April 1963

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The following events occurred in April 1963:

April 1, 1963 (Monday)

  • The long-running American TV soap opera General Hospital made its début on the ABC network.[1] On the same afternoon, the first episode of NBC's hospital soap opera, The Doctors premiered.[2] General Hospital, set in the fictional town of Port Charles, New York, would begin its 50th year in 2012, while The Doctors, set in the fictional New England town of Madison, would end on December 31, 1982.
  • Died: Quinim Pholsena, 47, the Foreign Minister of Laos, was assassinated by a soldier assigned to guard him. Quinim and his wife had returned home from a reception with the King, when Lance Corporal Chy Kong fired a machine gun at the couple. Minister Quinim was hit by 18 bullets, after which the guard "finished him off with a shot through the head".[3][4]
  • Died: St. Gaetano Catanoso, 84, Italian priest, canonized as a Roman Catholic saint in 2005

April 2, 1963 (Tuesday)

April 3, 1963 (Wednesday)

April 4, 1963 (Thursday)

  • All 67 persons on board Aeroflot Flight 25 were killed, one hour after the Ilyushin-18 plane had taken off from Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, bound for Krasnoyarsk.[10]
  • Network Ten, the third television network in Australia, began with the granting of a corporate operating license to United Telecasters Sydney Limited. Broadcasting would begin on ATV-0 in Melbourne on April 1, 1964, and on Channel Ten in Sydney on April 5, 1965.
  • The cost of making a long distance telephone call was lowered throughout the continental United States, with a maximum charge of one dollar for three-minute "station-to-station" calls made between 9:00 pm and 4:30 a.m.[11] The equivalent 50 years later for a 1963 dollar would be $7.50[12]
  • The Henry Miller novel Tropic of Cancer went on sale legally in the United Kingdom for the first time, after having been banned for thirty years because it had been deemed obscene.[13]
  • The Beatles performed at Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, UK, for a fee of £100, having accepted a personal request from schoolboy David Moores, a fellow Liverpudlian (and later chairman of Liverpool F.C.).
  • Vasily Krestyaninov replaced Vasily Prokhorov as Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Russia.
  • Died: Gaetano Catanoso, 84, Italian parish priest canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005; and Sonja McCaskie, 24, British skier and 1960 Olympics competitor, in a brutal murder.[14]

April 5, 1963 (Friday)

  • The Soviet Union accepted an American proposal to establish a Moscow–Washington hotline so that the leaders of the two nations could communicate directly with each other in order to avoid war.[15] Originally, the hot line was a teletype system rather than a direct voice line.[16]
  • Luna 4, the first successful spacecraft of the USSR's "second generation" Luna program, misses the Moon by 8336.2 km at 13:25 UT and enters a barycentric Earth orbit.[17]
  • Ferdinand Marcos became President of the Senate of the Philippines.

April 6, 1963 (Saturday)

  • The South African Soccer League, formed in 1961, was banned from further use of public stadiums because its teams included white, black and mixed race players, in violation of the Group Areas Act, and a game at Alberton, a suburb of Johannesburg, was cancelled on the day of the match. Fans climbed the fence surrounding the locked Natalspruit Indian Sports ground and 15,000 people watched the Moroka Swallows defeat Blackpool United, 6-1. Afterwards, the SASL was permanently denied access to playing fields, and disbanded in 1967 after years of financial losses.[18]
  • Boots Randolph, better-known as an accompanyist for many performers in rock, pop, and country music, had his only U.S. hit, reaching no 1 on the Billboard chart with "Yakety Sax".
  • The Germany national rugby union team played a friendly international against a France XV at Frankfurt, losing 9-15.
  • Born: Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador since 2007, in Guayaquil
  • Died: Otto Struve, 65, Russian astronomer; Allen Whipple, 81, pioneering US cancer surgeon

April 7, 1963 (Sunday)


April 8, 1963 (Monday)

April 9, 1963 (Tuesday)

  • Sir Winston Churchill, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, became the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States by act of the U.S. Congress, with President Kennedy signing the legislation for the 88-year-old statesman, whose mother had been a United States native.[25] The House of Representatives had approved the legislation on March 12 by a 377-21 vote, and the U.S. Senate approved on April 2 by voice vote.[26] Churchill was unable to travel from the U.K. to the U.S., and his son, Randolph Churchill, accepted in his place in ceremonies that were televised.[27]
  • Despite his party's loss in the elections for the House of Commons, Canada's Prime Minister Diefenbaker said that he would not resign until the new Parliament was called into session.[28]

April 10, 1963 (Wednesday)

  • The U.S. nuclear submarine Thresher sank during sea trials 220 miles (350 km) east of Cape Cod, killing the 112 U.S. Navy personnel and 17 civilians.[29] The wreckage of Thresher would be located on September 6.[30]
  • Frol Kozlov, the 54-year-old Second Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party and Deputy Prime Minister, and considered the likely successor to Nikita Khrushchev, suffered a stroke and was forced to retire. Kozlov would die on January 30, 1965.[31]
  • An unknown gunman narrowly missed killing former U.S. Army General Edwin A. Walker, who had been working on his taxes at his home in Dallas, Texas.[32] The would-be killer would later turn out to have been Lee Harvey Oswald, who would use the same rifle to assassinate U.S. President John F. Kennedy in November.[33]
  • The owners and passengers of the yacht Cythera became the first modern victims of piracy (under Australian law) when their boat was stolen by two crew members. The yacht was salvaged over a month later, and the incident would result in various legal complications, including prosecution of the pirates under an act of 1858.[34]

April 11, 1963 (Thursday)

  • Buddy Rogers became the first WWF Champion, defeating Antonino Rocca at the finals of the first World Wrestling Federation tournament, held in Brazil in Rio de Janeiro.[35]
  • Pope John XXIII issued his final encyclical, Pacem in terris, entitled On Establishing Universal Peace in Truth, Justice, Charity and Liberty,[36] the first papal encyclical addressed to "all men of good will", rather than to Roman Catholics only.
  • Mohammed Khemisti, the 33-year-old Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, was mortally wounded by a gunman who shot him outside the National Assembly.[37]
  • The U.S. Chief of Naval Operations went before the press corps at the Pentagon to announce that the nuclear submarine USS Thresher had been lost with all hands.
  • Born: June Gibbons and Jennifer Gibbons (died 1993), the "Silent Twins", criminals and writers, in Barbados; and Saif al-Adel, Egyptian-born al-Qaeda terrorist

April 12, 1963 (Friday)

April 13, 1963 (Saturday)

April 14, 1963 (Sunday)

April 15, 1963 (Monday)

  • Seventy thousand marchers arrived in London from Aldermaston, to demonstrate against nuclear weapons. The breakaway group Spies for Peace set up a picket at RSG-6.
  • The 1963 Glover Trophy motor race was held at Goodwood Circuit and won by Innes Ireland.
  • The 1963 Pau Grand Prix motor race was held at Pau Circuit and won by Jim Clark.
  • A White House press release announced that First Lady Jackie Kennedy was pregnant and that her baby would be delivered by Caesarean section in September. Mrs. Kennedy, who had a history of miscarriages, had delayed announcement of her pregnancy. She had been delivered of stillborn children in 1955 and 1956, and had two living children, Caroline (born 1957) and John, Jr. (b. 1960).[43] The child, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, would be born prematurely on August 7, and would survive for only two days.
  • An unidentified 58-year-old man, suffering from lung cancer, was admitted to the University of Mississippi hospital. On June 11, 1963, he would become the first person to receive a lung transplant.[44]
  • Died: "Colossus", the largest snake ever kept in captivity, at the Highland Park Zoo in Pittsburgh. A reticulated Python, she measured 28 1/2 feet long (8.68 meters) and at one time weighed 320 pounds (145 kg).[45]

April 16, 1963 (Tuesday)

April 17, 1963 (Wednesday)

  • Grigori Nelyubov, Ivan Anikeyev and Valentin Filatyev were all dismissed from the USSR's cosmonaut corps, after their March 27 arrest for drunk and disorderly conduct.
  • NFL players Paul Hornung of the Green Bay Packers and Alex Karras of the Detroit Lions were ordered suspended indefinitely by Commissioner Pete Rozelle for betting on league games. Five other Lions players (John Gordy, Gary Lowe, Joe Schmidt, Wayne Walker and Sam Williams) were each fined $2,000 each for betting on the Packers to win the 1962 NFL Championship Game.[47] Hornung and Karras would be reinstated by Rozelle eleven months later after being barred from playing during the 1963 NFL season.[48]
  • Representatives of Egypt, Syria and Iraq signed a declaration in Cairo to merge their three nations into a new United Arab Republic. Egypt and Syria had been merged as the United Arab Republic from 1958 to 1961 before Syria withdrew, and Egypt and retained the UAR name.[49] Demonstrations followed in Jordan, where citizens of the Kingdom wanted to join the federation, which was never ratified.[50]

April 18, 1963 (Thursday)

April 19, 1963 (Friday)

  • Under pressure from the United States, South Korea's President Park Chung Hee returned to his pledge to return to civilian rule, and announced that multiparty elections for the presidency and the National Assembly would take place before the end of the year. Park had promised a return to democracy in 1963 when he had taken power in a coup on August 12, 1961, but on March 16, 1963, proposed to extend military rule for another four years. The voting (in which Park would be elected President) would be held on October 15.[53]
  • A new dam was inaugurated on the Chubut River 120 km west of Trelew, removing the risk of flooding in the Lower Chubut Valley.
  • Born: Valerie Plame, American CIA Operations Officer who was identified after a leak from a U.S. State Department official; in Anchorage, Alaska.

April 20, 1963 (Saturday)

  • The caves at Lascaux were closed to the general public after fifteen years, in order to protect cave paintings dating from more than 17,000 years ago. The paintings had been rediscovered on September 12, 1940, in the caverns in southwestern France. After the complex was opened to the public in 1948, the works began to erode from carbonic acid produced by the exhaling of the visitors. The Department of Dordogne would create a replica of the paintings in another cave hall, opened as "Lascaux II" in 1983.[54]
  • In Montreal, the terrorist campaign of the Front de libération du Québec claimed its first fatality. William Vincent O'Neill, a 65-year-old night watchman and janitor, died in the explosion of a bomb at a Canadian Army recruitment center. O'Neill, who was planning to retire at the end of May, had been scheduled to start his shift at midnight, but had arrived at 11:30 to allow a co-worker to go home, and was killed when the bomb exploded at 11:45 pm.[55]
  • The 1963 Pan American Games opened in São Paulo, Brazil.
  • Italy created its first space agency, the Istituto Nazionale per le Richerche Spaziali (IRS) (National Institute for Space Research).[56]
  • Died: Julián Grimau, 41, Spanish Communist leader, was executed by a firing squad despite pleas to Spanish dictator Francisco Franco for clemency.[57]

April 21, 1963 (Sunday)

April 22, 1963 (Monday)

  • Lester Bowles Pearson became the 14th Prime Minister of Canada. The oath was administered by Governor-General Georges Vanier in Ottawa at Vanier's office, where Pearson presented the names of his 25-member cabinet.[60]
  • Robert Taschereau took office as the 11th Chief Justice of Canada, replacing Patrick Kerwin, who had died on February 2.[61]
  • Cuba released its last American prisoners, 27 men who had been incarcerated by the Castro government. Twenty-one were flown from Havana to Miami after New York lawyer James Donovan had negotiated their freedom. Another six elected to go to other nations rather than returning to the U.S.[62]
  • President Kennedy started the one-year countdown for the opening of the 1964 New York World's Fair by keying "1964" on a touch-tone telephone in the Oval Office, starting "a contraption which will count off the seconds until the opening". Kennedy then spoke over the line to a crowd of about 1,000 people at Flushing Meadow Park, and said "Three hundred sixty-six days from today, I plan to attend your opening".[63] President Kennedy would be killed, however, five months before the Fair's opening on April 22, 1964.

April 23, 1963 (Tuesday)

  • Ludwig Erhard was chosen as the successor for retiring West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, despite Adenauer's recommendations that the Christian Democratic Party and the Christian Socialist Union Bundestag members choose another person. Erhard, who had been the nation's Economic Minister since 1950, was approved by a vote of 159 to 47.[64]
  • The Ukrainian football club FC Karpaty Lviv played its first official match, defeating Lokomotiv Gomel 1-0.
  • Died: Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, 78, second and longest-serving (1952-1963) President of Israel. Speaker Kadish Luz became acting President until Zalman Shazar was selected by the Knesset.

April 24, 1963 (Wednesday)

April 25, 1963 (Thursday)

April 26, 1963 (Friday)

April 27, 1963 (Saturday)

  • The U.S. Marine Corps lost its first aircraft to enemy action in Vietnam, when a UH-34D transport helicopter was shot down by Viet Cong ground fire near Do Xa, South Vietnam.
  • Bob Hayes became the first person to run the 100 meter dash in less than ten seconds, in 9.9 seconds at a meet in Los Angeles. However, the accomplishment could not be recognized as a world record because the wind was faster than 5 meters per second (18 km/h or 11.2 mph); the record would be broken on October 14, 1968, by Jim Hines with 9.95 seconds.[69]
  • Born: Russell T Davies, Welsh television producer and screenwriter, in Swansea

April 28, 1963 (Sunday)

April 29, 1963 (Monday)

April 30, 1963 (Tuesday)


  1. Leslie J. Reagan, et al., Medicine's Moving Pictures: Medicine, Health, and Bodies in American Film and Television (University of Rochester Press, 2007) p104
  2. imdb.com entry
  3. "Laos Official Killed By Guard At Home", Miami News, April 2, 1963, p2A
  4. Arthur J. Dommen, The Indochinese Experience of the French and the Americans: Nationalism and Communism in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam (Indiana University Press, 2002) p491
  5. "Luna 4 Information", by Nick Greene, About.com space/astronomy
  6. "From dusk to dawn"
  7. "Rebellion Ended, Argentina Says", Miami News, April 3, 1963, p1
  8. Roger S. Powers, Protest, Power, and Change: An Encyclopedia of Nonviolent Action from ACT-UP to Women's Suffrage (Taylor & Francis, 2012) p45
  9. "Flogging Sentences Upheld In Delaware", Miami News, April 3, 1963, p1
  10. AviationSafety.net
  11. "$1 Distance Telephone Calls Start", Miami News, April 6, 1963, p1
  12. USinflationcalculator.com
  13. "'Tropic of Cancer' on Sale in Britain", Miami News, April 5, 1963, p3A
  14. "Headless Body of Ex-Skier Found", Miami News, April 6, 1963, p1; "Blonde Ski Star Was Tortrued Before Killing", Miami News, April 7, 1963, p1
  15. "Soviets OK 'Hot Line' Link to US", Milwaukee Sentinel, April 6, 1963, p1
  16. "'Hot Line'", in An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Conflict and Conflict Resolution, 1945-1996, John E. Jessup, ed. (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998) p288
  17. "Lunik IV Skirts Moon, To Ring Sun", Miami News, April 6, 1963, p1
  18. David Goldblatt, The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer (Penguin, 2008)
  19. "Slavs Make Tito Life President", Milwaukee Sentinel, April 8, 1963, p1
  20. "Masters to Nicklaus, 286, Lema 1 Back", Milwaukee Sentinel, April 8, 1963, p2-2
  21. "700-Page Newspaper", Miami News, April 8, 1963, p1
  22. Tim Rowse, Nugget Coombs: A Reforming Life (Cambridge University Press, 2002) p282
  23. "Liberals Win Elections But Don't Get Majority", Montreal Gazette, April 9, 1963, p1
  24. "Lawrence, Bancroft And Peck Capture Top Academy Awards", Montreal Gazette, April 9, 1963, p1
  25. "U. S. Makes Sir Winston Honorary American Citizen", Tucson (AZ) Daily Citizen, April 9, 1963, p1
  26. "Senate Okays Citizenship For Sir Winston Churchill", Kingsport (TN) Times-News, April 3, 1963, p1
  27. Martin Gilbert, Churchill and America (Simon and Schuster, 2008) pp447-448
  28. "Canada Vote Sparks Crisis", Milwaukee Sentinel, April 10, 1963, p2
  29. "BITS OF DEBRIS SIGHTED; SUB GIVEN UP, 129 DEAD", Miami News, April 11, 1963, p1
  30. Charles A. Bartholomew and William I. Milwee, Mud, Muscle, and Miracles: Marine Salvage in the United States Navy (Government Printing Office, 2009) pp374-376
  31. Christoph Bluth, Soviet Strategic Arms Policy before SALT (Cambridge University Press, 1992) p150
  32. "Assassin Fires at Ex-Gen. Walker" Miami News, April 11, 1963, p2A
  33. Kris Hollington, Wolves, Jackals, and Foxes: The Assassins Who Changed History (Macmillan, 2008) p80
  34. Staff writer (15 October 1963). "Yacht Thief Told he is Pirate". The Age, archived at Google News. Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved 12 March 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. Kevin Sullivan, The WWE Championship: A Look Back at the Rich History of the WWE Championship (Simon and Schuster, 2011) p297
  36. Ugo Colombo Sacco, John Paul II and World Politics: 20 Years of a Search for a New Approach, 1978-1998 (Peeters Publishers, 1999) p6
  37. "Algeria Minister Fights For Life", Miami News, April 12, 1963, p1
  38. Chinnery, Philip D., Vietnam: The Helicopter War, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1991, ISBN 978-1-55750-875-1, p. 19.
  39. Nonja Peters, The Dutch Down Under: 1606-2006 (University of Western Australia Publishing, 2006) p66
  40. McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-12-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  41. ESPN.go.com
  42. "Pirates Win In A Balk, 12-4", Pittsburgh Press, April 14, 1963, p4-1
  43. "Baby Talk In White House...", Miami News, April 12, 1963, p1
  44. David K. C. Cooper, et al., The Transplantation and Replacement of Thoracic Organs: The Present Status of Biological and Mechanical Replacement of the Heart and Lungs (Springer, 1996) p431
  45. Mark Carwardine, Animal Records (Sterling Publishing Company, 2008) p166; "World-Noted Resident Of Local Zoo Is Dead- Colossus, 28 Feet, Believed Longest Python; Weighed Nearly 300 Pounds", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 15, 1963, p1
  46. James M. Washington, ed., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. (HarperCollins, 1990) p289
  47. "2 Pro Grid Stars Suspended in Bets", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 18, 1963, p1
  48. Peter S. Finley, Sports Scandals (Greenwood Publishing, 2008) p47
  49. "3-Star Flag Hails Arab Republic", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 18, 1963, p2
  50. Nigel Ashton, King Hussein of Jordan: A Political Life (Yale University Press, 2008) p94
  51. "Maple Leafs Post Stanley Cup Repeat, 3-1", Windsor (ON) Star, April 19, 1963, p23
  52. "Death Takes An Encore In The Big Top...", Miami News, April 19, 1963, p8C
  53. Jinwung Kim, A History of Korea: From "Land of the Morning Calm" to States in Conflict (Indiana University Press, 2012) p435
  54. Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls, Cardogan Guides: Dordogne and the Lot (New Holland Publishers, 2007) pp118-119
  55. "FLQ's Terrorists Blamed For Bomb Death", Montreal Gazette, April 22, 1963, p1; Bernd Horn, From Cold War to New Millennium: The History of The Royal Canadian Regiment, 1953–2008 (Dundurn, 2011) pp92-93
  56. Michelangelo De Maria and Lucia Orlando, Italy in Space: In Search of a Strategy, 1957-1975 (Editions Beauchesne, 2008) p85
  57. "Spain Kills Top Red Despite K's Plea", Miami News, April 20, 1963, p1; Paul Preston, The Politics of Revenge: Fascism and the Military in 20th Spain (Routledge, 1995) p41; Richard Herr, Modern Spain: An Historical Essay (University of California Press, 1971) pp1-2
  58. Peter Smith, An Introduction to the Baha'i Faith (Cambridge University Press, 2008) p71
  59. "King Hussein Revamps Jordan's Government", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 22, 1963, p1; Samir A. Mutawi, Jordan in the 1967 War (Cambridge University Press, 2002) p18
  60. "PEARSON PICKS 25 FOR CABINET" Regina (Sask.) Leader-Post, April 22, 1963, p1
  61. Frederick Vaughan, Aggressive In Pursuit: The Life Of Justice Emmett Hall (University of Toronto Press, 2004) pp163-164
  62. "21 Yanks Fly Home", Miami News, April 22, 1963
  63. "President Starts Countdown for Fair", Associated Press report in The Gettysburg Times, April 23, 1963, p11
  64. "Erhard Wins Bonn OK for Job", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 24, 1963, p2
  65. "Celtics Win 5th Diadem", Arizona Republic (Phoenix), April 25, 1963, p81
  66. Kenneth K. Mwenda, Public International Law and the Regulation of Diplomatic Immunity in the Fight Against Corruption (Pretoria Law University Press, 2011) p129
  67. Thomas Risse-Kappen, Cooperation Among Democracies: The European Influence on U.S. Foreign Policy (Princeton University Press, 1997) p175
  68. Dinshaw Mistry, Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategic Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control (University of Washington Press, 2005) p111
  69. "Even Time", in Historical Dictionary of Track and Field, Peter Matthews, ed. (Scarecrow Press, 2012) pp77-78
  70. Italian interior ministry, Historical Archive of Elections (in Italian)
  71. "Latin America: The First Nuclear Free Zone?", by Peter Barnes, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (December 1966) p38
  72. "History of the New Hampshire Lottery"
  73. "Crowds See Beached Ship After Fire" The Times (London). Thursday, 2 May 1963. (55690), col C, p. 7.