October 1963

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1963
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The following events occurred in October 1963:

October 1, 1963 (Tuesday)

  • Sand War: Troops from Morocco invaded Algeria and seized control of two oases that had served as border stations on the road to Tindouf. Algeria would retake the oases a week later, but Morocco would take them back the week after that, and then expand its control of territory in western Algeria until a peace treaty could be brokered.[1]
  • On its third anniversary as an independent nation, Nigeria became a republic, as Governor-General Nnamdi Azikiwe assumed office as the first President of Nigeria.[2]
  • Born: Mark McGwire, American baseball player who broke the record of Roger Maris of 61 for most home runs hit in a season, ending 1998 with 70, but later admitted to having used performance-enhancing drugs; in Pomona, California

October 2, 1963 (Wednesday)

  • The White House announced that withdrawal of American troops from South Vietnam could be completed by December 31, 1965, following a report to President Kennedy by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara and General Maxwell D. Taylor, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The first 1,000 of 15,000 troops were to be withdrawn before the end of 1963.[3] However, Kennedy's successor, Lyndon Johnson, would reverse the withdrawal and there would eventually be 550,000 American troops in the Vietnam War.[4]
  • A husband and wife in Kalamazoo, Michigan, became the first two of seven food poisoning fatalities caused by botulism caused by a single shipment of smoked whitefish that had been poorly refrigerated during its transport from the Dornbos Brothers Fisheries in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to various supermarkets in Tennessee and Michigan. Chester and Blanche Mitchell had bought the "ready to eat" whitefish during a vacation trip. Six days later, a man and his 10-year-old daughter in Knoxville, Tennessee, David and Amy Beth Cohen, would die after having eaten the packaged fish.[5] In all, 21 people would be poisoned (including the seven who died); nearly three years later, the Kroger supermarket chain would sue four trucking companies for $4,600,000 to recover for damages that it had to pay out to victims.[6]
  • Los Angeles Dodgers left-handed pitcher Sandy Koufax set a World Series record by striking out 15 New York Yankees in a 5-2 victory in Game 1 at Yankee Stadium.[7] The record would stand for exactly five years, before Bob Gibson's player strikeout on October 2, 1988.[8]

October 3, 1963 (Thursday)

  • Hurricane Flora reached its highest wind speed, with winds of 200 miles per hour, and made landfall at Haiti, where it would take its highest toll. Over the next three days, 75 inches of rain fell, 5,000 Haitians were killed and 100,000 people were left homeless. Although the storm had been spotted seven days earlier, Haitian Red Cross Director Jacques Fourcand and President Francois Duvalier had prohibited the radio broadcast of any warnings, as a measure to "reduce panic".[9] The hurricane "spend five days crossing and recrossing Cuba" and killed 1,000 people there.[10]
  • Ten days before the elections scheduled for October 13, Ramón Villeda Morales was overthrown as the President of Honduras by a military coup, and deported to neighboring Costa Rica.[11] At least 120 people were killed in fighting at Tegucigalpa and at San Pedro Sula. The leader of the coup, Colonel Oswaldo López Arellano, pledged to reschedule elections for a later date.[12] Lopez would continue in office until 1971, after Ramon Ernesto Cruz Ucles won an presidential election, but would overthrow the Cruz government on December 4, 1972. Lopez himself would be toppled in another coup on April 22, 1975.[13]

October 4, 1963 (Friday)

  • The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff coordinated with the U.S. Department of State and the Department of Defense in updating OPLAN 380-63, a plan for the invasion of Cuba that would take place during John F. Kennedy's campaign for re-election in 1964. Under the plan, Cuban exiles would infiltrate Cuba in January, American forces would follow on July 15, American air strikes would start on August 3, and "a full-scale invasion, with a goal of the installation of a government friendly to the U.S." would be launched on October 1, 1964. On the same day, Texas Governor John Connally met with President Kennedy to agree upon plans for President Kennedy's trip to Texas for fundraising events and motorcades in Houston, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Dallas and Austin on November 21 and 22, 1963.[14]
  • Gambia was granted limited self-government by the United Kingdom, and Sir Dawda Jawara was made the chief minister. Full independence would be granted on February 18, 1965.[15]
  • A treaty was signed in Baghdad by Iraq's new Prime Minister, Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, and Kuwait's Prime Minister, Sheikh Sabah Al-Salim Al-Sabah. Iraq renounced territorial claims to Kuwait and the two nations agreed to establish diplomatic relations immediately.[16]
  • U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy arrived for a visit in Greece as the guest of shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.[17] Following the assassination of President Kennedy, the former First Lady would marry Onassis as her second husband.
  • Inspector Karl Silberbauer was suspended by the Vienna police force, a month after admitting to internal investigators that he had been an officer with the Gestapo, who had personally arrested Anne Frank on August 4, 1944.[18]

October 5, 1963 (Saturday)

  • Following a meeting with his National Security Council advisers, U.S. President Kennedy made the decision to withhold further American aid to the regime of South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu unless they implemented political reforms. With the withdrawal of U.S. support to the regime, the way was cleared for a military coup that would take place on November 2.[19]
  • Before a crowd of 101,209 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Geelong Cats defeated the Hawthorn Hawks, 109-60, to win the 67th annual Grand Final of the Victorian Football League.[20]
  • Kīlauea, a volcano on Hawaii, erupted on its upper east rift zone. The eruption was observed and reported on by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.[21]
  • At the site of the Battle of the Thames, in Chatham, Ontario, on the 150th anniversary of the death in battle of Shawnee Nation Chief Tecumseh, a monument was erected in his honor.[22]
  • In college football, Milton College defeated visiting Lakeland College, 6-0, to win its homecoming game, the day after Lakeland College had beaten visiting Milton College, 25-13 at its homecoming. The arrangement had been made after the two small Wisconsin colleges had discovered a mixup in their football schedules, with each set to host the other for their annual homecoming. Both games were played with 11-minute quarters instead of the regular 15, and individual player statistics were adjusted using an arithmetical formula that took the time adjustment into account, and it was agreed that if the teams split their wins, the result would be considered a tie. Thus, despite being outscored, 25-19, the Milton-Lakeland game was counted as a tie game in the Gateway Conference standings.[23]
  • Born: Nick Robinson, British TV journalist, in Macclesfield

October 6, 1963 (Sunday)

October 7, 1963 (Monday)

  • The very first Lear Jet, the Learjet 23, took off from an airport in Wichita, Kansas, with test pilots Bob Hagan and Hank Beaird at the controls.[26] The prototype jet, the product of the investment of William P. Lear, inaugurated an era of private jet airplanes, marketed to the wealthiest of individuals.[27]
  • U.S. President Kennedy signed the ratification of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which would go into effect on October 10 after the completion of the deposit of the signed instruments by the United States, the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom.[28][29]
  • Died: Ivan Schmalhausen, 79, Russian zoologist and evolutionist; and Gustaf Gründgens, 63, controversial German actor and film director popular during the Nazi Era.

October 8, 1963 (Tuesday)

  • The nations of Syria and Iraq signed the Military Unity Charter, an agreement to merge the armed forces of both countries under the command of Iraqi Defense Minister Salih Mahdi Ammash, who would head the Higher Military Council, with headquarters in Syria at Damascus. However, the agreement would not develop into a political merger between the two nations.[30]
  • Black artist Sam Cooke, his wife, and two members of his band were arrested after trying to register at a "whites only" motel in Shreveport, Louisiana. The charge of disturbing the peace came after the clerk told police that Cooke had continuously blown his car horn after being told that the motel was closed.[31] That incident, and the tragic drowning of his 18-month old son earlier in the year, would lead Cooke to record the classic on June 17, song "A Change Is Gonna Come".[32] Cooke would be shot and killed at another motel in Los Angeles on December 11, 1964.

October 9, 1963 (Wednesday)

  • Vajont Dam Disaster: At 10:39 p.m. local time,[33] heavy rainfall led to a massive rock slope failure that caused 260,000,000 cubic meters of rock and debris to slide into the 115,000,000 cubic meters of water in the reservoir that had been created by the damming of a branch of the Piave River in Italy. The dam itself did not collapse, but the displaced reservoir waters were sent over the top of the dam and down into the valley below. A 100-meter foot high wave of water and mud swept over the small city of Longarone and then the villages of Pirago, Villanova, Rivalta and Faè were destroyed as well, drowning at least 2,043 people,[34] though some estimates place the loss at 3,700.[35][36]
  • On the first anniversary of its independence from the United Kingdom, Uganda was declared a republic by Prime Minister Milton Obote. The Governor-General, Sir Walter Coutts, stepped down, and the Kabaka (monarch) of Buganda, Sir Edward Mutesa II, became the nation's first President.[15]
  • Six weeks before the visit of President Kennedy to Dallas, FBI agent Marvin Gheesling removed the name of Lee Harvey Oswald from the Bureau's watch list of persons requiring surveillance.[37][38]

October 10, 1963 (Thursday)

October 11, 1963 (Friday)

  • The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution (XVIII), requesting the South African government to call off the Rivonia Trial and release all political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela.[43]
  • In the U.S., the President's Commission on the Status of Women issued its final reports to President John F. Kennedy, with the formal presentation coinciding with the birthday of the late Eleanor Roosevelt.[44]
  • Jesuit priest Walter Ciszek, an American citizen who had been incarcerated in the Soviet Union since 1940 after being convicted of espionage, was freed after 23 years in prison. Ciszek was part of a four-person prisoner swap between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., and was allowed to leave, along with 24-year-old college student Marvin Makinen, who had served two years of an eight-year prison sentence after being convicted of taking photographs of Soviet military installations. In return, the United States released Russian couple Ivan and Aleksandra Yegorov, who had been arrested for espionage on July 2. Ciszek's whereabouts had been unknown to the U.S. for 15 years, until 1955, when the American government had learned that he was alive and in a prison camp in Siberia.[45]
  • Born: Prince Feisal bin Al Hussein of Jordan, in Amman, son of King Hussein of Jordan and Princess Muna al-Hussein, in Amman
  • Died: Jean Cocteau, 74, French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker; and Édith Piaf, 47, French popular singer and cultural icon, of liver cancer.

October 12, 1963 (Saturday)

  • Arturo Illia was sworn in as the 34th President of Argentina, following his victory in the presidential election of July 7.[15]
  • In the first, and last, Latin American All-Star Game, the best Hispanic-American players in the American and National Leagues played before 14,235 fans in the last baseball game played at the Polo Grounds in New York City. Juan Marichal and Al McBean pitched the National League to a 5-2 win over the American League.[46][47] The post-season game was discontinued after the 1963 event.[48]
  • Originally scheduled to stand in for Prime Minister Macmillan in addressing the Conservative Party conference,[49] British Deputy Prime Minister R. A. "Rab" Butler now had an added purpose in making the "speech of his life" as the best choice to succeed Macmillan as the party leader and as premier. The speech, however, went poorly, and Butler, originally the favourite of the delegates, was no longer under serious consideration.[50]
  • Khwaja Shams-ud-Din became Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, one of the states that make up the Republic of India.
  • Died: Mark Robert Drouin, 59, Canadian politician, Speaker of the Canadian Senate 1957-1962

October 13, 1963 (Sunday)

  • Four months before they would come to the United States, The Beatles performed their latest hit single, "She Loves You" live on the British television variety show Sunday Night at the Palladium. Millions watched on ITV, and the enthusiasm of their fans outside the theater was so intense that the press would later coin the term "Beatlemania".[51]
  • Samuel Beckett's radio play Cascando was broadcast for the first time. With music by Marcel Mihalovici, and under the direction of Roger Blin, the premiere was heard on France's public radio network, ORTF.[52]

October 14, 1963 (Monday)

  • A revolution started in Radfan, South Yemen, against British colonial rule. Backed by the United Arab Republic, the rebels were determined to drive the British out of Aden (where they maintained military bases) and the rest of South Yemen. The last British troops would finally withdraw on November 29, 1967.[1]
  • In Irving, Texas, Ruth Paine, her friend Marina Oswald, and two neighbors were having a conversation while drinking coffee, and the subject of a job search by Marina's husband, Lee Harvey Oswald, came up. One of the neighbors, Linnie Mae Randle, mentioned that her brother had recently been hired at the Texas School Book Depository and that there might be an opening. Later in the day, Mrs. Paine telephoned the Depository and set up a job interview.[53] On the same day, Mr. Oswald, using the name "O. H. Lee", rented a room in a house on 1026 North Beckley Avenue in Dallas.[53]

October 15, 1963 (Tuesday)

  • South Korean presidential election, 1963: Park Chung Hee, who had led a military coup in 1961, and then resigned from the military to run as a civilian was elected President of South Korea.[54] Park narrowly defeated challenger Yun Bo-seon, with 4,702,640 votes (46.6%) compared to Yun's 4,546,614 (45.1%).[55]
  • Konrad Adenauer, who had been Chancellor of West Germany since the creation of that nation in 1949, presented his letter of resignation to West German President Heinrich Lübke. The 87 year old Adenauer had been preparing for retirement for several months, before announcing the date on October 11.[56]
  • At the United Nations, the United States and the Soviet Union both stated that they were in agreement with a UN Resolution to ban the placement of nuclear bombs and other weapons of mass destruction in outer space. Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko and American Ambassador to the U.N. Adlai Stevenson both said that they would vote in favor of the declaration, thus bypassing the need for the signing of a treaty between the two nations.[57]
  • Meeting at Vatican City, the Vatican ecumenical council voted overwhelmingly to allow the local languages in place of Latin in Roman Catholic sacraments, including those for baptism, confirmation, penance, confession and extreme unction.[58] Only 35 of the 2,242 prelates voted against the measure. The day before, a much broader proposal had failed by 78 votes to get a two-thirds plus one majority, by a margin of 78 votes.[59]

October 16, 1963 (Wednesday)

  • Ludwig Erhard was sworn in as the new Chancellor of West Germany, after the Bundestag voted 279-180 to elected him as the successor to Konrad Adenauer. Erhard had served as the West Germany's Economics Minister since 1949, when the nation had been created, and was "regarded as the father of West Germany's post-war economic miracle".[60]
  • The first pair of "Vela" satellites, designed to detect nuclear bomb detonations on Earth, were launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 9:33 pm. The satellites were placed in an orbit 60,000 miles above the Earth's surface, in order to verify compliance with the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty that had recently gone into effect.[61] The Vela program would continue until April 8, 1970, when the last of the 12 detection satellites were put into space.[62]
  • The record for a flight from Tokyo to London was cut by more than half after a U.S. Air Force B-58 Hustler bomber landed at 2:34 pm. (local time) in London after covering the 8,028 mile journey in eight hours and 35 minutes. The previous mark had been set in 1955 by a British Canberra jet, which had covered the same distance in 17 hours and 42 minutes. Piloted by USAF Major Sidney G. Kubesch, he American plane also set a new record for the longest supersonic flight in history, covering the 3,524 miles between Tokyo and Anchorage, Alaska, in three hours and 10 minutes, at an average speed of 1,116 miles per hour. Aerial refueling was done five times while the jet was in flight.[63]
  • At 10:30 a.m., the Texas Employment Commission attempted to notify Lee Harvey Oswald of a job opening as a baggage handler for an airline company. Earlier in the day, however, Oswald had successfully interviewed for a job at the Texas School Book Depository, and had started work there. According to the Warren Commission, the airline job would have paid Oswald $100 more than his work at the book depository, and wrote "It is unlikely that he ever learned of this second opportunity".[53] Oswald's rate of pay at the depository was $208.82 per month, payable semi-monthly in cash.[64]
  • In the United States, the Nickel Plate Road, the Wabash Railroad and several smaller carriers were merged with the profitable Norfolk & Western (N & W) Railway.

October 17, 1963 (Thursday)

October 18, 1963 (Friday)

  • The third group of astronauts, selected since the American manned space program had started, were introduced in a press conference in Houston. Of the group of 14 men, described as "the most highly educated" of the three groups, two were civilians. In alphabetical order the new astronauts (and the missions that they would serve upon) were:
USAF Major Edwin E. Aldrin, popularly known as Buzz Aldrin (Gemini 12, Apollo 11)
USAF Captain William Anders (Apollo 8)
USAF Captain Charles Bassett (scheduled for Gemini 9, killed in 1966 plane crash)
US Navy Lieutenant Alan Bean (Apollo 12, Skylab 3)
US Navy Lieutenant Eugene Cernan (Gemini 9, Apollo 10, Apollo 17)
US Navy Lieutenant Roger Chaffee (died in 1967 fire during Apollo 1 preparations)
USAF Captain Michael Collins (Gemini 10 and Apollo 11)
Walter Cunningham, a research physicist for the Rand Corporation (Apollo 7)
USAF Captain Donn Eisele (Apollo 7)
USAF Captain Theodore Freeman (killed in 1964 plane crash)
US Navy Lieutenant Commander Richard F. Gordon, Jr. (Gemini 11, Apollo 12)
Russell Schweickart, experimental astronomer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Apollo 9);
USAF Captain David Scott (Gemini 8, Apollo 9, Apollo 15)
US Marine Corps Captain Clifton Williams (killed in plane crash, 1967)[66][67]
  • Félicette became the first cat sent into outer space, in a 15-minute sub-orbital flight that reached an altitude of 156 kilometers or 97 miles. After the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. had successfully launched dogs and monkeys into space, France sent Félicette up in a rocket from its desert rocket base at Hammaguir in Algeria. The capsule then parachuted back to the desert and the cat was safely recovered.[68][69]
  • Meeting at Baden-Baden in West Germany, the International Olympic Committee awarded the 1968 Olympic Games to Mexico City. The other three candidates that had submitted bids had been Detroit, Lyons and Buenos Aires.[70][71]
  • At 11:00 a.m., Queen Elizabeth II met with Harold Macmillan, who had tendered his resignation as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom earlier that morning, to discuss his recommendations for a successor. Macmillan was a patient at the King Edward VII Hospital for Officers, recovering from surgery. Macmillan endorsed Lord Home as the choice most acceptable to the forming of a new government.[72] Macmillan had resigned after having been incorrectly diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer. He would later reveal that he had been hounded from office by a backbench minority, "a band that in the end does not amount to more than 15 or 20 at the most".[73] Far from terminally ill, Macmillan would live for another 23 years, until his death in 1986 at the age of 92.
  • Died: Constance Worth, 51, Australian actress

October 19, 1963 (Saturday)

  • At 12:56 pm,[50] an announcement was made from Buckingham Palace that the 14th Earl of Home had been formally invited by Queen Elizabeth to be the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He was the first member of the nobility since (Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, from 1895 to 1902) to serve as Prime Minister, and "the only man in modern times to do so without a seat in either house of Parliament",[74] having resigned from the House of Lords to run as a candidate for a by-election to the House of Commons. Three of Home's rivals within the Conservative Party, each of whom had aspired to the premiership, agreed to serve in his cabinet. Deputy Prime Minister R.A. "Rab" Butler, Chancellor of the Exchequer Reginald Maudling, and Viscount Hailsham joined Home in order to form a government in advance of the 1964 elections.[75]

October 20, 1963 (Sunday)

  • In the East German general election, voters voted in favor of the list of 434 candidates for the 434 seats listed on the ballot by the National Front. While the 434 candidates for the Volkskammer were nominally from nine different political parties, the choice was limited to approving or rejecting the National Front list in its entirety. In addition, starting with the 1963 election, the SED Party always held 110 seats in parliament; when the number of available was increased to 500, the SED would have a similar proportion, 127 seats.[76] As one author noted later, "Normally voters merely dropped their unmarked ballot paper in to the box, since in order to dissent it was necessary to cross out each name individually, and that required displaying one's non-conformity by going into a booth,"[77] Of the 11,533,859 votes cast, 99.95% were in favor of the list, while 0.05%-- less than 6,000—were no votes.
  • Died: Soren Sorensen Adams, 84, Danish inventor

October 21, 1963 (Monday)

  • The term "Beatlemania" was first used in print, coined for the headline in a feature story for the London tabloid The Daily Mail. The feature story on the group's popularity, written by Vincent Mulchrone, carried the headline "This Beatlemania". On November 2, another London paper, The Daily Mirror, reported on a concert the night before, in a news story with the headline "BEATLEMANIA! It's happening everywhere... even in sedate Cheltenham"[78]
  • Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam continued in office as the Chief Minister of the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius, after his Labour Party won 19 of the 40 parliamentary seats in the Mauritian general election.[79]
  • The last of the "cursed soldiers", resistance fighters who fought against the Communist regime in Poland, was located and killed in a gun battle with a unit of the ZOMO, the Polish secret police. Betrayed by the relative of his girlfriend, Józef Franczak was found hiding near Lublin, in the village of Majdan Kozic Górnych. Franczak fired at the ZOMO officers rather than to be arrested. After the fall of the Communist regime in Poland, a monument was erected in his honor.[80]
  • The Last Savage, an opera by composer Gian Carlo Menotti, was performed for the first time. The premiere took place at the Théâtre national de l'Opéra-Comique in Paris. Originally written in Italian, then translated into French and into English for audiences in Paris and in New York, the opera was poorly received by critics and by the public.[81]
  • Cuba began a large scale military presence in Africa, with the arrival of the first of 2,200 soldiers and 1,000 advisers at Algeria. Commanded by General Efigenio Ameijeiras, the group (along with fifty T-55 tanks and several MiG-17 fighters) was brought on three merchant ships to the port of Oran in order to assist in the war against Morocco.[82]
  • Died: Jean Decoux, 79, French Navy Admiral and Governor-General of French Indochina during World War II; and Kurt Wolff, 76, German-born publisher and co-founder of Pantheon Books

October 22, 1963 (Tuesday)

  • The danger of what would become known as "deep stall" first became apparent after the prototype of the BAC 1-11 airliner crashed during flight testing, killing all seven of the people on board, including test pilot M. J. Lithgow. The investigation of the accident would reveal that it resulted from a deep stall caused by the aircraft assuming an unexpected and dangerously high angle of attack. The remedial measures—most notably, the "stick shaker" that would become a feature of all large commercial and military aircraft—would be of great use worldwide in designing aircraft that would have a T-tail and rear-mounted engine configuration.[83]
  • The 741 foot tall Bhakra Dam (only two feet less than the Hoover Dam) was completed in India and dedicated by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who told his audience, "This dam has been built up with the unrelenting toil of man for the benefit of mankind and therefore is worthy of worship. May you call it a Temple or a Gurdwara or a Mosque, it inspires our admiration and reverence." Located in northern India in the state of Himachal Pradesh, the dam created the largest fresh water reservoir in the history of India up to that time.[84]
  • The National Theatre of Great Britain staged its first production, presenting Hamlet, starring Peter O'Toole, under the direction of Laurence Olivier. The National Theatre's company did not yet have a building of its own, so William Shakespeare's play was performed at the Royal Victorian Theatre, nicknamed "The Old Vic".[85]
  • An estimated 159,000 students—one-third of the kids in Chicago's public schools—boycotted classes in protest of school districting that created de facto racial segregation. Combined with the usual number of students who were absent for other reasons, 224,770 of the 469,733 pupils registered did not attend classes.[86] Of the 469,733 pupils registered in the Chicago public schools, 224,770 stayed home on Tuesday. The single-day loss to the school board for state funds was $470,000—the equivalent of $3.6 million in 2015.[87][88]
  • The Communications Satellite Corporation, known as COMSAT, was incorporated by a group of 13 businesspeople and chaired by Phil Graham, the publisher of the Washington Post. The group then set about to raise $500,000,000 in the sale of private stock.[89]
  • The Nevada Gaming Control Board rescinded the gambling license issued to entertainer Frank Sinatra,[90] and forced the closure of his Cal-Neva Casino at Crystal Bay, Nevada at Lake Tahoe. Sinatra, whom the Board had tied to organized crime because mobster Sam Giancana had stayed at the Cal-Neva resort, would spend the next 18 years trying to regain his license and would finally succeed in 1981.[91]

October 23, 1963 (Wednesday)

  • Alec Douglas-Home, 14th Earl of Home and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, disclaimed his peerage in order to become a candidate for the House of Commons in the November 7 by-election for Kinross and West Pershire.[92] The Glasgow Herald commented earlier that "There is no constitutional objection to a peer becoming Prime Minister. In practice, however, it would be unacceptable nowadays— indeed, there was a great deal of opposition to Lord Home's appointment as Foreign Secretary, just because he was not a member of the House of Commons.[93]
  • Before a crowd of more than 100,000 at Wembley Stadium, a friendly soccer match was played to celebrate the centennial of the founding of the Football Association in England. With four minutes left in the game, England defeated a "Rest of the World" team, 2-1, on a goal by Jimmy Greaves of Tottenham Hotspur. The Rest players came from Russia, Brazil, West Germany, Czechoslovakia, France, Scotland, Portugal, Spain, and Yugoslavia.[94][95]
  • The Spanish ship SS Juan Ferrer capsized and sank near Boscawen Point, United Kingdom,[96] with the loss of 11 of the 15 crew.[97]

October 24, 1963 (Thursday)

  • Wunder von Lengede: An underground iron mine in Lengede, West Germany, was flooded after a sedimentation pond gave way. There were 129 men underground, of whom 79 escaped immediately. Another seven were reached by a drill bit, but the other 43 remained trapped and appeared to have drowned.[98] In the days to come, more miners were rescued but the survival of anyone else appeared unlikely[99][100] Two weeks after the disaster, however, 11 miners would be rescued alive on November 7, after being pulled to the surface with the aid of a bomb-shaped cylinder known as the Dahlbuschbombe[101]
  • The conclusions of the Robbins Report on higher education were accepted by the UK government. The report recommended immediate expansion of universities, and that all Colleges of Advanced Technology should be given university status.[102] At the time, less than five percent of all British school graduates went on to a university education, and less than one percent of female graduates continued their studies at a university. On the fiftieth anniversary of the Robbins Report, however, it would be noted that almost half of young British students were enrolled in college.[103]
  • In partial settlement of a controversy between the governments of the United States and Panama over the American-controlled Panama Canal Zone, the Panamanian flag was raised for the first time within the Zone, the first of 17 to be flown next to the U.S. flag in public places. After the last flagpole and flag was placed, on February 7, 1964, "at all other public places, including schools," an author noted later, "the U.S. flag was lowered and the flagpoles remained empty."[104]
  • On the third anniversary of the Nedelin catastrophe of October 24, 1960, when more than 100 military observers were killed by the launch pad explosion of an R-16 ballistic missile, and at the same firing range at Baikonur, seven military personnel were killed when a fire broke out at an R-9 missile silo. "After that incident," author Boris Chertok would write later, "24 October was considered bad luck at the firing range. Tacitly, it became a day off from work, and military testers even avoided serious domestic chores at home."[105]
  • At a press conference in Hartford, Connecticut, U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater answered reporters questions about a possible run for the U.S. presidency in 1964. Washington Post reporter Chalmers Roberts asked him for his reaction to a suggestion, by former President Eisenhower, that the six American divisions in Western Europe could be reduced to one. "American forces there could probably be cut by at least one-third", Goldwater was quoted as saying, "if NATO commanders had the power to use nuclear weapons on their own initiative in an emergency." The next day, Roberts's report of the interview ran in the Post with the headline, "Goldwater Backs Army Cuts Abroad: Would Give NATO Commanders Power to Use A-Weapons".[106] Goldwater would maintain later that he had been misquoted, and that he had said that the commander of NATO should continue to have such authority;[107] the statement would come back to haunt him during his 1964 campaign.
  • The sixth and final Topaze VE111C rocket was launched from Hammaguir, Algeria, by the French aerospace research centre. The VE111C would be retired in favor of the next generation of Topaze rockets, the VE111L.[108]
  • Born: Giselle Laronde, Trinidadian beauty queen and Miss World 1986, in Port of Spain

October 25, 1963 (Friday)

  • In a possible break with a 16-century old tradition, the Vatican Ecumenical Council voted 2,057 to 5 in favor of a resolution stating that it did not oppose a fixed annual date for Easter, so long as the change was acceptable to other Christian churches in addition to the Roman Catholic Church. During the spring of 325 AD, the First Council of Nicaea had adopted the rule that Easter would be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after March 21, the spring equinox. "Many biblical scholars reckon Christ's resurrection, the first Easter, as April 9, 30 A.D.", a report noted, suggesting that the annual observation of Easter would most likely be on the second Sunday in April.[109]
  • Trading stamps were introduced for the first time in Taiwan, with Finance Minister (and future President) C.K. Yen officiating at a ceremony in Taipei to inaugurate a government department that would oversee 70 companies that would offer the stamps based on spending at supermarkets. Popular in the United States and elsewhere at the time, the trading stamps could be pasted into books and redeemed for merchandise.[110]
  • Died: Björn Thórdarson, 84, Prime Minister of Iceland from 1942-1944; Roger Désormière, 65, French classical music conductor; and Karl von Terzaghi, 80, Austrian civil engineer and geologist who was known as "the father of soil mechanics"

October 26, 1963 (Saturday)

  • For the first time, it was possible for a nuclear weapon to be carried by a missile capable of reaching any target on Earth. At 11:14 a.m., the new Polaris A-3 missile was successfully fired from the nuclear submarine USS Andrew Jackson, submerged 50 feet below the ocean surface off of the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida. After being fired, the unarmed warhead splashed down in a target area 2,300 miles away.[111] "No point of land is more than 1800 miles from a seacoast," Melbourne, Australia's newspaper The Age noted, adding that the missile "will be able to strike at ranges up to 2880 miles — giving the launching submarines hundreds of cubic miles of ocean in which to hide."[112]
  • Soviet Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev announced, through the publication of an interview in the government newspaper Izvestia, that the Soviets were not going to compete with the United States in the race to put the first man on the Moon. "At the present time, we do not plan flights of cosmonauts to the Moon," he said. "I have read a report that the Americans wish to land a man on the Moon by 1970. Well, let's wish them success."[113][114]
  • Investigative reporter Clark Mollenhoff of the Des Moines Register published a report headlined "U.S. Expels Girl Linked to Officials— Is Sent to Germany After FBI Probe",[115] breaking the story about Ellen Rometsch, who had recently been deported to West Germany. Rometsch and her family had fled from East Germany in 1955. Mollenhoff's report noted that she was expected to be called to testify before a U.S. Senate subcommittee and added that "The evidence also is likely to include identification of several high executive branch officials as friends and associates" of "the part-time model and party girl". Under suspicion that she was working for East German or Soviet intelligence, Miss Rometsch had been forced to leave the U.S. on August 22, 1963, after an FBI investigation.[116] According to one biographer, "Mollenhoff's story horrified President Kennedy", who had "visited the President at least ten times in the spring and summer of 1963",[117] while another historian concluded that the FBI never had "any solid evidence" that Rometsch had had sexual relations with Kennedy[118] President Kennedy would be assassinated less than a month later, making any scandal moot.
  • 1963 Scottish League Cup Final: At Hampden Park in Glasgow; Rangers F.C. defeated Greenock Morton F.C. 5-0, to win the League Cup. Jim Forrest scored four of the five goals, all within the last 37 minutes of the game.[119]

October 27, 1963 (Sunday)

  • The "green light" telegram, which effectively cleared the way for the overthrow of South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem, was received in Saigon by U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.. The substance of the cable, approved by U.S. Under Secretary of State George W. Ball, was that it was "authorizing Ambassador Lodge to signal that we would not oppose a coup against Diem", according to Ball's Deputy, U. Alexis Johnson.[19] Johnson would recall later that he and Ball had been playing golf when "Averell Harriman and Roger Hilsman interrupted our game, and they gave him a telegram to sign". The cable was the followup to Cable 243, sent on August 24, that had instructed Lodge to pressure the Ngo brothers to resign.
  • Nearly all of the current records of Colgate University, most of them irreplaceable, were destroyed in an early morning fire that burned down the university's Administration Building.[120]

October 28, 1963 (Monday)

  • At 9:00 in the morning, a wrecking crew began the demolition of Penn Station, one of the famous landmarks of New York City. Once the world's laargest railroad terminal, the station had been opened in 1910 by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, but closed after the bankruptcy of Penn Central.[121] The tearing down of the structure, which occupied more than seven acres between 31st and 33rd Street, and Seventh and Eighth Avenue, would finally be completed in 1966. Demolition would continue until 1966.
  • Hubert Maga, the president of the west African nation of Dahomey (now Benin), was overthrown by his Army Chief of Staff, General Christophe Soglo, after strikes and protests had erupted across the nation.[15] According to a Ryszard Kapuscinski, a Western observer who happened to be in the capital at Porto-Novo, General Soglo arrested President Maga, had his troops surround a building where the members of Maga's cabinet had fled, and then "announced through a megaphone that if the cabinet did not resign by four in the afternoon, he would begin firing on the building"; the Dahomeyan army's lone heavy weapon was a mortar, and General Soglo "was the only one in the army who knew how to operate it"; Kapuscinski notes that "the cabinet decided unanimously to resign".[122]

October 29, 1963 (Tuesday)

October 30, 1963 (Wednesday)

  • Morocco and Algeria agreed to a ceasefire in the Sand War, effective November 2, after mediation by Ethiopia's Emperor Haile Selassie and Mali's President Modibo Keita at the Mali capital, Bamako.[123] Under the Bamako Agreement, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) would oversee the arbitration of the boundary dispute between the two warring nations, with the Treaty of Ifrane being signed on June 15, 1969, and the frontiers being determined by the Rabat Agreements of June 15, 1972.[124]
  • The auto manufacturing firm Lamborghini was incorporated, days before the first of its sports cars was unveiled at the Turin Car Show.
  • Died: Domhnall Ua Buachalla, 97, the third and last Governor-General of the Irish Free State, who served from 1932 to 1936

October 31, 1963 (Thursday)

  • In the closing minutes of a Holiday on Ice show at the Indiana State Fair Coliseum in Indianapolis, two successive explosions from a propane gas tank killed 74 people.[125][126] The Halloween night show had started at 8:45 pm, fifteen minutes late, and the last act, a salute to Mardi Gras, was in progress when the blast occurred. Beneath the box seats at Aisle 13 on the south side of the Coliseum, a propane tank with a faulty valve had been causing gas to accumulate near one of the concession stands. The tank fell over near an electric heater, and at 11:04, a fiery blast followed, bringing chunks of concrete down upon the crowd. Some people had survived the initial explosion, and were killed moments later by a second one. Forty-seven died instantly, and another 27 died later; another 400 were had non-fatal injuries. Although indictments would be issued for various government and private officials, nobody would ever be tried or convicted for negligence.
  • President Kennedy signed the Mental Health Centers Construction Act of 1963, creating federally funded community centers that would treat mental illness on an outpatient basis, as a replacement to the state institutions where mentally retarded and chronically mentally ill patients had been living. In retrospect, however, the well-intended legislation had two major flaws, as noted by author E. Fuller Torrey. "It encouraged the closing of state mental hospitals without any realistic plan regarding what would happen to the discharged patients, especially those who refused to medication they needed to remain well," Torrey notes, and "It included no plan for the future funding of the mental health centers," with federal aid ceasing after 1970.[127]
  • In fiction, the Halloween horror movie franchise storyline begins with the first murder committed by Michael Myers, a six-year old child in the mythical town of Haddonfield, Illinois. Young Michael spends the next fifteen years in an asylum, escaping on October 30, 1978, to renew his killing spree.[128]

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