1960 1961 1962 - 1963 - 1964 1965 1966
1930s 1940s 1950s - 1960s - 1970s 1980s 1990s
Events of 1963
- January 14 - George C. Wallace becomes governor of Alabama. In his inaugural speech, he defiantly proclaims "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever!"
- January 14 - The locomotive Flying Scotsman (British Railways No. 60103) makes its last scheduled run, before going into the hands of Sir Alan Pegler for preservation.
- January 22 - France and Germany sign the Elysée Treaty.
- January 28 - Black student Harvey Gantt enters Clemson University in South Carolina, the last U.S. state to hold out against racial integration.
- January 29 - French President Charles de Gaulle vetoes the United Kingdom's entry into the EEC.
- February 8 - Travel, financial and commercial transactions by United States citizens to Cuba are made illegal by the John F. Kennedy Administration.
- February 10 - Five Japanese cities located on the northernmost part of Kyūshū are merged and become the city of Kitakyūshū, with a population of more than 1 million.
- February 12 - Northwest Airlines flight 705 crashes in the Florida Everglades killing everyone aboard.
- February 11 - The CIA's Domestic Operations Division is created.
- February 21 - An earthquake destroys the village of Barce, Libya, killing 500.
- February 27 - Juan Bosch takes office as the 41st president of the Dominican Republic.
- February 27 - Female suffrage is enacted in Iran.
- March 4 - In Paris, 6 people are sentenced to death for conspiring to assassinate President Charles de Gaulle. De Gaulle pardons 5 of them but the other conspirator is executed by firing squad a few days later.
- March 16 - Mount Agung erupts on Bali, killing 11,000.
- March 18 - Gideon v. Wainwright: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the poor must have lawyers.
- March 21 - The Alcatraz Island federal penitentiary in San Francisco Bay closes; the last 27 prisoners are transferred elsewhere at the order of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.
- April 3 - SCLC volunteers kick off the Birmingham campaign against segregation with a sit-in.
- April 7 - Yugoslavia is proclaimed to be a socialist republic, and Josip Broz Tito is named President for Life.
- April 10 - The U.S. nuclear submarine Thresher sinks 220 miles east of Cape Cod; all 129 crewmen die.
- April 12 - Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Fred Shuttlesworth and others are arrested in a Birmingham protest for "parading without a permit".
- April 12 - The Soviet nuclear powered submarine K-33 collides with the Finnish merchant vessel M/S Finnclipper in the Danish Straits. Although severely damaged, both vessels make it to port.
- 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 21–23 - 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.
- May 2 - Thousands of Blacks are arrested while protesting segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. Sheriff Eugene "Bull" Connor later unleashes fire hoses and police dogs on the demonstrators.
- May 2 - 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 15 - Mercury program: NASA launches Gordon Cooper on Mercury 9, the last mission (on June 12 NASA Administrator James E. Webb tells Congress the program is complete).
- May 23 - Fidel Castro visits the Soviet Union.
- May 25 - The Organisation of African Unity is established in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
- June 3 - Pope John XXIII dies.
- June 11 - In Saigon, Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Ðức commits self-immolation to protest the oppression of Buddhists by the Ngo Dinh Diem administration.
- June 11 - Alabama Governor George C. Wallace stands in the door of the University of Alabama to protest against integration, before stepping aside and allowing Blacks James Hood and Vivian Malone to enroll.
- June 11 - President John F. Kennedy makes a civil rights speech, in which he promises a Civil Rights Bill, and asks for "the kind of equality of treatment that we would want for ourselves."
- June 12 - Medgar Evers is murdered in Jackson, Mississippi (his killer, Byron De La Beckwith, is convicted in 1994).
- June 13 - The cancellation of Mercury 10 effectively ends the Mercury program of United States manned spaceflight.
- June 16 - Vostok 6 carries Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman, into space.
- June 17 - Abington School District v. Schempp: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that state-mandated Bible reading in public schools is unconstitutional.
- June 21 - Pope Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini) succeeds Pope John XXIII as the 262nd pope.
- July 1 - ZIP Codes are introduced in the U.S.
- July 5 - Diplomatic relations between the Israeli and the Japanese governments are raised to embassy level.
- July 5 - The Roman Catholic Church accepts cremation as a funeral practice.
- July 26 - An earthquake in Skopje, Yugoslavia leaves 1,800 dead.
- July 26 - NASA launches Syncom, the world's first geostationary (synchronous) satellite.
- July 27 - Indonesian Confrontation: Indonesian president-for-life Sukarno declares that he will crush Malaysia.
- July 30 - The Soviet newspaper Izvestia reports that Kim Philby has been given asylum in Moscow.
- August 5 - The United States, United Kingdom, and Soviet Union sign a nuclear test ban treaty.
- August 8 - The Great Train Robbery of 1963 takes place in Buckinghamshire, England.
- August 18 - American civil rights movement: James Meredith becomes the first black person to graduate from the University of Mississippi.
- August 21 - Xa Loi Pagoda raids: The Army of the Republic of Vietnam Special Forces loyal to Ngo Dinh Nhu, brother of President Ngo Dinh Diem, vandalise Buddhist pagodas across the country, arresting thousands and leaving an estimated hundreds dead.
- 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.
- September 10 - Mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano is indicted for murder (he is captured 43 years later, on April 11, 2006).
- September 15 - American civil rights movement: The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, in Birmingham, Alabama, kills 4 and injures 22.
- September 16 - Malaysia is formed through the merging of the Federation of Malaya and the British crown colony of Singapore, North Borneo (renamed Sabah) and Sarawak.
- September 16 - In Fort-Lamy, Chad, demonstrations are quelled with 300 dead.
- September 18 - Rioters burn down the British Embassy in Jakarta, to protest the formation of Malaysia.
- September 23 - King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals is established by a Saudi Royal Decree as the College of Petroleum and Minerals.
- September 24 - The U.S. Senate ratifies the nuclear test ban treaty.
- September 29 - The second period of Second Vatican Council in Rome opens.
- September 29 - The University of East Anglia is established in Norwich, England.
- October 1 - Nigeria becomes a republic; The 1st Republican Constitution is established
- October 4 - Hurricane Flora, one of the worst Atlantic storms in history, hits Hispaniola and Cuba killing nearly 7,000 people.
- 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 10 - The nuclear test ban treaty, signed on August 5, takes effect.
- October 14 - A revolution starts in Radfan, South Yemen against British colonial rule.
- October 19 - Alec Douglas-Home succeedes Harold Macmillan as British Prime Minister.
- October 31 - 74 die in a gas explosion at a coliseum in Indianapolis, Indiana.
- November 1 - Arecibo Observatory officially begins operation.
- November 2 - 1963 South Vietnamese coup: South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem is assassinated following a military coup.
- November 6 - Vietnam War: Coup leader General Duong Van Minh takes over as leader of South Vietnam.
- November 7 - Wunder von Lengede: In Germany, 11 miners are rescued from a collapsed mine after 14 days.
- November 9 - Miike Coal Mine explosion: In Japan, a coal mine explosion kills 458 and sends 839 carbon monoxide poisoning victims to the hospital.
- November 9 - A triple-train disaster in Yokohama, Japan kills 161.
- November 14 - A volcanic eruption under the sea near Iceland creates a new island, Surtsey.
- November 16 - A newspaper strike begins in Toledo, Ohio.
- November 18 - The Dartford Tunnel opens in the U.K.
- November 22 - John F. Kennedy assassination: In Dallas, Texas, United States President John F. Kennedy is shot to death, Texas Governor John B. Connally is seriously wounded, and Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson becomes the 36th President. All television coverage for the next three days is devoted to the assassination, its aftermath, the procession of the horsedrawn casket to the Capitol Rotunda, and the funeral of President Kennedy. Stores and businesses shut down for the entire weekend and Monday, in tribute.
- November 23 - The Golden Age Nursing Home Fire kills 63 elderly people near Fitchville, Ohio.
- November 24 - Lee Harvey Oswald, alleged assassin of John F. Kennedy, is shot dead by Jack Ruby in Dallas, Texas on live national television. Later that night, a hastily arranged program, A Tribute to John F. Kennedy from the Arts, featuring actors, opera singers, and noted writers, all performing dramatic readings and/or music, is telecast on ABC-TV.
- November 24 - 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 - U.S. President Kennedy is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Schools around the nation do not have class on that day, millions watch the funeral on live international television.
- November 29 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson establishes the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy.
- November 29 - Trans-Canada Airlines Flight 831, a Douglas DC-8 carrying 118, crashes into a wooded hillside after taking-off from Dorval International Airport near Montreal, killing all on board (the worst air disaster for many years in Canada's history).
- December 3 - The Warren Commission begins its investigation.
- December 4 - The second period of 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 8 - A lightning strike causes the crashing of Pan Am Flight 214 near Elkton, Maryland, killing 81 people.
- December 10 - In the United States, the X-20 Dyna-Soar spaceplane program is cancelled.
- December 12 - Kenya becomes independent, with Jomo Kenyatta as prime minister.
- December 19 - Zanzibar gains independence from Great Britain as a constitutional monarchy, under Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah.
- December 21 - Cyprus Emergency: Inter-communal fighting erupts between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
- December 22 - The cruise ship Lakonia burns 180 miles north of Madeira, with the loss of 128 lives.
- March 19 - Boris Brasol, translator of the Protocols (b. 1885)
- July 2 - Conde McGinley, editor of the nationalist publication Common Sense (b. 1890)
- November 11 - Howard Victor Broenstrupp, defendant in the Great Sedition Trial (b. 1886)
- November 22 - Aldous Huxley, English author (b. 1894)
- November 24 - Lee Harvey Oswald, accused assassin of John F. Kennedy (b. 1939)
- The American Experience: George Wallace: Settin' the Woods on Fire: Timeline (1952 - 1972), Public Broadcasting Service, 2000
- Michael J. Klarman. "Brown v. Board: 50 Years Later", Humanities: The Magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities, March/April 2004