1963 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

1963 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

Quick Facts from 1963:

  • World Changing Event: President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 22, 1963.
  • Another World-Changing Event: Thich Quang Duc’s self-immolation caused many Americans to question why we were in Vietnam.
  • The Top Song was Sugar Shack by Jimmy Gilmore and the Fireballs
  • The Movies to Watch include Cleopatra and Dr. No
  • The Most Famous Person in America was probably Doris Day
  • Notable books include: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
  • Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to travel into space, giving them bonus points in The Space Race.
  • Price of a postage stamp in 1963: 5 cents
    Turtle kit (bowl, food, ornament & gravel): 44 cents
    Turtle: 21-49 cents each
  • The Funny Late Show Host: Steve Allen
    The Funny Lady was: Moms Mabley
  • The Crazy Conspiracy: Bob Dylan stole Blowin’ in the Wind from New Jersey high-school student Lorre Wyatt.
  • The Feminine Revolution: Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique inaugurated the modern women’s rights movement.
Top Ten Baby Names of 1963:
Lisa, Mary, Susan, Karen, Linda, Michael, John, David, James, Robert
The Hotties, Sex Symbols and Fashion Icons:
LizTsUrsula Andress, Brigitte Bardot, Carroll Baker, Honor Blackman, Claudia Cardinale, Doris Day, Angie Dickinson, Annette Funicello, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield, Ann-Margret, Julie Newmar, Kim Novak, Leslie Parrish, Elke Sommer, Stella Stevens, Elizabeth Taylor, Veruschka
Sex Symbols and Hollywood Hunks:
Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Sean Connery, Elvis Presley, Gregory Peck

“The Quotes:”
“From Dallas, Texas, the flash, apparently official… President Kennedy died at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time, 2:00 Eastern Standard Time, some 38 minutes ago.”
– Walter Cronkite

In 1963, Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry remarked, “They’ll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run.” On July 20, 1969, a few hours after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Perry hit his first and only home run.

“Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Meyer wiener. That is what I truly want to be.”
– Oscar Meyer Hot Dog Commercial

Time Magazine’s Man of the Year:
Martin Luther King, Jr
Miss America:
Jacquelyn Mayer (Sandusky, OH)
Miss USA:
Marite Ozers (Illinois)
The Tragedy:
Airplane Celebrity Death: Patsy Cline
Presidential Assassination:
John F Kennedy & Magic Bullet Theory
The JFK assassination is the mother of all modern conspiracy theories.
US Politics:
January 20, 1965 (Wednesday) Second inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson
Pop Culture Facts:
June 17 – The Supreme Court ruled that laws requiring reciting The Lord’s Prayer or Bible verses in public schools were unconstitutional.

Valentia Tereshkova was the first woman in space on the Vostok 6. She orbited Earth 48 times.

Kodak introduced the Instamatic camera.

‘Ma’ Bell Telephone introduced the push-button telephone

Boxer Sonny Liston was the first to win a million dollars in a single bout when he beat Floyd Patterson in Chicago on September 25th.

Elizabeth Taylor was the first actress to earn $1,000,000 for a single film – ‘Cleopatra.’

Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc publicly immolated himself on the street in Saigon to protest the anti-Buddhist policies of President Ngo Dinh Diem.

Mississippi physician James D. Hardy performed the first successful lung transplant.

Doomsday Clock:
12 minutes to midnight, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
1963: “After a decade of almost non-stop nuclear tests, the United States and the Soviet Union sign the Partial Test Ban Treaty, which ends all atmospheric nuclear testing. While it does not outlaw underground testing, the treaty represents progress in at least slowing the arms race. It also signals awareness among the Soviets and United States that they need to work together to prevent nuclear annihilation.”
The Habits:
Troll Dolls were everywhere.
Reading Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique helped establish the Feminist Movement.
1st appearances & 1963’s Most Popular Christmas gifts, toys and presents:
Mouse Trap, Allan Sherwood (Barbie and Ken’s friend), Easy-Bake Oven, Big Loo.
‘Dam Things’ trolls were the original Troll Dolls, first created in the 1950s. They got much cuter and were produced by several companies by the early 1960s.
Best Film Oscar Winner:
Lawrence of Arabia (presented in 1963)
The Biggest Films of 1963
1. Cleopatra (Pop Culture Classic)
2. How the West Was Won
3. It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (Pop Culture Classic)
4. Tom Jones
5. Irma La Douce
6. Son of Flubber
7. The V.I.P.s
8. McLintock!
9. Charade
10. Bye Bye Birdie (Pop Culture Classic)
11. The Birds (Pop Culture Classic)
12. Beach Party (Pop Culture Classic)
13. Jason and the Argonauts
14. The Damned (Pop Culture Classic)
15. The Great Escape
16. The Sword in the Stone
17. Black Sabbath
18. The Pink Panther (Pop Culture Classic)
19. From Russia with Love
20. Hud
21. The Nutty Professor (Pop Culture Classic)
22. The Raven
23. It Happened at the World’s Fair (Elvis, Pop Culture Classic)
24. Lord of the Flies
25. PT 109
26. Come Blow Your Horn
27. The Cardinal
28. The Thrill of it All
29. Dementia 13
30. 55 Days at Peking
31. Move Over, Darling
32. Donovan’s Reef
33. Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed?
34. Blood Feast
35. Toys in the Attic
36. Fun in Acapulco
37. Lilies of the Field (Pop Culture Classic)
38. My Life to Live
39. PromisesQ Promises!
40. The Man with the X-Ray Eyes
*Movies beyond the Top Ten are based on (a somewhat subjective) ranking based on how much they had a long-lasting effect on Pop Culture.
Broadway Show – Barefoot in the Park (Play) Opened on October 23, 1963 and Closed: June 25, 1967
Popular and Notable Books From 1963:
Babies So Tall Board Book by Gyo Fujikawa
The Battle of the Villa Fiorita by Rumer Godden
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book by Richard Scarry
Caravans by James A. Michener
Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
City of Night by John Rechy
Elizabeth Appleton by John O’Hara
The Feminine Mystique – Betty Friedan
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
The Glass-Blowers by Daphne du Maurier
Grandmother and the Priests by Taylor Caldwell
The Group by Mary McCarthy
Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
I Am a Bunny by Ole Risom and Richard Scarry
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, and Seymour-An Introduction by J.D. Salinger
The Sand Pebbles by Richard McKenna
Seven Days in May by Fletcher Knebel
The Shoes of the Fisherman by Morris West
Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
1963 Most Popular TV shows:
1. Beverly Hillbillies (CBS)
2. Bonanza (NBC)
3. The Dick Van Dyke Show (CBS)
4. Petticoat Junction (CBS)
5. The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
6. The Lucy Show (CBS)
7. Candid Camera (CBS)
8. The Ed Sullivan Show (CBS)
9. The Danny Thomas Show (CBS)
10. My Favorite Martian (CBS)

1963 Billboard Number One Songs

December 22, 1962January 11, 1963:
Telstar – The Tornadoes

January 12January 25:
Go Away Little Girl – Steve Lawrence

January 26February 8:
Walk Right In – The Rooftop Singers

February 9March 1:
Hey Paula – Paul & Paula

March 2 – March 22:
Walk Like A Man – The Four Seasons

March 23 – March 29:
Our Day Will Come – Ruby & The Romantics

March 30 – April 26:
He’s So Fine – The Chiffons

April 27 – May 17:
I Will Follow Him – Little Peggy March

May 18 – May 30:
If You Wanna Be Happy – Jimmy Soul

June 1 – June 14:
It’s My Party – Lesley Gore

June 15 – July 5:
Sukiyaki – Kyu Sakamoto

July 6 – July 19:
Easier Said Than Done – The Essex

July 20 – August 2:
Surf City – Jan & Dean

August 3 – August 9:
So Much In Love – The Tymes

August 10 – August 30:
Fingertips – Pt 2 – Little Stevie Wonder

August 31 – September 20:
My Boyfriend’s Back – The Angels

September 21 – October 11:
Blue Velvet – Bobby Vinton

October 12 – November 15:
Sugar Shack – Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs

November 16 – November 22:
Deep Purple – Nino Tempo & April Stevens

November 23 – December 6:
I’m Leaving It Up To You – Dale & Grace

December 7, 1963 – January 3, 1964:
Dominique – The Singing Nun

World Series Champions: Los Angeles Dodgers
NFL Champions: Chicago Bears
AFL Champions: San Diego Chargers
NBA Champions: Boston Celtics
Stanley Cup Champs: Toronto Maple Leafs
U.S. Open Golf Julius Boros
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Rafael Osuna/Maria Bueno
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Chuck McKinley/Margaret Smoth
NCAA Football Champions: Texas
NCAA Basketball Champions: Loyola
Kentucky Derby: Chateaugay