1963 History Events: What Happened in 1963

1963 was a watershed moment in history, with numerous world-changing firsts and the emergence of the then-controversial Beatlemania. In 1963, the world’s population was estimated to be at 3.2 billion people. Lisa, Michael, and Lisa were the most popular baby names among the 4,098,020 kids born that year. Michael Jordan, Johnny Depp, King Mohammed VI of Morocco, and Whitney Houston were all born in that year. Unfortunately, poet Robert Frost, NAACP founder W.E.B. Du Bois, author Aldous Huxley, and Pope John XXIII all passed away. In addition to those names, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated in the United States.

The Bell Jar and Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are were the two most popular books of the year. The Birds, The Great Escape, and Cleopatra were among the year’s most popular films, with audiences flocking to the theatres to see them. Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and Doctor Who made their broadcast debuts on BBC. Prisons, women’s salaries, and video technology all underwent significant changes in 1963.

In 1963, the first Boeing took to the skies, Winston Churchill became the first honorary US citizen, the world’s first home video recorder was released in the United Kingdom, and James Hardy performed the first successful lung transplant. On March 12th, the historic Alcatraz prison closed its doors after nearly 30 years of operation.

Another thing came to an end when the United States cut ties with Cuba financially. While that particular connection ended in bitterness, JFK signed a nuclear test ban treaty, ensuring peace in other areas. Prior to his demise, JFK signed into law equal pay for men and women, securing the rights of many working women. Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” address on the Civil Rights front.

Continue reading to discover more about the events of 1963.


(March 21, 1963)
On this day in 1963, the United States federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, which had housed some of the most dangerous civilians, including Al Capone and Robert Stroud, the "Birdman of Alcatraz," was closed.


(April 07, 1963)
On this day in 1963, American professional golfer Jack Nicklaus won the Masters Tournament at the age of 23. He was a dominant figure in international golf from the 1960s to the 1980s, winning 73 PGA tour events during his career.

(April 13, 1963)
Garry Kasparov, a Russian chess master who won the world championship in 1985, was born.

(June 16, 1963)
Valentina V. Tereshkova, a Soviet cosmonaut, became the first woman to travel in space on this day in 1963, after being launched into orbit on the spacecraft Vostok 6, which completed 48 orbits in 71 hours.

(July 19, 1963)
During X-15 Flight 90, Joe Walker flies a North American X-15 to a record altitude of 106,010 metres (347,800 feet). By exceeding 100 kilometres in altitude, this aircraft qualifies as a human space flight according to international convention.


(July 26, 1963)
The 1963 Skopje earthquake killed about 1,070 people, injured between 3,000 and 4,000, and left over 200,000 people homeless.

Happy Birthday! (July 27, 1963)
Donnie Yen, Chinese-Hong Kong actor, director, producer, and martial artist. photo source:

(July 27, 1963)
The Puijo observation tower atop Puijo Hill in Kuopio, Finland, is now open to the public.

Happy Birthday! (August 09, 1963)
Whitney Houston, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress. photo source:


(August 28, 1963)
On this day in 1963, over 200,000 people marched on Washington, D.C., an event that became a turning point in the civil rights movement, especially because of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

(September 16, 1963)
Malaysia, which is composed of the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo (Sabah), and Sarawak, was created. Singapore, on the other hand, is quickly ousted from this new nation. photo source:

(November 02, 1963)
Following a military coup, South Vietnamese President Ngô nh Dim is killed. photo source:

(November 18, 1963)
In the United States, the first push-button (Touch-Tone) telephones were introduced, gradually displacing most rotary-dial types. photo source:

(November 22, 1963)
The most famous political assassination in modern American history occurred on this day in 1963, when John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States (1961–63), was shot and murdered while travelling in an open automobile in Dallas, Texas. photo source:


(November 23, 1963) The first episode of the British science-fiction television series Doctor Who aired, and the show became a cultural touchstone in the United Kingdom.

(December 18, 1963)
Brad Pitt, the unconventionally talented American actor, was born. photo source:

(December 26, 1963)
I Want to Hold Your Hand, with I Saw Her Standing There on the B-side, was the first Beatles single to be released in the United States, and it was a major success, helping to kick off Beatlemania. photo source:

Written by James

James has always been intrigued by dinosaurs, the universe, technology, and animals. With a Bachelor of Computer Science and years of writing expertise, he joined World Amazing Facts in 2021 as a staff writer.

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1962 History Events: What Happened in 1962

1964 History Events: What Happened in 1964