Criterion DVD selection at our local video store, and realized that all the movies I had chosen came out in the same year. We rented a couple (Mamma Roma and Jules et Jim) and that started my obsession with the year 1962.
I did a quick Wikipedia search on the year and found lists of all types of cultural events that took place in 1962- including the beginnings of Otis Redding's and the Rolling Stones' musical careers, Marilyn Monroe dying, the Mona Lisa coming to the United States, and West Side Story winning the Oscar for Best Picture. I read John Steinbeck's book Travels with Charley and loved it. I got a four disk set of Motown singles that all came out that year and fell in love with early Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder songs. I continued to watch movies that came out that year, like Lolita, and Lawrence of Arabia. I even watched movies and TV shows that took place that year, like American Graffiti and Mad Men.
I keep thinking I should move onto another year, but there's still so much more to explore from 1962! The Cuban Missile Crisis! NASA astronauts orbiting the Earth for the first time! The amount of information that is available at our fingertips is overwhelming and sometimes I don't know where to start when I'm looking for new discoveries. Picking one year to do a cultural study on is so much fun- you could choose the year you were born or just pick a random year like I did.