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1963 ( MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1963rd year of the Common Era (CE) and (AD) designations, the 963rd year of the Anno Domini 2nd millennium, the 63rd year of the 20th century, and the 4th year of the 1960s decade.
March 4 – In Paris, six people are sentenced to death for conspiring to assassinate President Charles de Gaulle. De Gaulle pardons five, but the other conspirator, Jean Bastien-Thiry, is executed by firing squad several days later.
March 5 – In Camden, Tennessee, country music superstar Patsy Cline (Virginia Patterson Hensley) is killed in a plane crash along with fellow performers Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas and Cline's manager and pilot Randy Hughes, while returning from a benefit performance in Kansas City, Kansas, for country radio disc jockey "Cactus" Jack Call.
March 17 – Mount Agung erupts on Bali, killing approximately 1,500.
March 18 – : The Gideon v. Wainwright Supreme Court of the United States rules that state courts are required to provide counsel in criminal cases for defendants who cannot afford to pay their own attorneys.
March 21 – The Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay closes; the last 27 prisoners are transferred elsewhere at the order of United States Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.
March 22 – The Beatles release their first album, , in the United Kingdom. Please Please Me
March 23 – Dansevise by Grethe & Jørgen Ingmann (music by Otto Francker, text by Sejr Volmer-Sørensen) wins the Eurovision Song Contest 1963 for Denmark.
: British Rail network, as it would have become, if "
" plans had been fully implemented (only bolded rail lines would have remained).
April 1 – The long-running soap opera debuts on General Hospital ABC Television in the United States.
April 3 – Southern Christian Leadership Conference volunteers kick off the Birmingham campaign ( Birmingham, Alabama) against racial segregation in the United States with a sit-in.
April 7 – Yugoslavia is proclaimed to be a socialist republic, and Josip Broz Tito is named President for Life.
April 8 – The 35th Academy Awards ceremony is held. wins Lawrence of Arabia Best Picture.
April 9 – British statesman Sir Winston Churchill becomes an honorary citizen of the United States.
April 10 – The U.S. nuclear submarine sinks 220 mi (190 nmi; 350 km) east of Thresher Cape Cod; all 129 aboard (112 crewmen plus yard personnel) die.
Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Fred Shuttlesworth and others are arrested in a Birmingham, Alabama protest for "parading without a permit". The Soviet nuclear powered submarine
collides with the Finnish merchant vessel M/S K-33 Finnclipper in the Danish Straits. Although severely damaged, both vessels make it to port.
April 14 – The Institute of Mental Health (Belgrade) is established.
April 15 – 70,000 marchers arrive in London from Aldermaston, to demonstrate against nuclear weapons.
April 16 – Martin Luther King, Jr. issues his " Letter from Birmingham Jail".
April 20 – In Quebec, Canada, members of the terrorist group Front de libération du Québec bomb a Canadian Army recruitment center, killing night watchman Wilfred V. O'Neill.
April 21– April 23 – The first election of the Supreme Institution of the Bahá'í Faith (known as the Universal House of Justice, whose seat is at the Bahá'í World Centre on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel) is held.
April 22 – Lester Bowles Pearson becomes the 14th Prime Minister of Canada.
April 28 – A general election is held in Italy.
April 29 – Buddy Rogers becomes the first WWWF Champion.
May 1 – The Coca-Cola Company introduces its first diet drink, Tab cola.
Thousands of black people, many of them children, are arrested while protesting segregation in
Birmingham, Alabama. Public Safety Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor later unleashes fire hoses and police dogs on the demonstrators.
Berthold Seliger launches near Cuxhaven a 3-stage rocket with a maximum flight altitude of more than 62 miles (the only sounding rocket developed in Germany).
May 4 – The Le Monde Theater fire in Dioirbel, Senegal kills 64.
May 13 – A smallpox outbreak hits Stockholm, Sweden, lasting until July.
May 14 – Kuwait becomes the 111th member of the United Nations.
May 15 – Project Mercury: NASA launches Gordon Cooper on Mercury-Atlas 9, the last mission (on June 12 NASA Administrator James E. Webb tells Congress the program is complete).
May 22 – A.C. Milan beats Benfica 2-1 at Wembley Stadium, London and wins the 1962–63 European Cup (football).
May 23 – Fidel Castro visits the Soviet Union.
May 25 – The Organisation of African Unity is established in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
May 27 – is singer-songwriter The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan Bob Dylan's second studio album, and most influential, opening with the song " Blowin' in the Wind", released by Columbia Records in the United States.
Thích Quảng Đức's self-immolation
August 5 – The United States, United Kingdom and Soviet Union sign the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
August 8 – The Great Train Robbery takes place in Buckinghamshire, England.
August 15 – : President Trois Glorieuses Fulbert Youlou is overthrown in the Republic of Congo after a three-day uprising in the capital, Brazzaville.
August 18 – American civil rights movement: James Meredith becomes the first black person to graduate from the University of Mississippi.
August 21 – Xá Lợi Pagoda raids: The Army of the Republic of Vietnam Special Forces loyal to Ngô Đình Nhu, brother of President Ngô Đình Diệm, vandalise Buddhist pagodas across South Vietnam, arresting thousands and leaving an estimated hundreds dead. In the wake of the raids, the Kennedy administration by Cable 243 orders the United States Embassy, Saigon to explore alternative leadership in the country, opening the way towards a coup against Diệm.
August 22 – American test pilot Joe Walker again achieves a sub-orbital spaceflight according to international standards, this time by piloting the X-15 to an altitude of 67.0 miles (107.8 kilometers).
August 24 – First games played in the Bundesliga, the primary professional Association football league in West Germany, replacing the Oberliga.
August 28 – Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his " I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to an audience of at least 250,000, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It is, at that point, the single largest protest in American history.
October 1 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy toasts Emperor Haile Selassie at a luncheon in Rockville, Maryland.
October 3 – 1963 Honduran coup d'état: A violent coup in Honduras pre-empts the October 13 election, ends a period of reform under President Ramón Villeda Morales and begins two decades of military rule under General Oswaldo López Arellano.
October 4 – Hurricane Flora, one of the worst Atlantic storms in history, hits Hispaniola and Cuba, killing nearly 7,000 people.
October 8 – Sam Cooke and his band are arrested after trying to register at a "whites only" motel in Louisiana. In the months following, he records the song " A Change Is Gonna Come".
October 9 – In northeast Italy, over 2,000 people are killed when a large landslide behind the Vajont Dam causes a giant wave of water to overtop it.
October 14 – A revolution starts in Radfan, South Yemen, against British colonial rule.
October 16 – The thousandth day of John F. Kennedy's presidency.
October 19 – Alec Douglas-Home succeeds Harold Macmillan as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
October 24 – Fire at the Soviet Union's Baikonur Cosmodrome in an R-9 Desna underground missile silo; seven people are killed.
October 28 – Demolition of the 1910 Pennsylvania Station begins in New York City, continuing until 1966.
October 30 – The car manufacturing firm Lamborghini is founded in Italy.
October 31 – 74 die in a gas explosion during a Holiday on Ice show at the Indiana State Fair Coliseum in Indianapolis.
Assassination of John F. Kennedy: In a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, U.S. President John F. Kennedy is fatally shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, and Governor of Texas John Connally is seriously wounded. Upon Kennedy's death, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson becomes the 36th President of the United States. A few hours later, President Johnson is sworn in aboard Air Force One, as Kennedy's body is flown back to Washington, D.C. Stores and businesses shut down for the entire weekend and Monday, in tribute. English-born writer
Aldous Huxley, author of , dies of cancer in the United States. Brave New World Irish-born theologian and writer
C. S. Lewis, author of works including , The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters , dies of Mere Christianity renal failure at his home in Oxford (England).
Phil Spector's is released. A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector
The Beatles' second UK album, , is released. With the Beatles
Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of John F. Kennedy, is shot dead by Jack Ruby in Dallas, an event seen on live national television.
Vietnam War: New U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson confirms that the United States intends to continue supporting South Vietnam militarily and economically.
November 25 – State funeral of John F. Kennedy: President Kennedy is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Schools around the nation cancel classes that day; millions watch the funeral on live international television.
November 30 – Australian federal election, 1963: Robert Menzies' Liberal/ Country Coalition Government is re-elected with an increased majority to an unprecedented eighth term in office, defeating the Labor Party led by Arthur Calwell. (This would be the final lower house election won by Menzies, who would retire from office during the term as the longest-serving Prime Minister in Australian history; he would be replaced by Harold Holt.)
December 3 – The Warren Commission begins its investigation into the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
December 4 – The second period of the Second Vatican Council closes.
December 5 – The Seliger Forschungs-und-Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH demonstrates rockets for military use to military representatives of non-NATO-countries near Cuxhaven. Although these rockets land via parachute at the end of their flight and no allied laws are violated, the Soviet Union protests this action.
December 7 – Tony Verna, a CBS-TV director, debuts an improved version of instant replay during his direction of a live televised sporting event, the Army–Navy Game of college football played in Philadelphia. This instance is notable as it was the first instant replay system to use videotape instead of film.
In the United States, the
X-20 Dyna-Soar spaceplane program is cancelled.
Chuck Yeager narrowly escapes death while testing an NF-104A rocket-augmented aerospace trainer when his aircraft goes out of control at 108,700 feet (nearly 21 miles up) and crashes. He parachutes to safety at 8,500 feet after vainly battling to gain control of the powerless, rapidly falling craft. In this incident he becomes the first pilot to make an emergency ejection in the full pressure suit needed for high altitude flights.
December 12 – Kenya gains independence from the United Kingdom, with Jomo Kenyatta as prime minister.
December 19 – Zanzibar gains independence from the United Kingdom, as a constitutional monarchy under Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah.
December 21 – Cyprus Emergency: Inter-communal fighting erupts between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
December 22 – The cruise ship TSMS burns 180 miles (290 km) north of Lakonia Madeira, with the loss of 128 lives.
December 26 – The Beatles' " I Want to Hold Your Hand" and " I Saw Her Standing There" are released in the United States, marking the beginning of Beatlemania on an international level.
December 31 – Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland dissolves.
January 1 – Linda Henry, English actress
January 5 – Jiang Wen, Chinese actor, film director and screenwriter
January 6 – Tony Halme, Finnish boxer and politician (d. 2010)
January 7 – Rand Paul, U.S Senator from Kentucky
January 11 – Teal Marchande, American actress
January 14 – Steven Soderbergh, American film director
January 15 – Mathias Döpfner, journalist and chief executive officer of German media group Axel Springer SE
January 16 – James May, English motoring journalist and television show host
January 18 – Ian Crook, English footballer
January 17 – Kai Hansen, German power metal guitarist and singer
January 19 – Caron Wheeler, British singer-songwriter ( Soul II Soul)
January 20 – Firebreaker Chip, American professional wrestler
January 23 – Gail O'Grady, American actress
January 24 – Arnold Vanderlyde, Dutch boxer
January 29 – Octave Octavian Teodorescu, Romanian composer, vanguard rock musician, multi-instrumentist
February 2 – Eva Cassidy, American vocalist (d. 1996)
February 3 – Gretel Killeen, Australian journalist
February 4 – Pirmin Zurbriggen, Swiss alpine skier
February 10 – Smiley Culture, British reggae singer (d. 2011)
February 11 – Diane Franklin, American actress
February 18 – Rob Andrew, English rugby union player
February 20 – Charles Barkley, American basketball player
February 21 – William Baldwin, American actor
February 23 – Bobby Bonilla, American baseball player
February 26 – Chase Masterson, American actress and singer
February 27 – Virginie Boutaud, Brazilian singer and actress ( Metrô, Virginie & Fruto Proibido)
March 2 – Tuff Hedeman, American PRCA World Champion Bull Rider
March 3 – Martín Fiz, Spanish long-distance runner
March 7 – Kim Ung-yong, Korean child prodigy
March 8 – Jim Nelson, American editor-in-chief
March 10 – Rick Rubin, American music producer
March 11 – Alex Kingston, English actress
March 13 – Fito Páez, Argentine musician
March 15 – Bret Michaels, American rock singer ( Poison)
March 16 – Kevin Smith, New Zealand actor (d. 2002)
March 19 – Mary Scheer, American actress and comedian
March 23 – Jose Miguel Gonzalez Martin del Campo, Spanish football player
March 24 – John T. Chisholm, American prosecutor; District Attorney of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin (2007–present)
Andrew O'Connor, English actor, comedian, magician, television presenter and executive producer
Robbie Fulks, American alternative country singer-songwriter and instrumentalist
March 26 – Natsuhiko Kyogoku, Japanese writer
March 28 – Chieko Honda, Japanese voice actress (d. 2013)
April 8 – Julian Lennon, British musician, son of John Lennon
April 9 – Joe Scarborough, American newscaster
April 11 – Chris Ferguson, American poker player
April 13 – Garry Kasparov, Russian chess player
April 15 – Beata Szydło, Prime Minister of Poland
April 16 – Jimmy Osmond, American singer
April 17 – Joel Murray, American actor
April 19 – Valerie Plame, United States CIA Operations officer
April 22 – Sean Lock, English comedian and actor
April 24 – Tõnu Trubetsky, Estonian rock musician ( Vennaskond)
April 25 – Pascal of Bollywood, French singer
Jet Li, Chinese martial artist and actor
Colin Scotts, Australian-born American football player
April 29 – Mike Babcock, Canadian ice hockey coach
April 30 – Michael Waltrip, American race car driver
May 1 – Benjamin LaGuer, American prisoner proclaiming innocence for more than two decades
May 2 – Ray Traylor, American professional wrestler ("Big Boss Man") (d. 2004)
May 5 – James LaBrie, Canadian vocalist ( Dream Theater)
May 8 – Anthony Field, Australian musician, actor, songwriter and producer
May 9 – Gary Daniels, British martial artist and actor
A. Raja, Indian politician
Rich Moore, American film and television animation director, screenwriter and voice actor
May 11 – Natasha Richardson, English actress (d. 2009)
May 12 – Jerry Trimble, American actor and martial artist
May 23 – Wally Dallenbach Jr., American race car driver and announcer
June 1 – David Westhead, English actor and producer
June 2 – Bernard Cazeneuve, Prime Minister of France
June 4 – Sean Fitzpatrick, New Zealand rugby union player
June 5 – Joe Rudán, Hungarian heavy metal singer
June 9 – Johnny Depp, American actor and film director
June 13 – Bettina Bunge, German tennis player
June 14 – Rambo Amadeus, Montenegrin singer-songwriter
June 15 – Helen Hunt, American actress
June 16 – The Sandman, American professional wrestler
June 17 – Greg Kinnear, American actor
June 20 – Amir Derakh, American musician
June 26 – Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russian businessman, activist and oligarch
June 28 – Wisit Sasanatieng, Thai film director and screenwriter
July 2 – Faiq Al Sheikh Ali, Iraqi lawyer and politician
July 3 – Zainudin Nordin, Singaporean politician
July 6 – Miguel Garikoitz Aspiazu Rubina, Basque separatist
July 11 – Lisa Rinna, American actress
July 13 – Spud Webb, American basketball player
July 14 – Paulo Macedo, Portuguese business manager and politician
July 20 – Gbenga Aluko, Nigerian politician
July 21 – Giant Silva, Brazilian national basketball player, mixed martial artist and professional wrestler
July 22 – Emilio Butragueño, Spanish football player
July 27 – Donnie Yen, Hong Kong actor and martial artist
July 28 – Beverley Craven, British singer-songwriter
August 2 – Laura Bennett, American fashion designer
August 6 – Kevin Mitnick, American computer hacker
August 9 – Whitney Houston, African-American singer (d. 2012)
August 10 – Andrew Sullivan, British-born American blogger and political commentator
August 14 – Emmanuelle Béart, French actress
August 16 – Christine Cavanaugh, American voice actress (d. 2014)
August 17 – James Whitbourn, British composer
August 18 – Heino Ferch, German actor
August 22 – Tori Amos, American singer
August 24 – Hideo Kojima, Japanese director, screenwriter, video game designer and video game producer
August 25 – Miro Cerar, 10th Prime Minister of Slovenia
September 1 – Carola Smit, Dutch musician
September 6 – Geert Wilders, Dutch politician
September 8 – Li Ning, Chinese gymnast
September 9 – Markus Wasmeier, German alpine-skier
September 10 – Randy Johnson, American baseball player
September 11 – Joey Dedio, American actor
September 14 – Robert Herjavec, Canadian businessman, investor and television personality
September 15 – Stephen C. Spiteri, Maltese military historian
September 25 – Tate Donovan, American actor and director
November 4 – Lena Zavaroni, Scottish entertainer (d. 1999)
November 6 – Rozz Williams, American singer (d. 1998)
November 7 – John Barnes, Jamaican-born English footballer
November 8 – Paul Butcher, American football linebacker
November 11 – Kip James, American professional wrestler
November 13 – Vinny Testaverde, American football player
November 15 – Benny Elias, Australian rugby player
November 20 – Ming-Na Wen, Macanese-American actress
November 21 – Nicollette Sheridan, English actress
November 22 – Winsor Harmon, American actor
November 28 – Matt Parkinson, Australian comedian, actor, radio presenter, and game show personality
January 7 – Erik Lundqvist, Swedish athlete (b. 1908)
January 9 – Enea Bossi, Sr., Italian-born American aerospace engineer and aviation pioneer (b. 1888)
January 10 – Franz Planer, European film cinematographer (b. 1894)
January 11 – Arthur Nock, English classicist, theologian and Harvard University professor (b. 1902)
January 14 – Gustav Regler, German Socialist novelist (b. 1898)
January 15 – Cesare Fantoni, Italian actor (b. 1905)
January 20 – Fyodor Terentyev, Soviet Olympic cross-country skier (b. 1925)
January 21 – Al St. John, American actor (b. 1893)
January 25 – Marion Sunshine, American actress (b. 1894)
January 26 – Ole Olsen, American actor (b. 1892)
January 28 – John Farrow, American film director (b. 1904)
February 2 – William Gaxton, American vaudeville, film and theatre performer (b. 1893)
February 9 – Abd al-Karim Qasim, Iraqi general, 24th Prime Minister of Iraq (executed) (b. 1914)
February 11 – Sylvia Plath, American poet and novelist (b. 1932)
February 19 – Benny Moré, Cuban singer (b. 1919)
February 22 – Arthur Guy Empey, British soldier, author, screenwriter and actor (b. 1883)
February 24 – Herbert Asbury, American journalist and writer (b. 1889)
February 25 – Melville J. Herskovits, American anthropologist (b. 1895)
March 1 – Irish Meusel, American baseball player (b. 1893)
March 4 – William Carlos Williams, American writer (b. 1883)
March 6 – Robert E. Cornish, scientist (b. 1903)
March 7 – Joachim Holst-Jensen, Norwegian film actor (b. 1880)
March 20 – Manuel Arteaga y Betancourt, Cuban cardinal (b. 1879)
March 21 – Felice Minotti, Italian film actor (b. 1887)
March 23 – Thoralf Skolem, Norwegian mathematician (b. 1887)
March 25 – Felix Adler, American screenwriter (b. 1884)
March 26 – Jean Bruce, French writer (b. 1921)
March 27 – Harry Piel, German actor, film director, screenwriter and film producer (b. 1892)
March 31 – Harry Akst, American songwriter (b. 1894)
April 1 – Agnes Mowinckel, Norwegian actress and stage producer (b. 1875)
April 3 – Alma Richards, American Olympic gold medalist (b. 1890)
April 7 – Amedeo Maiuri, Neapolitan archaeologist (b. 1886)
April 11 – Nando Bruno, Italian film actor (b. 1895)
April 25 – Christopher Hassall, English actor, dramatist, librettist, lyricist and poet (b. 1912)
April 26 – Roland Pertwee, English playwright, screenwriter, director and actor (b. 1885)
April 27 – Kenneth Macgowan, American film producer (b. 1888)
May 1 – Lope K. Santos, Filipino writer, Father of Philippine National Language and Grammar (b. 1879)
May 2 – Van Wyck Brooks, American literary critic and writer (b. 1886)
May 5 – Mohamed Khemisti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria (assassinated) (b. 1930)
May 6 – Monty Woolley, American actor (b. 1888)
May 11 – Herbert Spencer Gasser, American physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1888)
May 16 – Oleg Penkovsky, Soviet military officer & spy (b. 1919)
May 18 – Ernie Davis, American football player, first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy (b. 1939)
May 24 – Elmore James, American blues guitarist (b. 1918)
May 25 – Mehdi Frashëri, Albanian politician, 15th Prime Minister of Albania (b. 1872)
May 29 – Netta Muskett, British novelist (b. 1887)
May 31 – Edith Hamilton, German-born author (b. 1867)
August 4 – Tom Keene, American actor (b. 1896)
August 10 – Estes Kefauver, American politician (b. 1903)
August 11 – Clem Bevans, American actor (b. 1879)
August 17 – Richard Barthelmess, American actor (b. 1895)
August 20 – Joan Voûte, Dutch astronomer (b. 1879)
August 22 – William Morris, 1st Viscount Nuffield, British businessman and a philanthropist (b. 1877)
August 23 – Larry Keating, American actor (b. 1896)
August 24 – James Kirkwood, Sr., American film director (b. 1875)
August 30 – Guy Burgess, British spy, one of the Cambridge Five (b. 1911)
August 31 – Georges Braque, French painter (b. 1882)
October 7 – Gustaf Gründgens, German actor (b. 1899)
October 9 – Friedrich, Hereditary Prince of Anhalt (b. 1938)
October 10 – Édith Piaf, French singer and actress (b. 1915)
October 11 – Jean Cocteau, French writer (b. 1889)
October 15 – Alan Goodrich Kirk, American admiral (b. 1888)
October 20 – Diana Churchill, daughter of Winston Churchill (b. 1909)
October 21 – Jean Decoux, French admiral, Governor-General of French Indochina (1940-1945) (b. 1884)
October 29 – Adolphe Menjou, American actor (b. 1890)
October 31 – Henry Daniell, English actor (b. 1894)
November 4 – Carlos Magalhães de Azeredo, Brazilian poet and writer (b. 1872)
November 5 – Luis Cernuda, Spanish poet (b. 1902)
November 15 – Fritz Reiner, Hungarian conductor (b. 1888)
November 16 – Albert H. Pearson, American politician (b. 1920)
November 19 – Carmen Amaya, Spanish dancer (b. 1918)
November 21 – Robert Stroud, American prisoner, known as the " Birdman of Alcatraz" (b. 1890)
November 24 – Lee Harvey Oswald, American assassin of President John F. Kennedy (assassinated) (b. 1939) 
November 26 – Amelita Galli-Curci, Italian opera singer (b. 1882)
November 28 – Ernesto Lecuona, Cuban composer (b. 1896)
^ "Timeline of George Wallace's Life, 1952–1972". The American Experience. Public Broadcasting Service. 2000 . Retrieved . 2013-03-21
^ Klarman, Michael J. (March–April 2004). " Brown v. Board: 40 Years Later". Humanities: The Magazine of the . National Endowment for the Humanities
^ "Dallas: JFK is shot dead". Archived from the original on June 28, 2002.
^ Tracker, "Footprints Tracker", August 2012, p. 46.
^ Larsen, Jeffrey A.; Smith, James M. (2005). "Hot Line Agreements (1963, 1971, 1984)". Historical Dictionary Of Arms Control And Disarmament. Scarecrow Press. p. 107.
^ Kahn, David (1996). The Codebreakers: The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet. Simon and Schuster. p. 715.
^ Warren Commission Report.