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Chronology of Events in 1963

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1 U. S. Senator Robert S. Kerr died.

Comet Ikeya2 Amateur astronomer Kaoru Ikeya discovered a comet.
2 An explosion ripped through a meatpacking plant in Terre Haute, Indiana, killing 16 persons and injuring more than 50 others.

3 RCA's active repeater satellite Relay I was activated.

4 A mail train crashed into a standing passenger train in Katihar, India, causing an explosion and fire; 38 persons were killed and 90 others were injured.

5 China and Pakistan signed a trade agreement.

6 Brazilian voters approved replacement of the parliamentary system by a presidential form of government.

8 An explosion at the sports stadium in Accra, Ghana, soon after an address by President Kwame Nkrumah killed 4 persons and wounded 85 others.
Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, on loan from The Louvre, was placed on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C.

12 Pone Kingpetch became the first man ever to regain the world flyweight boxing title when he outpointed Masahiko "Fighting" Harada in Bangkok, Thailand.

13 A junta of former soldiers seized control of the government of Togo and assassinated President Sylvanus Olympio.

14 A tourist ferry on Toba Lake in Sumatra sank after a fire broke out in the engine room, killing 105 persons.
14 Six inmates at the Vermont State Prison at Windsor staged an 18-hour rooftop demonstration during which they tried to set fire to the building.

15 Nicolas Grunitzsky was named Provisional President of Togo.
15 A pneumatic pier-sinker burst in Naraj, India, killing 47 workmen and injuring 62 others.

Aden18 The British colony of Aden joined the Federation of South Arabia.
18 A coastal ferry sank in a storm off Mokpo, Korea, killing 80-100 people.
18 Hugh Gaitskell, British Labour Party leader, died.

Katanga23 The rebel Congolese province of Katanga surrendered to United Nations troops.

26 The strike by longshoremen that had shut down most East and Gulf coast shipping since December 23, 1962 ended.

28 Harvey Gant entered Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina.
Balloonist Jean Piccard died.

29 France vetoed the admission of the United Kingdom into the European Economic Community.
A condemned five-story apartment building in Tripoli, Lebanon, collapsed, killing 20 persons and injuring 7 others.
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert Frost died.


1 The mid-air collision of a Lebanese passenger plane and a Turkish military transport plane over Ankara, Turkey, killed a total of 95 persons on the planes and on the ground.
The walls and roof of a Roman Catholic school in Biblian, Ecuador, collapsed, killing 116 children and 4 nuns.
Hastings Banda was sworn in as the first Prime Minister of Nyasaland.
1 The Communications Satellite Corporation was incorporated by the U. S. Congress.

3 The U. S. tanker Marine Sulphur and its crew of 39 disappeared during a heavy storm off the Atlantic Coast of the United States.

6 A bus plunged into a ravine near Belo Horizonte, Brazil, killing 28 of the 35 passengers aboard.

7 A bus plunged down a 130-foot embankment near Auckland, New Zealand, killing 15 persons and injuring 21 others.

8 Members of the Iraqi armed forces overthrew the government of Premier Abdul Karim Kassem.

10 Fire destroyed a hospital in Manila, Philippines, and killed 35 persons.

11 An elevator inside a mine at Patchefstroom, South Africa, hoy stuck at the 7,000-foot level, resulting in the heat and suffocation deaths of 21 miners.

12 The Venezuelan freighter Anzoategui was seized by members of a pro-Communist rebel group.
12 A jetliner en route to Chicago, Illinois, crashed into the Everglades ten minutes after taking off from Miami (Florida) International Airport, killing all 43 persons aboard.
12 Laotian neutralist Colonel Ketsana Vongsonavanh was shot to death in the Plaine des Jarres region.

13 A earthquake shook the northern part of Formosa, killing 4 persons and severely injuring 18 others.

Harold Wilson14 Harold Wilson was elected to succeed the late Hugh Gaitskell as leader of the British Labour Party.
14 The United States launched Syncom I, but it failed to achieve orbit.

17 A passenger truck crashed into the Majidun River at Lagos, Nigeria, killing at least 30 people.

18 The U. S. Supreme Court ruled that two laws depriving citizenship to Americans who left the country to avoid the draft were unconstitutional.

19 Agung volcano, on the Indonesian island of Bali, began erupting for the first time in 100 years, killing 17 persons.

20 Cuban MiG fighters strafed the American shrimp boat Alabama sixty miles north of the Cuban shoreline.

Libya earthquakes21 A series of earthquakes killed more than 300 persons in Libya.

22 U. S. President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order establishing the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

23 The Réseau de Résistance, a Quebec, Canada, separatist group, bombed an English-speaking radio station in Montreal.
23 Fire destroyed a home and killed 10 members of one family in Morehouse, Missouri.

24 Women in Monaco voted for the first time.

25 The Japanese freighter Richmond Maru and the ferryboat Tokiwa collided in the dark in Kobe Harbor, killing 47 persons.

Juan Bosch27 Juan Bosch was inaugurated as the first constitutionally elected President of the Dominican Republic in 39 years.

28 An overcrowded bus traveling at high speed turned over and burned at Tecununmán, Guatemala, killing 64 persons (including 16 children).


1 French coal miners went on strike.

2 China and Pakistan signed a border treaty settling their dispute over the Kashmir region.
2 A Philippines DC-3 crashed on a mountain slope on Mindanao Island in the Philippines, killing all 27 persons aboard.

3 General Ricardo Perez Godoy was ousted as Peruvian chief of state.

6 Albany, Georgia, revoked its segregation ordinances.

7 The Pan-Am Building opened in New York City, New York.

8 A coup in Syria ousted Premier Khalad el Azam.

9 The Governor of Bermuda signed a bill granting universal suffrage for all adults over the age of 25.
9 Four explosions tore through a dynamite factory in Modderfontein, South Africa, killing an estimated 45 people and injuring 27 others.
9 An explosion in the air-pressure system of a foundry in Belecke, Germany, damaged five buildings and destroyed another, killed 19 persons, and injured at least 40 others.

10 Terrorists dynamited two oil pipelines in Venezuela.

14 Two trucks collided on a bridge near São Paulo, Brazil, and fell into the river below, killing at least 30 road workers and injuring another 39.

15 A Bolivian DC-6 crashed into the side of a volcanic peak near Charaña, Bolivia, killing all 40 persons aboard.
French railway workers went on strike.

16 Pan American defeated Western Carolina 73-62 to win the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics men's basketball tournament.

17 Mother Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was beatified by Pope John XXIII.

18 France conducted an underground nuclear test in the Algerian desert.
18 The U. S. Supreme Court held that states must provide free counsel for all indigents facing serious criminal charges.
18 A cyclone struck the Mymensingh district of Pakistan, causing an estimated $2,000,000 in damage and killing 18 persons.

20 A Comet IV belonging to King Saud of Saudi Arabia crashed in the Alps near Cuneo, Italy, apparently killing all 18 persons aboard.
Sikkim marriage20 American socialite Hope Cooke married Sikkim's Crown Prince Phandup Namgyal.

21 A four-hour fire in a water front district of Saigon, Vietnam, left more than 40,000 people homeless, about 300 children reported missing and presumed dead, and injured more than 100.
21 The Norwegian freighter Hoegh Aronde sank in heavy seas off northwestern Africa, killing 19 of her 32 crewmen.
Karl Rolvaag was declared Governor of Minnesota by a state court.
21 Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, in San Francisco Bay, California, was closed.

23 Loyola came from behind to record a 60-59 overtime victory over the University of Cincinnati to secure the NCAA Men's Championship.
23 Providence defeated Canisius 81-66 to win the National Invitation Tournament.

25 Davey Moore died of injuries suffered when he lost his world featherweight boxing title to Sugar Ramos.

26 The Soviet ship Baku was attacked by Cuban exile commandos in the port of Caibárién, Cuba.

28 Two Cuban MiG fighters fired at the U.S. ship Floridian 25 miles off Key West, Florida.

30 Pathet Lao forces attacked neutralist forces in the Plain of Jars region of Laos.
30 Guatemalan President Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes was ousted by an Army coup.

31 A 114-day newspaper strike ended in New York City, New York.


1 Laotian Foreign Minister Quinim Pholsena was assassinated an his wife wounded in Vientiane.

2 Seven U. S. steel manufacturers were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of price fixing.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.3 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., arrived in Birmingham, Alabama.

4 A 127-day newspaper strike ended in Cleveland, Ohio.
Actor Jason Robards, Sr. died.

7 The Yugoslavian parliament approved a new constitution making Marshal Tito President For Life.
7 A bus swerved off a road and plunged into the Tiva River near Nairobi, Kenya, killing 58 persons and injuring 14 others.
7 Jack Nicklaus won the Masters Golf Tournament.

8 A flash flood rushed down a dry river bed and drowned a group of 25 tourists and guides at the entrance to the temples at Petra, Jordan.

Winston Churchill9 Former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill was proclaimed an honorary citizen of the United States.

10 The U. S. Navy nuclear submarine Thresher, with 129 aboard, was lost in the Atlantic Ocean, 220 miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

11 A derailment caused by faulty brakes plunged the engine and coach of the Jakarta-Bandung (Indonesia) Express into a 200-foot-deep ravine, killing 37 persons and injuring 126 others.

14 The Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA Championship.

15 About 70,000 people participated in a "Ban the Bomb" rally in Hyde Park, London, England.

17 Whilden Breen, Jr., completed a voluntary 5-month-long solitary confinement study.

18 The successful transplant of human nerves was reported by James B. Campbell of the New York University Medical Center.
A 100-foot-wide avalanche of mud engulfed a cluster of homes in Bulongwa, Tanganyika, and killed 10 sleeping persons.
The Toronto Maple Leafs won their second straight Stanley Cup by defeating the Detroit Red Wings, 4 games to 1.

19 Two cyclones struck the states of Assam and West Bengal, India, killing at least 112 people and injuring another 500

20 A general nationwide strike was called by the Trades Union Council of British Guiana.
20 A bomb explosion in Montreal, Canada, killed 65-year-old Canadian veteran W. V. O'Neil.

23 White desegregationist William L. Moore was found murdered near Attalla, Alabama.
Israeli President Itzhak Ben-Zvi died.

24 Princess Alexandra of the United Kingdom married Angus James Bruce Ogilvy in Westminster Abbey.
24 The Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA Championship.

25 A methane gas and coal dust explosion inside the Compass No. 2 mine at Dola, West Virginia, killed 22 miners.
25 Floods in western Afghanistan killed 107 persons.

26 Haitian police broke into the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Port-au-Prince and seized 22 Haitian political refugees.

30 New Hampshire Governor John W. King signed a bill legalizing a state-controlled lottery.


1 Indonesia formally took over control of West New Guinea from a United Nations interim administration.
1 The government of Ceylon terminated the state of emergency that had been in effect since April 17, 1961.
1 James Whittaker became the first American to conquer Mount Everest.

2 A riot at the St. Vincent de Paul Prison at Montreal, Canada, left 1 guard and 1 inmate dead.

3 A Brazilian twin-engine airliner caught fire minutes after taking off from São Paulo, Brazil, and crashed into a residential area, killing 41 of the 49 persons aboard

Nelson Rockefeller4 New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and Mrs. Margaretta Murphy were married in Pocantico Hills, New York.
4 Fire swept through a movie theater in Diourbel, Senegal, killing 64 persons and injuring 18.
4 A ferryboat capsized in the Nile River at Maghagha, Egypt, killing at least 200 Muslim pilgrims.
4 A cyclone struck Mascara, Algeria, killing at least 10 people and injuring 29 others.
4 Chateaugay, ridden by Braulio Baeza, crossed the finish line of the Kentucky Derby 1¼ lengths ahead of Never Bend.

5 An Air Afrique DC-6 crashed into the side of Mount Cameroon, in Cameroon, killing 54 of the 55 persons aboard and seriously injuring the sole survivor.
Nicolas Grunitsky was elected, without opposition, President of Togo.

Telstar7 Telstar II was launched.

11 A bomb destroyed the Birmingham, Alabama, home of the Reverend A. D. King, and another seriously damaged the city's Gaston Motel.

12 A United Arab Republic DC-3 en route to Alexandria, Egypt, exploded in the air minutes after taking off from Cairo, killing all 34 persons aboard.
12 Betty Miller became the first woman to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean (Santa Monica, California, to Brisbane, Australia).

Kuwait14 Kuwait was unanimously elected as the 111th member of the United Nations.

15 U. S. astronaut L. Gordon Cooper was launched into orbit aboard Faith 7.

16 Amintore Fanfani resigned as Premier of Italy.
16 Fire destroyed the village of Abyadeya, Egypt, and killed 17 persons.

17 A bomb placed inside a mailbox in Montreal, Canada, exploded and seriously injured bomb demolition expert Sergeant Major Walter Leja.

18 The Indonesian People's Consultative Congress named President Sukarno Chief of State for Life.
18 Bill Shoemaker rode Candy Spots to victory in the Preakness.

18 A bus loaded with migrant farm workers ran off the road into a 25-foot-deep canal at Pahokee, Florida, and sank, killing 20 persons.

20 Sukarno accepted the presidency and premiership of Indonesia for the rest of his life.
20 A military revolt against the government of Turkey was suppressed.

21 Schneor Zaiman Shazar was elected to succeed the late Itzhak Ben-Zvi as President of Israel.
21 A boat returning to Jomalig Island from a fiesta on Luzon Island, both in the Philippines, capsized in shark-infested waters, killing at least 22 people.

Organization of African Unity26 The Organization of African Unity was established.

Jomo Kenyatta27 Jomo Kenyatta was elected Kenya's first Prime Minister.

28 The roof of the Casi de Sodre railway station in Lisbon, Portugal, collapsed during the evening rush hour, killing 48 persons and injuring 36 others.

29 At least 22,000 people died when a two-day storm and a 15-foot tidal wave struck Chittagong, East Pakistan, and the Bay of Bengal coastal areas.

30 Parnelli Jones won the controversy-riddled Indianapolis 500.

31 Pea Ridge National Military Park was dedicated in Arkansas.


1 An Atlas missile exploded in an underground silo at Walker Air Force Base, New Mexico.
Willie Pastrano became the world light heavyweight boxing champion when he upset Harold Johnson in a 15-round decision in Las Vegas, Nevada

3 An Indian passenger plane crashed near Pathankot, India, killing all 29 persons aboard.
3 A military-chartered DC-7 crashed off the southeast coast of Alaska, killing all 101 persons aboard.
Pope John XXIII3 Pope John XXIII died.

8 Emile Griffith became the first man ever to win the world welterweight boxing title for a third time by outpointing Luis Rodriguez in New York City, New York.
8 Braulio Baeza rode Chateaugay to victory in the Belmont Stakes.

Fernando Belaunde Terry9 Fernando Belaúde Terry was elected President of Peru.

11 Thich Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk, set himself on fire in the middle of a busy street in Saigon, South Vietnam.
11 Two black students were admitted to Alabama State University at Tuscaloosa.
11 Greek Premier Constantine Caramanlis resigned.

12 Civil rights activist Medgar Evers was shot and killed outside his home in Jackson, Mississippi.

Valeri Fyodorovich Bykovsky14 Cosmonaut Valeri Bykovsky was launched into orbit aboard Vostok V.

15 Eddie Perkins outpointed Roberto Cruz in Manila, Philippines, to capture the world junior welterweight boxing title vacated by the retirement of Dulio Loi.

David Ben-Gurion16 David Ben-Gurion resigned as Prime Minister of Israel.
16 Russian Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space.
16 A Romanian Ilyushin-14 crashed near Tókomlós, Romania, killing all 31 persons aboard.
16 The driving teazm of Ludovico Scarfiotti and Lorenzo Bandini won the Le Mans Grand Prix.

17 The U. S. Supreme Court ruled that required readings of the Lord's Prayer and Bible passages in public schools violates the First Amendment.

Pope Paul VI21 Giovanni Battista Cardinal Montini, Archbishop of Milan, was elected Pope Paul VI.
21 Both of Hawaii's major daily newspapers were shut down by a strike.

24 Internal self-government was formally introduced in Zanzibar.

25 The trawler Minchen sank after striking a reef off the west coast of Greenland, killing 27 of her 42 crewmen.

26 A Belgian C-119 military transport caught fire and crashed nearthe Sennelager Army Training Camp at Detmold, Germany, killing 38 of the 47 persons aboard.

28 The International Bridge connecting Queenston, Ontario, and Lewiston, New York, was dedicated.

29 A bus careened off the road and over a 300-foot cliff near Yarumal, Colombia, killing 40 persons and injuring 30 others.

30 Sultan Seyyid Sir Abdullah ibn Khalifa of Zanzibar died.


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The Robinson Library >> In The Year... >> 1963

This page was last updated on December 11, 2018.