Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chandler Punts Against the Packers

Before he joined the Green Bay Packers as punter/kicker for the 1965 season, Don Chandler performed the same roles for the New York Giants. He played for the Giants from 1956 through 1964, including during the so-called “Greatest Game Ever Played,” the overtime 1958 NFL championship — which placed him on the losing side against the Baltimore Colts. With New York, he was also on the losing team for the 1961 and 1962 title game losses to Green Bay. After joining the Packers, he snapped his “bad luck” and played on three consecutive NFL championship teams under Vince Lombardi. Falling to the ground to the left of Chandler is Green Bay Hall of Fame defensive lineman Willie Davis. Davis was an honorary captain at Sunday’s season finale against Detroit at Lambeau Field.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Another Lombardi Practice Photo — 1962

Today we share another image of coach Vince Lombardi making his feelings known at a November 1962 practice on the Oneida Street field. Linebacker Ray Nitschke stands to the right of Lombardi, intently listening to the instructions.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Packer-Bear Game Action — 1962

Bart Starr turns to hand off to fullback Jim Taylor during a muddy game in Wrigley Field on November 4, 1962. The Packers came out on the winning side of that contest, 38-7, on the North Side of Chicago. Other notable Green Bay players in this snapshot of history are tight end Ron Kramer (#88), tackle Bob Skoronski (#76), guard Fred “Fuzzy” Thurston (#63), running back Tom Moore (#25), guard Jerry Kramer (#64), and tackle Forrest Gregg (#75).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Taylor Around the Left Side

In another photo from the October 23, 1960 game at Milwaukee County Stadium, Packers’ running back Jim Taylor gains a couple of yards against the San Francisco 49er defense. Green Bay won big that day, 41-14. Note the logo-less Packer helmets.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


In another photo from the November 18, 1962 game with the Baltimore Colts, we see Green Bay’s Dave “Hawg” Hanner (#79), Ray Nitschke (#66), and Jesse Whittenton (#47) going for the loose ball while Willie Wood (#24) is occupied with blocking a Colt player.

We wish all “Packerville” readers a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Now This One IS the Colts in Green Bay

A sharp-eyed reader informed us of our mistake in yesterday’s blog entry. “Tom” pointed out that the image was the San Francisco 49ers — not the Colts — in Milwaukee, not Green Bay. Well, today we have a photo that we know is in Green Bay from November 18, 1962. We see Packers’ defensive players Jesse Whittenton (#47) and Bill Forester (#71), and at least one other unidentified player that may be Willie Wood, stopping a Colts’ player near the goal line.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Colts Touchdown in Green Bay

Today’s photo is an image of Baltimore Colts’ receiver R.C. Owens having just made a touchdown catch in the November 18, 1962 game in Green Bay. The Packers’ Hank Gremminger (#46) provided the coverage on this play, but he had the last laugh in the game as Green Bay came out on top, 17-13.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Lombardi and The Wives

Vince Lombardi believed that behind every great football player was a great woman. Evidence of his philosophy was provided by these gorgeous mink stoles that the Packers Hall of Fame coach gave to each of the players’ wives (or significant “other”) after the Packers' 1961 NFL Championship victory. This photo was featured in a November 1962 issue of LIFE Magazine with the coach and the wives and girlfriends showing off their new gifts.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Kramer vs. The Bears — 1962

No, not longtime Packers guard Jerry Kramer — tight end Ron Kramer from the University of Michigan. Here we see him catching a pass from Bart Starr across the middle against the Chicago Bears on November 4, 1962. Green Bay won big that day 38-7 in front of 48,753 fans at Wrigley Field.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

San Francisco Huddle — 1961

Getting back to our favorite Packers era, we present today a recent find that we’ve never seen before. It is an outstanding photo of the Green Bay offensive huddle during the December 10, 1961 game with the 49ers at the old Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, California. Unfortunately for the Packers, they lost that day 22-21 in the second-to-last game of the ’61 season. But it was not enough to derail their outstanding year which culminated in the 1961 NFL title, of course.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rare 1953 Team Photo

A special offering is up today for the ol’ blog here. A color 1953 Green Bay team photo — in green jerseys and pants, yet! We’ve never seen this color combination before in any photographs, and we also hope that they don’t get any ideas about trying this nowadays as some teams do. Our vote is to stay with the classic green jersey and gold pants. It’s been good for over 50 years. The wacky color combination didn’t help on the field, either... Green Bay finished with a 2-9-1 record that year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Battling the Cardinals at State Fair Park

Another photo from the “olden days” — which is what we consider anything earlier than our favorite 1960’s Packers era — adorns our blog for today. We have a photo of our blue and gold-clad Green Bay heroes fighting the Chicago (yes, that’s right) Cardinals at Milwaukee’s State Fair Park in the 1940’s.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Nighttime Action in 1955

Today we dip deep into the archives to see some game action against the Baltimore Colts in what we believe is 1955. We are not sure whether this photo was taken during the early October game in Milwaukee, or during the late October game in Baltimore.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Score One for the Defense

Hall of Fame cornerback Willie Wood is seen in today’s photo, scoring a touchdown on what we assume to be an interception in a 1962 game at Green Bay’s City Stadium.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Colts at Packers — 1962

Quarterback Bart Starr (#15) maneuvers away from the defenders while Jim Ringo (#51) and another unidentified lineman provide protection during the November 18, 1962 game with the Baltimore Colts at City Stadium in Green Bay. The Packers won the contest, 17-13 to improve to 10-0 on the season.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Light Moment with Lombardi

Vince Lombardi was captured by a LIFE magazine photographer in a lighter moment in his office in Green Bay during the 1968 season. This was when he was serving as general manager only, and not being with the team and making the coaching decisions wore on him to the point where he took the head coaching position with the Washington Redskins at the end of the season.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Taking on the 49ers at Milwaukee — 1960

Today’s post is an image of fullback Jim Taylor carrying the ball in the October 23, 1960 game between the Packers and the San Francisco 49ers at Milwaukee’s County Stadium. The Packers won this game in big fashion, 41-14, in front of 39,914 fans. Also of note are the Green Bay helmets without the familiar “G” logo, which wouldn’t debut until the next season.

This was Vince Lombardi’s second season as head coach, and the Packers finished with an 8-4-0 record — good for the Western Conference title. They would eventually lose to the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1960 NFL championship game.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Lombardi “Runs” Practice

While often coming across as gruff and crabby, Vince Lombardi was not averse to having fun with his players if he thought it was appropriate or needed to loosen up his roster. Today, we see an obviously delighted coach leading his team in sprints on the Oneida Street practice field in November 1962.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Defense against the Colts

In another photo from the same November 18, 1962 game that we featured yesterday, we see Baltimore fullback #34 Joe Perry being pursued by the Packers’ (from left to right) #79 Dave Hanner, #83 Bill Quinlan, an unidentified player, #27 John Symank, and #24 Willie Wood. On this day, the Packers defeated the Colts 17-13 in front of 38,669 fans at City Stadium on a 36-degree sunny Fall day.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Hornung Field Goal

Besides being a star halfback during the Green Bay Packers’ “Lombardi Era,” Paul Hornung also was a place kicker when needed. Today we see him kicking in a game with the Baltimore Colts in City Stadium in the early 1960’s, with quarterback Bart Starr as the holder. Also of note in the photo is the bench full of Packer cheerleaders in the background.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Lombardi on 1962 Sideline

Another shot of Vince Lombardi intently watching the offensive action on the sideline at an away game in 1962 is the subject for today.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Lonely Lombardi on Game Day

After Vince Lombardi relinquished the head coaching duties to longtime assistant Phil Bengston following Super Bowl II, he continued on as the Packers’ General Manager in 1968. By all accounts, he was miserable without the daily contact with the players and the X’s and O’s of the game he loved. To his credit, he minimized his meddling with Bengston’s team, but soon needed to get back into “the game.” Accordingly, he took the head coaching position with the Washington Redskins the next year.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

You’d Better Hide...

We don’t know who was going to be on the receiving end of coach Vince Lombardi’s wrath after this photo was taken, but whoever it was, they probably were looking for a place to hide on the sideline at this 1962 game.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Henry Jordan and His Friends

Today we have Packers’ defensive lineman Henry Jordan (#74) and his co-workers on the defense battling the Baltimore Colts in a game at City Stadium (later Lambeau Field) in November 1962. Green Bay was victorious that day, 17-13 in front of 38,669 home field fans.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Isometric exercise is where “the joint and muscle are either worked against an immovable force (overcoming isometric) or are held in a static position while opposed by resistance (yielding isometric).” In the early 1960’s the Green Bay Packers were one of the first to buy into and use this form of exercise, in addition to traditional weight training. Accordingly, we see Packer guards Fred “Fuzzy” Thurston and Jerry Kramer working their muscles against fixed bars at the training facility in 1962.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

1962 Championship

Bart Starr looks downfield for a receiver as his line gives him protection during the December 30, 1962 NFL title game in Yankee Stadium, New York. On a bitterly cold and windy day, the Packers defeated the Giants 16-7. It was their second defeat of the New Yorkers within a year, as they had also beaten them for the ’61 title game in Green Bay.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Good Chewing Out

Never one to hold his feelings in, Coach Vince Lombardi gives an unidentified young player “the business” during practice in November 1962. Despite having to take the coach’s abuse, the player earned a championship ring later that season as the Packers repeated as NFL Champs.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Muddy Championship

As we’ve spotlighted before, the 1965 NFL title game was a muddy affair on January 2, 1966. Played in Green Bay, the wet, sloppy snow conditions translated into a field of mud for the game. In today’s photo, Cleveland’s Vince Costello (#50) wraps a tackle around Green Bay’s running back Jim Taylor (#31). The Packers won the game 23-12, securing their third NFL title of the Lombardi Era.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Five TD’s for Hornung

From the LIFE magazine archives, today we have a photo of the Green Bay Packers' running back Paul Hornung (#5) eluding the Baltimore Colts defense to score his fifth touchdown of the game, leading the Packers to a 42-27 victory at Memorial Stadium on December 12, 1965.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Taylor Hits the Hole

Through the courtesy of the LIFE magazine archives and Google, we have a treasure trove of Green Bay Packers photos to share here in the blog. Today, we have an image of Packers’ running back Jim Taylor taking the hand off from quarterback Bart Starr and hitting the hole in a November 11, 1962 game with the Philadelphia Eagles. In front of 60,671 fans at the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field, Green Bay whipped the ’Birds that day, 49-0. Only two years earlier, they had lost the NFL Championship game to the Eagles on this same field — Vince Lombardi’s only playoff loss as head coach of the Packers.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Three Yards and a Cloud of… Mud

Green Bay Packers action from 1923 is the subject of today’s entry. Things have changed a little bit in the ensuing eighty-five years, wouldn’t you say? This action takes place at Bellevue Park, Green Bay, near the Hagemeister Brewery in the 100-200 block of North Main Street. This year, the Packers finished with a record of 7-2-1 for a third-place tie in the League standings.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


After a couple of days off to attend and thoroughly enjoy the Packers’ win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday, we’re back with a photo featuring Green Bay running back John Brockington, who came out of Ohio State University and played for the team from 1971 through 1977. Brockington was the Packers’ First Round draft choice, the ninth selection overall, in 1971. He was the first NFL player to ever rush for 1,000 or more yards in each of his first three seasons and was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year for 1971 by the Associated Press. Brockington was named All-Pro in 1971, Second Team All-Pro in 1973 and All-NFC in 1972. Brockington was also selected to 3 consecutive Pro Bowls (1971-1973).

Friday, November 14, 2008

Packer-Bear Game INT —1972

Since the Packers will be taking on the Chicago Bears on Sunday, we present an image of Green Bay linebacker Jim Carter (#50) intercepting a Bears’ pass during the October 8, 1972 contest. The home team won at Lambeau Field that day, 20-17 in front of 56,263 Wisconsin fans. Carter, who played collegiate ball at the University of Minnesota, played in 106 games for the team from 1970-1975, and again from 1977-1978.

Since your “Packerville” editor will be attending the game, our happy little blog here won’t be updated until Sunday night at the earliest.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Green Bay’s Hotel Northland

In 1924, the Hotel Northland was constructed at the corner of Pine and Adams streets in downtown Green Bay, just a couple of blocks east of the Fox River. Walter Schroeder, a Milwaukee businessman, built the Hotel Northland as part of one of the largest hotel chains in Wisconsin during the 1920s. The facilities of the hotel were used to the fullest with numerous conventions, political rallies, and Green Bay Packers business meetings held at the hotel. Many visiting teams stayed there, as well as League officials, broadcasting personnel, etc. over the years. Frank Gifford recalled staying there the night of the “Ice Bowl” game, and being awakened by the hotel operator cheerfully telling him “Good Morning, it’s 13 degrees below zero outside!” The hotel is now used as residential apartment housing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More “Dogfaces”

To follow up on yesterday’s blog entry, we present the rest of the “dogfaces” of the 1960 Green Bay Packers: Tackle Bob Skoronski (#76), Center Jim Ringo (#51), Tackle Norm Masters (#78), and Tackle Forrest Gregg (#75). They would make stars of Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor in the years to come.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The “Dogfaces” Up Front

In military terms, a “dogface” is the term given to the front line infantry soldiers who slog through the mud and gore of battle. In football, the 1960 Packers yearbook referred to the offensive linemen by this same term. As the article stated, “If the holes are there, any back can eat up a few yards. But if the holes just aren’t holes, nobody, not even the sleekest of halfbacks, is going to bowl over one of the 250 pound defensive linemen. That’s probably why the Green Bay Packers have improved their rushing attack by 486 yards during the 1959 season over the 1958 season. The dogfaces were doing their job.”

Here we see Packer guards Fred “Fuzzy” Thurston (#63) and Jerry Kramer (#64) leading the way for fullback Jim Taylor (#31).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Coaches Summit

A fine photo of four one-time NFL coaches is the subject of today’s post. This image was taken at an unknown date at an unknown function, but features three Packer coaches — (from left, Earl “Curly” Lambeau, Liz Blackbourn, and Gene Ronzani) — along with longtime Bears’ coach and founder George Halas. Also shown in an inset is Packers’ coach Ray “Scooter” McLean. Between them all, they accounted for 579 wins, 355 losses, and 55 ties in National Football League competition.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Packers vs. Vikings in the Outdoors

Today we present an image from a Sports Illustrated cover of Vikings’ quarterback Fran Tarkenton at work against the Green Bay defense on September 30, 1973 in old Metropolitan Stadium (in Bloomington, MN). The Vikings prevailed that day by a score of 11-3 in front of 48,176 fans. We at Packerville believe that all football games should be played outdoors, and heartily endorse the demolition of the dome in downtown Minneapolis.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Knafelc Karried

We’ve posted a blog entry before on Packers’ receiver Gary Knafelc being carried off the field after a win over the Lions in 1955, but here’s another one with a different photo. Knafelc (pronounced “Knawfull” with a hard “K”) is noted for scoring the final touchdown in the old City Stadium and the first touchdown in the new City Stadium (now Lambeau Field).

Knafelc worked in front of the microphone during his football career and after his playing days in a Packer uniform were done. He overcame a stuttering problem to host several banquets and public speaking engagements while working in public relations for Miller Brewing Company.

His voice work included gigs in front of the camera. He hosted the first Packers television show called "Packerama." Under the stage name Gary Kincaid, he even had a role in “Palm Springs Weekend” but did not pursue a full-time career, choosing his family and profitable school supply business over the tinsel of Hollywood. That business would merge with Valley School Supply, owned by former Packers Willie Davis, Ron Kostelnik and Bob Skoronski.

His experience with the Packers also made him a natural choice as P.A. announcer. Knafelc would arrive to each game two-and-a-half hours before kickoff to work on pronunciations and read through his announcements, presentations and advertisements. His son Greg, who worked for the Packers as a spotter, would identify the defensive players while Gary identified the offensive players.

As the years went by, the job became more demanding. The amount of copy greatly increased. The P.A. announcer must read five times as many commercials and several more special events than when Knafelc first started. He began those duties 50 minutes before each game and had to refrain from speaking when the Packers huddled or lined up for a play. "It's kind of hectic," he said.

After 40 years of service, he announced his last Packer game in 2004. Knafelc has a winter home near Orlando, Fla., and a daughter and two grandchildren. With the NFL regular season now running into January followed by playoff games and an increasing number of games falling on holidays, he was spending and less and less time with them.

Those of us with Packers tickets remember his work with the team fondly.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Bart and “Big Daddy”

Today we see Packers’ quarterback Bart Starr trying to elude Baltimore’s Eugene "Big Daddy" Lipscomb (#76) during a regular season game on October 25, 1959. Green Bay lost that day, 38-21 on the way to a 7-5-0 record. One thing of note is the plain Packers’ helmet which does not contain the “G” logo. They were not added until the 1961 season.

Lipscombe is one of the dad stories in pro football. Born in Uniontown, Alabama, he never knew his father, and moved to Detroit with his mother at the age of three. When he was 11, his mother was murdered in the neighborhood where they lived and he moved in with his maternal grandparents.

Lipscombe didn't attend college and was picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Los Angeles Rams. He played for the Rams for three seasons from 1953-1955. He then played for the Baltimore Colts for five seasons. In two of the seasons he played for the Colts, 1958 and 1959, he earned a spot in the Pro Bowl. He then went on to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers for two seasons. In his last season, 1962, he earned his third trip to the Pro Bowl. During one game against the Minnesota Vikings, after chasing scrambling Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton and finally tackling him, Lipscomb is reported to have said, "Little man, what you run so much for?"

On May 10, 1963, Eugene Lipscomb's 10 year NFL career and life ended. After a night of drinking and partying with two women, Lipscomb collapsed in a kitchen in Baltimore. He had overdosed on heroin. According to the Sports Illustrated profile, the city's assistant medical examiner, Dr. Rudiger Breitenecker, found enough dope inside him to have killed five men. Lipscomb died in the ambulance at the age of 31.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Lombardi’s First Victory

Vince Lombardi being carried off the field after his first victory as the Packers’ head coach is the photo we’re presenting today. On September 27, 1959, Green Bay met their Western Conference rival, the Chicago Bears, at City Stadium for the season-opener. In front of 32,132 fans, they came out on top of the visitors from the Windy City, 9-6. The scoring for the Packers on that day consisted of a touchdown run of five yards by fullback Jim Taylor (with the ensuing extra point by Paul Hornung), and a safety by defensive lineman Dave “Hawg” Hanner. Under center that day was Lamar McHan, who completed three of 12 passes.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Nixon at City Stadium, 1957

For Election Day 2008, we have a taste of politics combined with the history of the Green Bay Packers. Our photo depicts then-Vice President Richard M. Nixon on the platform at the City Stadium dedication. Joining him in the festivities are the reigning Miss America, Marilyn Van Der Bur (left), and National Football League commissioner Bert Bell (right).

Monday, November 03, 2008

Jim Taylor — 1962

Today we have an illustration of Packers’ fullback Jim Taylor from a 1962 publication. In that year, Taylor rushed for 1,474 yards on 272 carries — and scored 19(!) touchdowns. He also caught 22 passes for 106 yards.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Ron Kramer in the End Zone

Packers’ tight end Ron Kramer catches a touchdown pass in the 1961 championship game. This added to the final score of 37-0 in their rout of the New York Giants. Kramer scored two touchdown’s on the day — 14- and 13-yarders.

Twice an All-American end at the University of Michigan, in 1955 and 1956, Kramer also starred as a center on the basketball team and as a high jumper and weight thrower on the track team. He captained the basketball team as a senior and set a school scoring record of 1,124 points, which stood until 1961.

During his three years as a starter in football, he caught 53 passes for 880 yards and 9 touchdowns, kicked 43 extra points and 2 field goals, punted 31 times for a 40.6-yard average, and excelled on defense.

The 6-foot-3 Kramer weighed 220 pounds as a college player but beefed up to 240 pounds as a professional tight end with the NFL's Green Bay Packers in 1957. He served in the Air Force in 1958 and returned to the Packers the following year. A strong blocker, Kramer was also a sure-handed receiver who was often used on short routes to pick up first down yardage.

Kramer played for two NFL champions in Green Bay, in 1961 and 1962. He starred in the Packers' 37-0 victory over the New York Giants in the 1961 title game, catching 4 passes for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was named an All-Pro by the Associated Press in 1962.

The Packers traded Kramer to the Detroit Lions in 1965 and he spent three seasons there before retiring. In his 10 NFL seasons, he caught 229 passes for 3,272 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tom Moore Gains a Few Yards

In a photo from the Packers-49ers game on November 24, 1963 at Milwaukee County Stadium, running back Tom Moore (#25) fights for yardage. This game was played despite some feeling it was inappropriate to proceed as usual in the wake of President Kennedy’s assassination the previous Friday.

The NFL played its full schedule of games (untelevised due to uninterrupted coverage of the assassination), only two days after President Kennedy's assassination, while the rival American Football League (AFL) postponed its games out of respect for the fallen president. Rozelle soon came to regret his decision to have the NFL play, and frequently stated publicly that it had been his worst mistake. However, Rozelle and then-White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger had been classmates at the University of San Francisco years before, and Rozelle consulted with him. Salinger urged Rozelle to play the games. Rozelle felt that way, saying that "it has been traditional in sports for athletes to perform in times of great personal tragedy." He also said that football was Kennedy's game and the late president thrived on competition.

On that Sunday, the Packers beat the 49ers 28-10 in front of 45,905 fans.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bart Starr Sells the NFL

A scan from a 1963 NFL promotional booklet is our subject for today. Besides extolling the virtues of every team in the League, and the benefits of playing for the NFL (instead of the rival AFL), several key players present their own testimonials to the job of playing professional football. Packers’ quarterback Bart Starr is one of the players picked to give his opinion.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Franklin Field

For the second day, we present a stadium of an opposing team that has Packer ties. Franklin Field in Philadelphia, PA, was the site of the 1960 NFL championship game between the Eagles and Packers. The Eagles won that day 17-13 — the only playoff or championship game lost by Lombardi’s Packers.

Franklin Field is the University of Pennsylvania's stadium for football, field hockey, lacrosse, sprint football, and track and field (and formerly for soccer).

It was also the home of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1958 through 1970. On August 23, 1958, the first Canadian Football League game played on American soil between two Canadian teams was played at Franklin Field, as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats defeated the Ottawa Rough Riders, 13-7.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Metropolitan Stadium — 1962

Why, oh why would we be featuring a photo of the Minnesota Vikings’ original stadium — Metropolitan Stadium — on our all-Packers blog? Well, for two purposes. One, we love the old-time stadiums and the era they represent, and two, this is an aerial photo of the 1962 meeting between the Vikings and Packers. This is the October 14, 1962 contest between the teams, and the Packers won handily 48-21 in front of 41,475 fans in 75-degree temperatures.

Two other things to note are that the baseball season is now over and the Twins were not involved in post-season play, so the baseball infield has been sodded over for the rest of the football season. The same thing was done in Milwaukee County Stadium for Packer games once the Brewers’ season was over.

Also, this game is being played on the same day that American U-2 spy planes took photos of the build up of Soviet missiles on the island of Cuba. The “Cuban Missile Crisis” that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war began with those photos taken on this day.