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1962 in Clemson history

  • Repairs on the Old Stone Church completed.
  • Tri County Technical College is founded with 300 students in its first year to help with economic development of Tri County area. Located in Pendleton along US 76 on former Woodburn Farm property.
  • Benet Hall is completed on West Campus.
  • January: Harvey Bernard Gantt, an architecture student from Charleston, attending Iowa State University in Ames, applies for admission to Clemson a second time. When he is turned down due to his race, his attorneys file suit in federal court, and upon appeal he is finally admitted.
  • January 31-February 5: Second-ever formal rush week held on campus under the direction of the Inter-Fraternity Council. (TAPS 1962, page 63.)
  • March 2: Clemson's basketball team, in the Finals of the ACC Tournament, beats a sixth-ranked Duke team in the semifinals of that tournament, 77-72, then the highest-ranked win in Clemson history. The team is defeated the next day by Wake Forest, 66-77, in the final game.
  • April 13: Representatives of Borden, Inc., including Elsie the Cow, present a certificate of merit to Clemson for 25 years of special services rendered the dairy industry. Dean Walter T. Cox accepts the award on behalf of the college. (Aheron, Piper Peters, "Images of America: Oconee County", Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, South Carolina, 1998, reprinted 2000, 2001, 2003, Library of Congress card number 98-87135, ISBN 0-7524-0895-X, page 106.)
  • May 17: ROTC cadets observe Armed Forces Day on Bowman Field.
  • September: The Clemson University Counterguerrilla Platoon is organized to give Army ROTC cadets an opportunity for advanced military training. (TAPS 1967, Volume 57, page 193.)
  • September: Bud Kelly's Gulf service station opens on the southeast corner of the Old Greenville Highway and US 76 in Clemson. It will stay in business until November 1999.
  • September 14: An accidentally intercepted phone call from University of Georgia athletic director and former football coach Wallace "Wally" Butts to University of Alabama head football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, reveals (later) that the opening game of the 1962 season on September 22 between the two schools, played at Legion Field in Birmingham, has been thrown by Butts' giving Bryant confidential information about the Bulldogs' play strategies. The final score of 35-0 by 'Bama is the most lop-sided outcome since 1923. The betting line favored Alabama between 14 and 17 points. As the truth comes out, the University of Georgia's athletic board meets on February 23 and confronts Butts with the testimony of the man who had inadvertently heard the damning conversation. Butts refuses to take a lie-detector test. The following day, newspapers report that Butts has resigned immediately "for purely personal and business reasons." An investigation into the Southeastern Conference follows. (Graham, Jr., Frank, The Story of a College Football Fix, The Saturday Evening Post, 23 March 1963, Volume 236, Number 11, pages 80-83.) Butts filed a libel lawsuit against the Saturday Evening Post after it ran an article alleging that he and Bear Bryant had conspired to fix games. Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, as it ultimately became when it reached the Supreme Court, was a landmark libel case. The court ruled in his favor in 1967, and the Saturday Evening Post was ordered to pay $3.06 million to him in damages, an amount which was later reduced on appeal to $460,000. This settlement was seen as a contributing factor in the demise of the venerable Saturday Evening Post two years later. Both Butts and Bryant had sued for $10 million each. Bryant settled for $300,000. It was revealed during the trial that although George Burnett took notes while he listened to the call, the magazine wrote the story without ever seeing them. The court found that the magazine had rushed the story to print when it heard that other outlets might publish it, and had not verified the claims. This is not to say that the story was wrong. James Kirby, now a Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee, represented the SEC as an observer at the trial in Atlanta, and wrote "Fumble: Bear Bryant, Wally Butts, and the Great College Football Scandal" (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, 1986), in which he detailed the magazine's poor defense of its case, the changing definition of libel at the time, and the damning failure of the NCAA to take any action against the principals of the case. The Bleacher Report website ranked this scandal as number 1 in the Top Ten College Football Scandals of all time. (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/289624-countdown-to-shame-top-10-scandals#page/11)
  • September 22: Clemson opens football season with a road trip to Georgia Tech, but loses, 9-26.
  • September 29: Tigers get a 7-0 win over N.C. State in Raleigh.
  • October 6: Clemson plays at Wake Forest, winning, 24-7.
  • October 13: The Tigers host Georgia, lose, 16-24.
  • October 15: Newly-constructed Greenville-Spartanburg Airport opens for business, replacing the Greenville Downtown Airport and Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport as the primary airline facility for the region. It becomes the first non-military airport to have runway center line lighting system.
  • October 20: Duke blanks the Tigers, 0-16, in Memorial Stadium.
  • October 27: Auburn defeats Clemson, 14-17, in Death Valley. Greenville native and Class of 1948 graduate, USAF pilot Major Rudolf Anderson, Jr. is shot down by a SAM while flying Lockheed U-2A 56-6676 (Article 343) on a reconnaissance flight over Cuba during the Missile Crisis. He is the only combat fatality during this critical Cold War face-off with Russia.
  • October 28: The Central Intelligence Agency files a report time-stamped 0200 hours stating that Major Rudolf Anderson, Jr. has been the victim of either an SA-2 or a victim of hypoxia. Actually, it is both - shrapnel from the near miss shattered the pilot's face plate causing Anderson's death almost instantly.
  • October 31: Acting Secretary of the United Nations U Thant returns from Havana meeting with Cuban Premier Fidel Castro and announces that Major Rudolf Anderson, Jr. is dead.
  • November 3: The Tigers defeat North Carolina in Memorial Stadium, 17-6.
  • November 6: Major Anderson is interred in Greenville.
  • November 10: Clemson plays Furman in Sirrine Stadium in Greenville, winning, 44-3. This will be the last time that the Tigers travel to Greenville for a Furman game.
  • November 17: The Tigers get a 17-14 win over Maryland in College Park.
  • November 18: While on a road trip for the Maryland game in College Park, Tiger Band meets President John F. Kennedy at the White House Rose Garden. When he asks them to perform, they have no instruments with them so they sing the Alma Mater for the president. Final year for Tiger Band in cadet grey uniforms.
  • November 24: The Tigers play the Gamecocks for the final game of the season, in Clemson, winning, 20-17. South Carolina will continue to be the Tigers' final regular season opponent from this day forth, still true in 2008. Clemson has 6-4 season, 5-1 in conference play, for second in the Atlantic Coast Conference. This halftime marks Tiger Band's final appearance in the cadet grey uniform.

1961 The 1960's 1963