The D.F. Dwyer Insurance Agency was founded in 1962, by Daniel F. Dwyer, Jr. The first office was located on Spring Street, but later relocated to 59 Bellevue Avenue where it remained from 1968-1979. In 1979 Mr. Dwyer, along with a group of local businessmen, purchased the Muenchinger-King Building which has since been home to the agency’s Newport office.
In 1983, Daniel F. Dwyer, III (Dan Jr.’s son) joined the family business and established his Nationwide Agent status the following year. In 2011, Dan (III) opened an additional office in Portsmouth at 2623 East Main Road, and sister Shannon Dwyer Shea came onboard to manage this location. In 2017, Dan (III) opened an additional office on Narragansett Avenue in Jamestown, RI.
By any account, 1962 was an eventful year in history. The Cuban Missile Crisis came to a head and John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth in Friendship 7. Telstar, the first communications satellite was activated, Spiderman, Dr. No and Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans all debuted this year. Johnny Carson took over as host of the Tonight Show and the Beatles replaced drummer Pete Best with Ringo Starr. Meanwhile, here in Newport, it was an America’s Cup year with Weatherly besting Gretel, the first Australian challenger. JFK and Jacqueline Kennedy followed the racing closely while spending the summer at their Hammersmith residence. The Jazz Festival returned to Freebody Park featuring Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Thelonious Monk.
March of 1962 came in like a lion with record cold, the worst storm of the winter dumped 23 inches of snow on 3/6 and on 3/12 a winter gale buffeted our coast with 50 mph winds. With St. Patrick’s Day approaching heart-warming meals were being planned; Almacs promoted a corned beef sale– .55 cents/lb plus 100 free Green Stamps. According to the Daily News “5000-7000 people viewed the 6th Annual Parade which featured 5 bands and a 6 year old champion baton twirler.” Beyond Newport, Wilt Chamberlain scored an incredible 100 points in one game on 3/2 and on 3/15 he became the first to score 4000 points in a single NBA season. The Beatles BBC broadcast radio debut was on 3/7 and in the U.S. 90% of US homes now had televisions. Other March events included the Navy selecting Newport as the Atlantic Headquarters for the Cruiser and Destroyer Fleet, George Wein was granted a license to hold the Jazz Festival at Freebody Park and Sophia Loren starred in the film “Two Women” (for which she had become the first non-American actress to win an Academy Award) at the Opera House. Middletown Motors advertised brand new 1962 VW Beetles for $1341.38, which would take you a long way with the price of gas at .28 cents/gallon! And for the first time, Newport residents could park in the Mary Street lot free for three hours, the then trial program was deemed a success and continues 50 years later. And last, but certainly not least, Daniel F. Dwyer, III was born on 3/23/62 at Newport Hospital.
Learn more 1962, Newport & Beyond