Singer Tony Bennett of Astoria worked as a grocery clerk

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The Cold War cools down. Only a few weeks before, the Cuban Missile Crisis lurched the world toward war. On Oct. 24, 1962, the U.S. Navy set up a “quarantine” around Cuba. All Soviet ships with missile shipments had to turn back.

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev blinked, promising that long-range missile bases would be removed from Cuban soil. By mid-November, United States releases photos showing Reds destroying bases and missile sites. Fidel Castro seeks a way to save face by blocking inspections. President John F. Kennedy backs Red Cross certification and vows the blockade will stay in place until the missile pullout is verified.

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The missiles may be gone, but here come the jets!

LaGuardia Airport is moving a step closer to the Jet Age when several airlines — including Eastern and TWA — order Boeing 727s for delivery in two years. This fleet of 115 jets could be the first on LaGuardia’s 6,000-foot runways. The Port Authority promises that jet flights are to start several years later — in 1967 — when the $115 million airport redevelopment program was to be completed.

A little to the southeast, Shea Stadium’s location draws controversy. The Federation of Corona Organizations campaigns to have the new stadium’s location called Corona, not Flushing. President Nicolas Compay, of the Corona Home Owners Association, presents supporting material to the city Board of Estimate.

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Mr. Zip slips a bit. The new mail-speed symbol is late for work and nobody knew his whereabouts. Although public relations people tell us he is designed for speed, appearances in Long Island City, Flushing and Jamaica draw a no-show.

Red-faced postal officials admit he is bogged down somewhere outside Pittsburgh, where he was introduced at the 47th annual Association of Postmasters of the United States. Postal authorities hope to catch the public eye through a blizzard of appearances in TV, magazines and posters.

The little cartoon character, clad in blue and with his compelling, eager-eyed smile, is soon to be everywhere. Zoning Improvement Plan codes are on the way.

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The 1962 election results are in: All incumbents return to office. New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller beats Robert Morganthau by over 700,000 votes and Jacob Javits bests rival James Donovan.

A Star-Journal editorial compliments the Queens voter who once again demonstrates the borough’s tradition of independent thought. In a magnificent disregard for party labels, the Queens voter chooses Republican Attorney General Lefkowitz and Democratic Controller Arthur Levitt.

Such a demonstration of non-partisan voting reflects the enormous growth of independent political thinking in recent years. The Star-Journal is happy to observe that elections in which people ballot blindly under party labels are more rare.

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A one-time Astoria grocery clerk says his hero is Maurice Chevalier, got his inspiration in saloons and makes his second engagement at Carnegie Hall the day after Thanksgiving. His first engagement was a sell-out.

Tony Bennett, at 37, recently saw his fourth single, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” go past the million mark.

The former Anthony Dominick Benedetto, of Astoria, describes himself as a homebody disdaining the camaraderie and inspiration of the West Coast “Rat Pack.”

“I’m really just an associate member,” he said in an interview. “I love all the guys and Frank [Sinatra] has been a genuine inspiration to me, but I’d rather spend my free time home with the wife and kids in Englewood, [N.J.].”

For more information, call 718-278-0700 or visit astorialic.org.

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