The year ended on the same day it began, a Tuesday.   Sandwiched between beginning and end, history unraveled her daily threads, wove them together, and produced a tapestry known simply as 1963.  Rich and colorful, events expected and others a surprise, successes and failures, victories and defeat, catastrophe and miracle, the ordinary and the spectacular. 

Some would argue both sides of the same event.

January saw George C. Wallace become governor of Alabama. In his inaugural speech, he defiantly proclaims "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever!  Black student Harvey Gantt entered Clemson University (special to me for oh! so many reasons) in South Carolina, the last U.S. state to hold out against racial integration.

February  was when travel, financial and commercial transactions by United States citizens to Cuba were made illegal by the John F. Kennedy Administration.   The CIA's Domestic Operations Division was created, disaster struck the air when Northwest Airlines flight 705 crashed in the Florida Everglades killing everyone aboard and natural disaster when an earthquake destroyed the village of Barce, Libya, killing 900.

March said goodbye to country music superstar Patsy Cline, killed in a plane crash along with fellow performers, her manager and pilot; Alcatraz closed, transferring its last 27 prisoners elsewhere; and The Beatles released their first album, Please Please Me.

In April, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Fred Shuttlesworth and others were arrested in a Birmingham protest for "parading without a permit"; four days later King wrote the must-read "Letter from Birmingham Jail". 

May saw the debut of Tab, Coca~Cola's first diet soda; Dr. No, the first James Bond filem was shown in U.S. cities; smallpox broke out in Stokholm, Sweden, lasting for two months; Bob Dylyn released his second and arguably most influential studio album, "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan"; Fidel Castro visited Russia.

June ~ Governor George Wallace stood 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, and on the same day, President Kennedy made a historic civil rights speech, in which he promised a Civil
Rights Bill, and asked for "the kind of equality of treatment that we
would want for ourselves."   Abington School District v. Schempp: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state-mandated Bible reading in public schools was unconstitutional.

July was when Zip codes were first introduced, and an earthquake in Skopeje, Yugoslavia left 1,800 dead.  The Roman Catholic Church also accepted cremation as a funeral practice.

In August, the United States, United Kingdom and Soviet Union signed a nuclear test ban treaty; Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

September brought the debut of Marvel Comic's X-men and the Pro Football Hall of Fame opened in Canton, Ohio.

October saw 7,000 people killed from the destruction of Hurricane Flora; Sam Cooke and his band were arrested after trying to register at a "whites only" motel in Louisiana.

November mourned the death of President John F. Kennedy, assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, who was then shot by Jack Ruby.  New U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson confirmed that the United States would continue supporting South Vietnam militarily and economically.

December is when The Warren Commission began its investigation into the assassination of JFK; the Beatles continued to churn out hits ("I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "When I Saw Her Standing There") and Walt Disney released his 18th feature-length animated feature, "The Sword in the Stone".


My favorite undated event in 1963:  Harvey Ball invents the smiley face symbol. 🙂

The most important date to me personally?  March 30th.  If not for that date, I never would have gotten to know my children.   And I thought about it some more, and my husband would be married to someone else and be some other kids' dad, and that would just be wrong.

Curious how I'm feelin' today?  Pretty daggum good!  For fun?  Enjoy!

HT:  Wikipedia for all the historical tidbits

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