December 2 - Vietnam War: After a trip to Vietnam at the request of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, U.S.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield becomes the first American official to make a non-optimistic public comment on the
December 7 - Rainier III, Prince of Monaco revises the principality's constitution, devolving some of his formerly
autocratic power to several advisory and legislative councils.
- The first period of the Second Vatican Council closes.
- The North Kalimantan National Army revolts in Brunei, in the first stirrings of the Indonesian Confrontation.
- The 1962 New York City newspaper strike begins, affecting all of the city's major newspapers; It would last for 114 days.
- Former Dutch queen Wilhelmina buried at the New Church in Delft.
December 9 - Tanganyika (now Tanzania) becomes a republic within the Commonwealth, with Julius Nyerere as president.
- MGM's The Wizard of Oz receives its last of four December telecasts on CBS. It will skip a telecast in 1963, so beginning
in 1964, first on CBS, then on NBC, and finally again on CBS, it will nearly always be telecast during the early part of the
year until Turner Entertainment buys the rights to the film in the 1990s.
December 10 - David Lean's epic film Lawrence of Arabia, featuring Peter O' Toole, Omar Sharif, Alec Guinness, Jack
Hawkins, and Anthony Quinn premieres in London. Six days later, it opens in the U.S.
- In West Germany, a coalition government of Christian Democrats, Christian Socialists, and Free Democrats is formed.
- The last execution by hanging in Canada takes place.
December 14 - U.S. spacecraft Mariner 2 flies by Venus, becoming the first probe to successfully transmit data from another planet.
- The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci Mona Lisa was assessed for insurance purposes at US$100 million, before the painting
toured the United States for several months. It is the highest insurance value for a painting in history. However, the Louvre
chose to spend the money that would have been spent on the insurance premium on security instead.
December 15 - Storm over North Sea. Belgian pirate radio station Radio Uylenspiegel is knocked off the airwaves, never
to operate again.
December 19 - Britain acknowledges the right of Nyasaland (now Malawi) to secede from the Central African Federation.
December 21 - Britain agrees to purchase Polaris missiles from the U.S.
December 22 - "Big Freeze" in Britain: There are no frost-free nights until March 5, 1963.
December 24 - Cuba releases the last 1,113 participants in the Bay of Pigs Invasion to the U.S., in exchange for food
worth $53 million.
December 30 - United Nations troops occupy the last rebel positions in Katanga; Moise Tshombe moves to South Rhodesia.
- An unexpected storm buries Maine under five feet of snow, forcing the Bangor Daily News to miss a publication date for the
only time in history. The same day, also the Netherlands are covered with several feet of snow. (source: Wikipedia)