William Maxwell Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook
by Colin Vines Click on the links below to find out more
snapshot print, 25 May 1962
7 3/4in. x 9 5/8in. (196 mm x 243 mm)
After a series of by-election defeats, the prime minister, Harold MacMillan organises a drastic cabinet reshuffle, dismissing one third of his cabinet. Liberal MP Jeremy Thorpe's rye comment summed up the desperate action: 'greater love hath no man than this, than to lay down his friends for his life.'Britain suffers the 'Big Freeze' with no frost-free nights between 22nd December 1962 and 5th March 1963.
Art and science
The Beatles have their first hit with Love Me Do
and release their first album Please Please Me
.The new Coventry Cathedral is consecrated and creates a showcase for British artistic talent with the first performance of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem
, a wall hanging by Graham Sutherland, stained glass by John Piper, and sculptures by Jacob Epstein and Elizabeth Frink.
The world comes to the brink of nuclear war with the Cuban Missile Crisis. In response to the USA's nuclear advantage, the USSR sent missiles to Cuba. The crisis lasted for 12 days before a deal was finally stuck between Khrushchev and Kennedy in which the Cuban missile bases were dismantled in return for the secret removal of US missiles from Turkey.