It had been a year of tumult.
A crisis over missiles in Cuba.
Rioting and protests surrounding efforts to integrate a university in Mississippi.
Growing worries about America’s creeping involvement in a far-off war in Southeast Asia.
But on this night, Monday, Dec. 31, 1962, New Year’s Eve, in Everett, some sought escape.
It had been six years since the famed Martin and Lewis comedy duo had split but here Dean and Jerry were back together, at least on the Space-Age style marquee of the Everett Theatre at 2911 Colby Ave.
Martin drew top billing with “Who’s Got the Action,” in which, according to Rotten Tomatoes, a movie review website that didn’t exist at the time, he played an attorney “who can’t seem to stay away from the racetrack or the Hollywood nightclubs.”
Lana Turner played his desperate wife, Eddie Albert his law partner and Walter Matthau a bookie.
Lewis, meanwhile, starred in “It’s Only Money,” a comedy about a “detective wannabe” mistaken for a missing electronics empire heir and pursued by an attorney who wants him dead. The movie also included Zachary Scott and Joan O’Brien.
The next day’s front page of The Daily Herald carried an optimistic tone about the year ahead with business leaders offering up positive prognostications.
“Keeping Pace will be key to to all chamber activities during 1963,” read one headline. “Progressive year expected by city,” read another.
In the middle of the page, a large photo celebrated the first baby born in Snohomish County in 1963, Tina Marie, daughter of Mrs. Gary K. Kanekeberg of Alderwood Manor, who arrived at 12:29 a.m. at Everett General Hospital.
After a year of annexations throughout the county that it said pushed Everett’s population past 50,000, the newspaper’s lead editorial that day called for the coming year to be one of action.
“There is much work to be done — modernization of Everett’s downtown shopping district; addition of off-street parking facilities; improvement of traffic flow; shopping hours to fit the customer’s convenience — but there is a new willingness to do the work, to face the issues, to build.”
For the nation, the coming year would once again prove troubled.
An escalating war in Vietnam.
A march on Washington for civil rights.
A president assassinated.
But that was to come. On this night, in Everett, some sought laughter.