
- Fred Shuttlesworth, Martin Luther King Jr and other leaders met with Vice President Lyndon Johnson and Attorney General Robert Kennedy.
- Judge Hobart Grooms ordered the University of Alabama to admit Vivian Malone and James Hood.
- Judge Seybourn Lynne began hearing arguments in Armstrong v. Birmingham Board of Education of Birmingham.
- Chris McNair opened a photography studio.
- Gene and Bettie Crutcher opened Gene Crutcher Books at Five Points South.
- Homestead House furniture store opened in Bessemer.
- The Birmingham Real Estate Board relocated from the Jackson Building to the City Federal Building.
- A 150-room Holiday Inn opened on 3rd Avenue North.
- The Red Lion Lounge opened in Homewood.
- Sherer's Drive-In opened a location in Tupelo, Mississippi.
- Upside Down Plaza opened in the Highland Plaza shopping center.
- Blevins Barber Shop opened in the Bank for Savings Building.
- The Brock Drug Company closed.
- Jimmy Siragusa opened Diamond Jim's Steak Bar on 11th Avenue North.
- Norman Albright founded the ABC Kindergarten.
- C. F. Penn Hamburgers raised the price of a burger from 14 to 20 cents.
- Edgewater mine closed.
- Jenkins Manufacturing relocated from Birmingham to Anniston.
- The Margaret Apartments on Highland Avenue were sold to Gulf Oil Corporation.
- Jim Walter Homes acquired fiberboard manufacturer Celotex.
- Sterling Edwards's son Leon took over Edwards Chevrolet.
- May 23: Tapawingo Plunge swimming pool in Pinson Valley reopened under new ownership.
- July 3: Birmingham's first McDonald's restaurant opened in the Central Park neighborhood.
- November 2: Discount retailer Government Employees Store (G*E*S) opened in West End.
- November 2: Discount retailer Maxam opened at the Skyland Shopping Center in Tuscaloosa.
- November 28: The Strand Theater closed.
- December: Newberry's department store was re-branded as Britts of Birmingham.
- February 9: Clarence Allgood took his seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
- Bessemer mayor Jess Lanier lobbied the Alabama legislature to divide Jefferson County in two, with the Bessemer Cutoff forming a new county.
- Chuck Morgan co-filed a suit against the State of Alabama to force reapportionment of the Alabama State Legislature in "Reynolds v. Sims".
- A. D. Blair was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Leeds Mayor Bill Dorrough.
- The Birmingham Police Department passed out leaflets of traffic regulations with the slogan "It's Nice to Have You in Birmingham" rather than tickets for minor traffic offenders.
- A group of citizens successfully petitioned the Bessemer Board of Education not to construct a school in DeBardeleben Park.
- The FBI Birmingham Division from the Martin Building to the 2121 Building.
- November 6: 1962 general election: George Wallace was elected to the first of four terms as Governor of Alabama and Birmingham voters approved a Mayor-Council form of government.
- Hugo Black wrote a decision in Engel v. Vitale declaring state-sanctioned prayer in public schools unconstitutional.
- March 18: A. D. King was installed as pastor of First Baptist Church of Ensley.
- October 24: Shades Mountain Baptist Church broke ground on a new 1,500-seat sanctuary.
- John Cross became pastor of 16th Street Baptist Church.
- John Porter succeeded John Goodgame, Jr as pastor of Sixth Avenue Baptist Church.
- John Colreavy was appointed pastor of St Anthony's Church in Ensley.
- John Christian succeeded Clarence Baldwin as pastor of Pilgrim Congregational Church.
- Pilgrim Congregational Church hosted the first joint meeting of the Congregational Church's Southeast Convention and the African-American Convention of the South before their merger in 1965.
- Saint Mark United Methodist Church moved to its current building.
- Vestavia Hills Baptist Church began raising funds for an expansion that resulted in the demolition of the former Vestavia estate.
- January 1: The 1961 Alabama Crimson Tide football team defeated Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl to claim a national championship.
- January: Paul "Bear" Bryant signed a new 10-year contract, worth $18,000 per year, to remain head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team.
- June 28: The first race on the reconfigured 5/8ths mile Birmingham International Raceway was held.
- Bart Starr led the Green Bay Packers to the first of his five NFL championships with the team.
- Alcorn State University joined the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
- Bobby Allison won NASCAR's modified special division championship.
- Buck Buchanan earned NAIA All-American honors at Grambling State.
- Bill Yearby won a Class A Michigan state championship in the shot put.
- Roberta Baumgardner won the women's collegiate singles tennis title.
- Phil Neel's "Aubie" cartoon took to walking upright.
- Jim Davenport batted .297 with 14 home runs and 58 RBI over 144 games for the San Francisco Giants.
- April 28: Al Lary gave up Willie Mays' 324th career home run, a grand slam, in Candlestick Park.
- December 1: Alabama beat Auburn 38-0 in the 1962 Iron Bowl at Legion Field.
- Snitz Snider's Bessemer High School football team won a state championship.
- The 1962 Alabama Crimson Tide football team went 10-1, beating #8 Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 1963 and finishing #5 in the AP poll.
- The 1962 Auburn Tigers football team went 6-3-1
- The 1962 Howard Bulldogs football team went 7-2 and made a December 1 appearance in the Golden Isles Bowl, losing to McNeese State in Bobby Bowden's final game as head coach.
- Al Awtrey left the Birmingham Fire Department to devote his full time to Awtrey Building Corporation.
- Birmingham-Southern College president Henry Stanford left to head the University of Miami.
- Tom King became city attorney for Alabaster.
- John E. Davis, Jr succeeded Milton Andrews as president of The Club.
- S. Richardson Hill became dean of the Medical College of Alabama.
- Andrew Hodges was elected to the Howard College Board of Trustees.
- Louis Marty succeeded Charles Vines as principal of Hueytown High School.
- Gordon Starr succeeded Harriett Grimes as principal of Powell Elementary School.
- Ward McEntyre joined WBRC-6, replacing Bart Darby as news reporter, sports announcer, and host of "Bozo the Clown".
- Charles Money joined Vincent Carnaggio's Pediatrics East.
- Architect David O. Whilldin retired from practice.
- Asa Trammell was elected to the executive board of the United Rubber Workers International.
- Richard Morrison succeeded Joseph Fanning Drake as president of Alabama A&M University.
- Surpora Thomas began her nursing career at Children's Hospital.
- Chuck Dryden retired retired from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel and went to work for Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems.
- Arthur Weeks returned as dean of the Cumberland School of Law.
- Biologist Dan Holliman joined the faculty of Birmingham-Southern College.
- Ted Galloway was hired as Berry High School's first band director.
- Asa Rountree III became a partner and corporate litigator in the New York firm of Debevoise & Plimpton.
- January 19: Sherry Lewis, Birmingham Water Works Board chair
- March 1: Jim McElwain, college football coach
- March 2: Al Del Greco, NFL kicker and sports radio host
- March 3: Tim James, asphalt paving contractor and bridge developer
- March 21: Mark Waid, comic book writer
- March 31: Gregg Carr, NFL lineman and orthopaedic surgeon
- April 26: Jimmy Kitchens, NASCAR driver
- April 26: Bill Pryor, federal judge and former Attorney General of Alabama
- May 22: Steve French, Alabama State Senate
- May 25: Lionel James, NFL running back
- June 8: Chris Dupont, restaurateur
- June 11: John Mark Stallings, son of coach Gene Stallings
- July 19: Chris Woods, NFL receiver
- July 20: Ignatius Crockett, Orthodox priest
- July 25: Mark Cullum, Birmingham News editorial cartoonist
- July 31: Stephen Gordon, political strategist
- August 3: SI Reasoning, musician, dancer, artist, playwright and activist
- August 11: Ennis Whatley, NBA player
- September 13: Nolen Otts, artist and graphic designer
- September 30: Dave Magadan, Major League baseball player
- October 7: Dale Watson, country singer/songwriter
- October 18: Willie Parker, physician and reproductive rights advocate
- October 29: Joey Jones, NFL receiver and college football coach
- November 18: John Carter, Homewood Police Department corrections officer
- November 30: Bo Jackson, NFL running back and Major League Baseball player
- Ondray Agee, Alabama Power Company meter reader and Kingston neighborhood officer
- Murry Bartow, UAB Blazers basketball head coach
- Elisa Burns-Macon, Birmingham City Schools and Altamont School teacher
- Mark Crosswhite, CEO of Alabama Power
- Colin Coyne, real estate developer and business consultant
- Leon Davis, chief of the Fairfield Police Department
- Steve Dubrinsky, restaurateur
- Glenn Feldman, historian
- Charles Gordon, Chief of the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service
- Julie Hitt, Miss Alabama
- Steven Hoyt, Birmingham City Council
- Karmi Ingber, rabbi of Knesseth Israel Congregation
- Henry Irby, former Birmingham Police Department interim chief
- David Maluff, restaurateur
- Tadd McVay, HealthSouth chief financial officer
- Jennifer Trammell, CEO of the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce
- Tuseven, a female East African oryx at the Birmingham Zoo.
- David Barnes graduated from Parker High School.
- Bill Battle III graduated from the University of Alabama.
- Jim Carns earned a bachelor's degree in Engineering at the University of Alabama.
- Charles Crowder earned a degree from the University of Alabama School of Law.
- Frank Dukes graduated from Miles College.
- Jack Farr graduated from Shelby County High School.
- Barry Ivker earned a bachelor of arts from the University of Pennsylvania.
- Bernard Kincaid graduated from Western-Olin High School.
- Lawrence Pijeaux graduated from a public high school in New Orleans.
- Sandy Posey graduated high school in West Memphis, Arkansas.
- Ann Reynolds completed a doctorate in zoology at the University of Iowa.
- Virginia Volker earned a bachelor's degree in biology and psychology from the University of Alabama.
- Doug Waits completed a bachelor's in biology at Alabama College.
- August 25: Army Captain Colin Powell married speech pathologist Alma Johnson at First Congregational Christian Church.
- December 9: Banker Pete Norris married Ann Deaver.
- Gene Ubriaco to his wife, Nella.
- Alabama Newspaper Hall of Honor: Franklin Glass
- Miss Alabama: Patricia Bonner
- Miss Alabama USA: Jerolyn Ridgeway
- Miss Howard College: Carol Harwell
- Mr Crestwood: Joe Davis
- March 4: Brooke Burnham, architect
- April 14: William Warren, architect
- May 8: "Sunny Jim" Snell, circus clown
- August 2: Larry Thomas, Little League player
- August 31: Raimundo de Ovies, Episcopal priest
- Bertha Burrell, owner of the Sam Thornley residence
- W. E. Putnam, research director for the Birmingham Board of Education
- See also: List of homicides in 1962
- Alabama: Mounds to Missiles, textbook by Virginia Pounds Brown & Helen Morgan Akens
- The feature film version of To Kill a Mockingbird with Mary Badham as Scout and Philip Alford as Jem premiered.
- Ezra Sims "Third Quartet" premiered.
- Festival of Arts logo designed by George Hackney.
- Clifton Holman, Sr painted an expansive Trompe-l'oeil backdrop for his son's "Popeye" program on WABT-TV.
- "Odetta and The Blues", "Sometimes I Feel Like Cryin', and "Odetta At Town Hall", albums by Odetta
- Lili Gentle played her final film role in Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation.
- September 8: Saint Mark United Methodist Church held services in their new building.
- December 18: The conservatory at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens was completed.
- The Bank for Savings Building was completed.
- A new 87-foot-tall air traffic control tower was completed at Birmingham Municipal Airport.
- Shades Valley Family YMCA on Montgomery Highway opened.
- Chace Lake Country Club opened.
- An annex building was added to Ramsay High School.
- Lloyd Wood Middle School in Northport opened.
- A "round bank" branch of Birmingham Federal Savings & Loan was constructed in Vestavia Hills.
- University Hospital School of Nursing Residence at UAB
- Jefferson County Courthouse annex.
- The Bull Connor's house in Crestwood was constructed.
- The 1909 Clark Building downtown was modernized.
- Ensley Baptist Church added an education wing.
- The First Baptist Church of Boldo added a Sunday School wing.
- Excavation for the Elton B. Stephens Expressway's Red Mountain cut began.
- Construction of the Parliament House hotel began.
- Sylvan Springs Town Hall was built.
- A rectory for St Elias Maronite Church was built.
- An addition to the Birmingham News building was completed.
- The first phase of Vestavia Hills' Wald Park opened.
- The Ritz Theatre was updated for wrap-around Cinerama projection.
- Paving of the runway at Bessemer's Durham Airport began.
- A gymnasium was added to Hayes High School.
- A parsonage for Harmony Street Baptist Church was built.
- Three classrooms were added to Saint Rose Academy.
- A major renovation of the Comer Building resulted in its re-naming as the "City Federal Building".
- Ground was broken for a new Jones Valley High School.
- Unit 4 of the Gaston Steam Plant was put into service.
- A new concrete bridge took the place of Clarkson Covered Bridge in Cullman.
In 1962 the U.S. imposed a trade embargo against Cuba and later withstood the Cuban Missile Crisis. The first Wal-Mart and K-Mart discount stores appeared. Jawaharlal Nehru was elected prime minister of India. The Century 21 World's Fair was held in Seattle, Washington, featuring the Space Needle. Adolf Eichmann was hanged for his war crimes. Scores of Atlanta, Georgia's civic and cultural leaders were killed in the crash of Air Flight France 007. Three men escaped from Alcatraz Island. Spider-Man made his first appearance in Marvel comics. Jackie Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Beatles recorded their first single, "Love Me Do". President Kennedy promised to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. African-American James Meredith enrolled at the University of Mississippi. The Second Vatican Council was held. New York's newspaper staffers went on strike.
Top grossing films of 1962 included Lawrence of Arabia, The Longest Day, In Search of the Castaways, That Touch of Mink, and The Music Man. Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft won Oscars for their roles in The Miracle Worker and Gregory Peck won Best Actor for portraying Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, which also featured Robert Duvall in his film debut.
Notable books published in 1962 included Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, The Spy Who Loved Me by Ian Fleming, The Thin Red Line by James Jones, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. John Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Popular music in 1962 included the pop hits "Return to Sender" and "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley and "I Can't Stop Loving You" by Ray Charles. The year marked the first recordings by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer won Grammys for best song and best album for "Moon River".
Notable births in 1962 included comedians Jim Carrey, Jon Stewart and Craig Ferguson; evangelist Creflo Dollar; actors Wesley Snipes, Tom Cruise, Ralph Fiennes, Cary Elwes, Demi Moore, Matthew Broderick and Jodie Foster; rapper MC Hammer; singers Clint Black, Axl Rose, Jon Bon Jovi, Paula Adbul, Taylor Dayne and Sheryl Crow; authors Chuck Palahniuk and David Foster Wallace; reality show hosts Steve Irwin and Mike Rowe; athletes Darryl Strawberry, Jerry Rice, Doug Flutie, Clyde Drexler, Herschel Walker, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee; and directors David Fincher and Baz Luhrmann.
Notable deaths included actress Marilyn Monroe, gangster Lucky Luciano, musician Stewart Sutcliffe, poet E. E. Cummings, physicist Neils Bohr, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, painter Yves Klein, authors William Faulkner, Herman Hesse and Georges Bataille, and director Tod Browning
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