1963 events in history

Jan 2 Vietnam War: The Viet Cong wins its first major victory in the Battle of Ap Bac
Jan 8 Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa is exhibited in the United States for the first time, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C
Jan 22 The Élysée Treaty of cooperation between France and Germany is signed by Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer
Jan 23 The Guinea-Bissau War of Independence officially begins when PAIGC guerrilla fighters attack the Portuguese army stationed in Tite
Feb 5 The European Court of Justice's ruling in Van Gend en Loos v Nederlandse Administratie der Belastingen establishes the principle of direct effect, one of the most important, if not the most important, decisions in the development of European Union law
Feb 8 Travel, financial and commercial transactions by United States citizens to Cuba are made illegal by the John F. Kennedy administration
Feb 8 The First full Color Television program in the World, publicly advertised, is broadcast in Mexico City by XHGC-TV, Channel 5, due to technical breakthrough advances made by Mexican Engineer Guillermo Gonzalez Camarena
Feb 8 The regime of Prime Minister of Iraq, Brigadier General Abdul-Karim Qassem is overthrown by the Ba'ath Party
Feb 12 Construction begins on the Gateway Arch in St. Louis
Feb 19 The publication of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique reawakens the Feminist Movement in the United States as women's organizations and consciousness raising groups spread
Feb 27 The Dominican Republic receives its first democratically elected president, Juan Bosch, since the end of the dictatorship led by Rafael Trujillo
Mar 8 The Ba'ath Party comes to power in Syria in a coup d'état by a clique of quasi-leftist Syrian Army officers calling themselves the National Council of the Revolutionary Command
Mar 13 Police in Phoenix, Arizona arrest Ernesto Miranda and charge him with kidnap and rape. His conviction is ultimately set aside by the United States Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona
Mar 17 Mount Agung erupted on Bali killing more than 1,100 people
Mar 21 Alcatraz, a federal penitentiary on an island in San Francisco Bay, closes
Mar 22 The Beatles '​ first album, Please Please Me, is released in the United Kingdom
Mar 27 Beeching Axe: Dr. Richard Beeching issues a report calling for huge cuts to the United Kingdom's rail network
Apr 10 One hundred twenty-nine American sailors die when the submarine USS Thresher sinks at sea
Apr 11 Pope John XXIII issues Pacem in Terris, the first encyclical addressed to all instead of to Catholics alone
Apr 12 The Soviet nuclear-powered submarine K-33 collides with the Finnish merchant vessel M/S Finnclipper in the Danish straits
Apr 16 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pens his Letter from Birmingham Jail while incarcerated in Birmingham, Alabama for protesting against segregation
Apr 21 The Universal House of Justice of the Bahá'í Faith is elected for the first time
Apr 24 Marriage of HRH Princess Alexandra of Kent to the Hon Angus Ogilvy at Westminster Abbey in London
Apr 26 In Libya, amendments to the constitution transform Libya (United Kingdom of Libya) into one national unity (Kingdom of Libya) and allows for female participation in elections
Apr 30 The Bristol Bus Boycott is held in Bristol to protest the Bristol Omnibus Company's refusal to employ Black or Asian bus crews, drawing national attention to racial discrimination in the United Kingdom
May 2 Berthold Seliger launches a rocket with three stages and a maximum flight altitude of more than 100 kilometres near Cuxhaven. It is the only sounding rocket developed in Germany
May 3 The police force in Birmingham, Alabama switches tactics and responds with violent force to stop the "Birmingham campaign" protesters. Images of the violent suppression are transmitted worldwide, bringing new-found attention to the African-American Civil Rights Movement
May 8 South Vietnamese soldiers of Catholic President Ngo Dinh Diem open fire on Buddhists defying a ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag on Vesak, killing nine and sparking the Buddhist crisis
May 11 Racist bombings in Birmingham, Alabama disrupt nonviolence in the Birmingham campaign and precipitate a crisis involving federal troops
May 13 The U.S. Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland is decided
May 14 Kuwait joins the United Nations
May 15 Project Mercury: The launch of the final Mercury mission, Mercury-Atlas 9 with astronaut L. Gordon Cooper on board. He becomes the first American to spend more than a day in space
May 19 The New York Post Sunday Magazine publishes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail, drafted shortly after his arrest on April 12th during the Birmingham campaign advocating for civil rights and an end to segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. The letter was in response to "A Call for Unity": a statement made by eight white Alabama clergymen against King and his methods, following his arrest, and became one of the most-anthologized statements of the African-American Civil Rights Movement
May 22 An assassination attempt of Greek left-wing politician Grigoris Lambrakis, who will die five days later
May 24 Baldwin–Kennedy meeting on race relations in the US
May 25 In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Organisation of African Unity is established
May 30 A protest against pro-Catholic discrimination during the Buddhist crisis is held outside South Vietnam's National Assembly, the first open demonstration during the eight-year rule of Ngo Dinh Diem
Jun 1 Kenya gains internal self-rule (Madaraka Day)
Jun 3 The Buddhist crisis: Soldiers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam attack protesting Buddhists in Huế, South Vietnam, with liquid chemicals from tear-gas grenades, causing 67 people to be hospitalised for blistering of the skin and respiratory ailments
Jun 5 Movement of 15 Khordad: Protests against the arrest of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini by the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. In several cities, masses of angry demonstrators are confronted by tanks and paratroopers
Jun 5 The British Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, resigns in a sex scandal known as the "Profumo affair"
Jun 10 Equal Pay Act of 1963 aimed at abolishing wage disparity based on sex (see Gender pay gap). It was signed into law on June 10, 1963 by John F. Kennedy as part of his New Frontier Program
Jun 11 Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức burns himself with gasoline in a busy Saigon intersection to protest the lack of religious freedom in South Vietnam
Jun 11 John F. Kennedy addresses Americans from the Oval Office proposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that would revolutionize American society. Proposing equal access to public facilities, end segregation in education and guarantee federal protection for voting rights
Jun 11 American Civil Rights Movement: Alabama Governor George Wallace stands at the door of Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama in an attempt to block two black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, from attending that school. Later in the day, accompanied by federalized National Guard troops, they are able to register
Jun 12 Civil rights leader Medgar Evers is murdered in front of his home in Jackson, Mississippi by Ku Klux Klan member Byron De La Beckwith
Jun 16 Soviet Space Program: Vostok 6 Mission – Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space
Jun 17 A day after South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem announced the Joint Communique to end the Buddhist crisis, a riot involving around 2,000 people breaks out. One person is killed
Jun 17 The United States Supreme Court rules 8–1 in Abington School District v. Schempp against requiring the reciting of Bible verses and the Lord's Prayer in public schools
Jun 20 The so-called "red telephone" link is established between the Soviet Union and the United States following the Cuban Missile Crisis