Thu | Jan 17, 2019

This day in 1962

Published:Wednesday | August 8, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Princess Margaret arrives at Gordon House to open the first Parliament of Jamaica. A Boy Scout opens the car door for the Princess and steps back, saluting smartly.

Jamaica's historical landscape is littered with dates which have shaped the terrain as well as the future of the country's diverse inhabitants.

These events range from catastrophic to euphoric with no shortage of recollection whenever the various milestones are mentioned.

From earthquakes, hurricanes and fires to Olympic glory and Independence, The Gleaner started chronicling Jamaica's roller-coaster history ride in 1834, and has had a front-row seat at every major event since.

With 2012 marking Jamaica's 50th year of Independence from Great Britain, The Gleaner continues to share events which made the news, this day, in 1962.

Princess opens first Parliament

The first Parliament of independent Jamaica, summoned to a joint sitting by proclamation of Her Majesty the Queen, was opened in state at Gordon House yesterday morning by the Queen's sister, Her Royal Highness, the Princess Margaret.

Before a full house of the newly created senators and of the members of the House of Representatives, and a glittering gathering of dignitaries from home and abroad, Princess Margaret read the speech from the Throne in a clear and musical voice and, with the assembly standing, read the Queen's personal message.

In her message, the Queen recalled her visit to Jamaica some years ago and added: "It is with every good wish for the future that I warmly welcome Jamaica to the Commonwealth family of nations."

Down the Union Jack, up the Gold, Black and Green

With pomp and ceremony and in an atmosphere of general rejoicing all over the country, Jamaica became an independent nation at midnight Sunday.

More than 20,000 people crowded the National Stadium Sunday night to see the Union Jack hauled down and the Jamaica national flag hoisted in its place to the top of the flagstaff while eager voices sang the National Anthem.

The flag-raising ceremony was duplicated in towns and villages all over Jamaica as well as in Jamaican communities in England and the United States and in various countries in the Western Hemisphere.

Plea for UN membership

Jamaica applied on Monday, Independence Day, for membership at the United Nations. The application was made by the prime minister and minister of external affairs, Hon Sir Alexander Bustamante. In his application, Sir Alexander said:

"On behalf of Jamaica and in my capacity as minister of external affairs, I have the honour to inform you that Jamaica, having today attained independence, wishes herewith to make application for membership to the United Nations with all the rights and duties attached hereto."

Marilyn Monroe found dead

Blonde and beautiful Marilyn Monroe, a glamorous symbol of the gay, exciting life of Hollywood, died tragically Sunday.

The body was found nude, in bed, a probable suicide. She was 36.