- France and West Germany sign treaty of cooperation ending four centuries of conflict (Jan. 22).
- Pope John XXIII dies (June 3), and is succeeded June 21 by Cardinal Montini, who becomes Paul VI.
- British Secretary of War John Profumo resigns in the wake of an affair with Christine Keeler, a teenage showgirl who was also involved with the Soviet naval attaché (June).
- Washington-to-Moscow "hot line" communications link opens, designed to reduce risk of accidental war (Aug. 30). Background: cold war
- Kenya achieves independence.
- There are 15,000 US military advisers in South Vietnam. Background: Vietnam War
- 32 independent African nations establish the Organization for African Unity.
Population: 3.205 billion
Nobel Peace Prize:
Intl. Comm. of Red Cross; League of Red Cross Societies (both Geneva)
- Michael E. De Bakey implants artificial heart in human for first time at Houston hospital (April 21).
- US Supreme Court rules no locality may require recitation of Lord's Prayer or Bible verses in public schools (June 17). Background: Church and State
- "March on Washington," civil rights rally held by 200,000 blacks and whites in Washington, D.C.; Martin Luther King delivers "I have a dream" speech (Aug. 28).
- President Kennedy shot and killed in Dallas, Tex. Lyndon B. Johnson becomes President same day (Nov. 22). Background: Timeline of Kennedy tragedies
- Lee Harvey Oswald, accused Kennedy assassin, is shot and killed by Jack Ruby (Nov. 24).
President: John F. Kennedy
Vice President: Lyndon B. Johnson
Life expectancy: 69.9 years
Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 21.8
Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 20.1
Homicide Rate (per 100,000): 4.9
US GDP (1998 dollars): $617.4 billion
Federal spending: $111.32 billion
Federal debt: $310.3 billion
Consumer Price Index: 30.6
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.04 ($0.05 as of 1/7/63)
LA Dodgers d. NY Yankees (4-0)
Boston d. LA Lakers (4-2)
Toronto d. Detroit (4-1)
Women: Margaret Smith d. B.J. Moffitt (6-3 6-4)
Men: Chuck McKinley d. F. Stolle (9-7 6-1 6-4)
Kentucky Derby Champion
NCAA Basketball Championship
Loyola-IL d. Cincinnati (60-58 OT)
NCAA Football Champions
- Viewers tuned into NBC witness Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald on camera – the first live telecast of a murder.
- Beatlemania hits the U.K. The Beatles, a British band composed of John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, take Britain by storm.
- The Rolling Stones emerge as the anti-Beatles, with an aggressive, blues-derived style.
- The French Chef with Julia Child debuts on educational television.
- Tom Jones, Lilies of the Field, America, America
- James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
- e e cummings, 73 Poems
- Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique
- Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
- Thomas Pynchon, V
- John Rechy, City of Night
- Charles M. Schulz, Happiness is a Warm Puppy
- John Updike, The Centaur
- Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
Fiction: The Reivers, William Faulkner
Music: Piano Concerto No. 1, Samuel Barber
Oscars awarded in 1963
Academy Award, Best Picture: Lawrence of Arabia, Sam Spiegel, producer (Columbia)
Nobel Prize for Literature: Giorgios Seferis (Seferiades) (Greece)
1963 Emmy Awards
1963 Tony Awards
Grammys awarded in 1963
Record of the Year: "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," Tony Bennett
Album of the Year: The First Family, Vaughn Meader (Cadence)
Song of the Year: "What Kind of Fool Am I," Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, songwriters
Miss America: Jacquelyn Mayer (OH)
Nobel Prizes in Science
- Quasars are discovered by Marten Schmidt (US).
- The first liver transplant is performed by F.D. Moore and T.E. Starzl. Background: Health & Nutrition
- The first commercial nuclear reactor goes online at the Jersey Central Power Company. Background: nuclear energy
- The sedative Valium (chlordiazepoxide) is developed by Roche labs.
Chemistry: Carl Ziegler (Germany) and Giulio Natta (Italy), for work in uniting simple hydrocarbons into large molecule substances
Physics: Eugene Paul Wigner, Maria Goeppert Mayer (both US), and J. Hans D. Jensen (Germany), for research on structure of atom and its nucleus
Physiology or Medicine: Alan Lloyd Hodgkin, Andrew Fielding Huxley (both UK), and Sir John Carew Eccles (Australia), for research on nerve cells
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy 11/22/1963
- W.E.B. Du Bois
- Robert Frost
- Rogers Hornsby
- Aldous Huxley
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