50 Years Ago: The World in 1962

A half-century ago, the space race was heating up and the Cold War was freezing over. Soviet missile bases discovered in Cuba triggered a crisis that brought the U.S. to the brink of war with the U.S.S.R. Civil rights activists won hard-earned victories against segregationists in the American South, and John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. Algeria gained independence from France and the U.S. slowly escalated its involvement in Vietnam. Meanwhile, Seattle held a World's Fair called the the Century 21 Exposition, celebrating the themes of space, science, and the future. Let me take you 50 years into the past now, for a look at the world as it was in 1962.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Luis Echeverria / Reuters

    Pilgrims, Prayers, and Pizza on Pacaya Volcano

    Locals and tourists are visiting lava flows, taking photos, offering prayers, and making pizza.

  • Patrick Van Emst / ANP / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Sandy Hooves, Sunny Park, Count Binface

    Reopenings in Europe, coping with COVID-19 in India, kayak racing in Italy, artistic swimming in Budapest, an elephant-seal pup in California, and much more

  • Atta Kenare / AFP / Getty

    Photos: Eid al-Fitr and the End of Ramadan 2021

    Images of Muslims around the world observing Eid al-Fitr and Ramadan this year

  • Qusay Dawud / AFP / Getty

    Photos: Violence Explodes Across Israel and Gaza

    Following weeks of escalating tensions, militants in the Gaza Strip began firing rockets into Israel, and Israeli forces have conducted air strikes in Gaza in response.