1963 in the United States
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|1963 in the United States|
|Years:||1960 1961 1962 – 1963 – 1964 1965 1966|
50 stars (1960–present)
Events from the year 1963 in the United States.
- President: John F. Kennedy (Democratic) (until November 22), Lyndon B. Johnson (Democratic) (starting November 22)
- Vice President: Lyndon B. Johnson (Democratic) (until November 22), vacant (starting November 22)
- Chief Justice: Earl Warren
- Speaker of the House of Representatives: John William McCormack (D-Massachusetts)
- Senate Majority Leader: Mike Mansfield (D-Montana)
- Congress: 87th (until January 3), 88th (starting January 3)
- January 14 – George C. Wallace becomes governor of Alabama. In his inaugural speech, he defiantly proclaims "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever!"
- January 28 – African American student Harvey Gantt enters Clemson University in South Carolina, the last U.S. state to hold out against racial integration.
- February 8 – Travel, financial and commercial transactions by United States citizens to Cuba are made illegal by the John F. Kennedy Administration.
- 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 19 – The publication of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique launches the reawakening of the Women's Movement in the United States as women's organizations and consciousness-raising groups spread.
- February 28 – Dorothy Schiff resigns from the New York Newspaper Publisher's Association, feeling that the city needs at least one paper. Her paper, the New York Post, resumes publication on March 4.
- March – Iron Man debuts in Marvel Comics's Tales of Suspense #39, cover-dated this month.
- March 5 – In Camden, Tennessee, country music star 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 18 – Gideon v. Wainwright: The Supreme Court 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 Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.
- March 31 – The 1962 New York City newspaper strike ends after 114 days.
- April 3 – SCLC volunteers kick off the Birmingham campaign against segregation with a sit-in.
- April 8 – The 35th Academy Awards ceremony is held.
- April 10 – The U.S. nuclear submarine Thresher sinks 220 mi (190 nmi; 350 km) east of Cape Cod; all 129 aboard (112 crewmen plus yard personnel) 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 16 – Martin Luther King, Jr. issues his Letter from Birmingham Jail.
- May 1 – The Coca-Cola Company debuts its first diet drink, TaB cola.
- May 2 – Thousands of African Americans, 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.
- May 8 – Dr. No, the first James Bond film, is shown in U.S. theaters.
- 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 27 – The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan's second studio album, and most influential, released by Columbia Records.
- June 3 – Hue chemical attacks: The Army of the Republic of Vietnam pours chemicals on the heads of Buddhist protestors. The United States threatens to cut off aid to Ngo Dinh Diem's regime
- June 4 – President John F. Kennedy signs Executive Order 11110.
- June 10 – The University of Central Florida is established by the Florida legislature.
- 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 African Americans James Hood and Vivian Malone to enroll.
- June 11 – President John F. Kennedy delivered a historic Civil Rights Address, 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 assassinated 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 17 – Abington School District v. Schempp: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that state-mandated Bible reading in public schools is unconstitutional.
- June 23 – Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room opens at Disneyland, premiering the first Audio-Animatronics in the park.
- June 26 – In a speech in West Berlin, President John F. Kennedy famously declares "Ich bin ein Berliner".
- July 1 – ZIP codes are introduced in the U.S.
- July 7 – Double Seven Day scuffle: Secret police loyal to Ngo Dinh Nhu, brother of President Ngo Dinh Diem, attack American journalists including Peter Arnett and David Halberstam at a demonstration during the Buddhist crisis.
- July 26 – NASA launches Syncom, the world's first geostationary (synchronous) satellite.
- August 5 – The United States, United Kingdom, and Soviet Union sign a nuclear test ban treaty.
- August 18 – James Meredith becomes the first black person to graduate from the University of Mississippi.
- August 21 – Cable 243: In the wake of the Xa Loi Pagoda raids, the Kennedy administration orders the US Embassy, Saigon to explore alternative leadership in South Vietnam, opening the way towards a coup against Diem.
- 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 7 – The Pro Football Hall of Fame opens in Canton, Ohio with 17 charter members.
- September 15 – The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, in Birmingham, Alabama, kills 4 and injures 22.
- September 24 – The U.S. Senate ratifies the nuclear test ban treaty.
- October 1 – In the U.S., the President's Commission on the Status of Women issues its final reports to President Kennedy.
- October 8 – Sam Cooke and his band were arrested after trying to register at a "whites only" motel in Louisiana. In the months following, he records "A Change Is Gonna Come".
- October 31 – 74 die in a gas explosion during a Holiday on Ice show at the Indiana State Fair Coliseum in Indianapolis.
- November 10 – Malcolm X makes his Message to the Grass Roots speech in Detroit, Michigan.
- November 16 – A newspaper strike begins in Toledo, Ohio.
- 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, 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.
- December 8 – Frank Sinatra Jr. is kidnapped at Harrah's Lake Tahoe.
- 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. Also on this date: Chuck Yeager "while testing an NF-104A rocket-augmented aerospace trainer, he narrowly escaped death when his aircraft went out of control at 108,700 feet (nearly 21 miles up) and crashed. He parachuted to safety at 8,500 feet after vainly battling to gain control of the powerless, rapidly falling craft. In this incident he became the first pilot to make an emergency ejection in the full pressure suit needed for high altitude flights.”
- December 25 – Walt Disney releases his 18th feature-length animated motion picture The Sword in the Stone, about the boyhood of King Arthur. It is the penultimate animated film personally supervised by Disney, but it has not become one of his greatest hits.
- December 26 – I Want to Hold Your Hand and I Saw Her Standing There are released in the U.S., marking the beginning of full-scale Beatlemania.
- David. H. Frisch and James H. Smith prove that the radioactive decay of mesons is slowed by their motion (see Einstein's special relativity and general relativity).
- The Reformed Druids of North America (RDNA) is founded.
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- January 7 – Rand Paul, United States Senator from Kentucky since 2011.
- January 10 – Mark Pryor, United States Senator from Arkansas since 2003.
- January 31 – John Dye, actor (d. 2011)
- February 17 – Michael Jordan, former professional basketball player
- June 9 – Johnny Depp, actor, producer and musician
- September 9 – Chris Coons, United States Senator from Delaware since 2010.
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- October 24 – Douglas Croft, actor (b. 1926)
- November 22 – John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States (b. 1917)
- November 24 – Lee Harvey Oswald, sniper who assassinated John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States (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: 90 Years Later", Humanities: The Magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities, March/April 2004
- Media related to 1963 in the United States at Wikimedia Commons