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1963 Fun Facts and Trivia

Gregory DeVictor is a trivia enthusiast who loves to write articles on American nostalgia.

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1963.

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1963.

Why Was the Year 1963 so Special?

What are some fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1963? What were the top news stories in the U.S. and around the world? What happened in the business and financial sectors, in science, technology, sports, the entertainment industry, and in everyday life? What about famous birthdays, marriages, and deaths that year?

  1. On November 22, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated as he rode in a motorcade through downtown Dallas. Kennedy was riding with his wife Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connally, and Connally's wife Nellie. Lee Harvey Oswald—the assassin—fired in ambush from a nearby building, and was later arrested by Dallas police. Two days later, Oswald was murdered by nightclub owner Jack Ruby, who was grief-stricken “to the point of insanity” over the recent chain of events.
  2. On November 29, President Johnson established the Warren Commission to investigate JFK’s assassination.
  3. President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law. NPS.gov explains that the bill “made it illegal to pay men and women working in the same place different salaries for similar work.”
  4. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against compulsory prayer and Bible reading in public schools.
  5. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech to a large group of civil rights marchers who had participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
  6. The United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom all signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty that “banned all tests of nuclear weapons except those conducted underground.”
  7. On July 1, five digit ZIP codes were introduced nationwide. The U.S. Post Office Department even used Mr. ZIP—a caricature of a mail carrier—to encourage people to include the ZIP Code in all mailings.
  8. In England, the Great Train Robbery unfolded when 15 masked men attacked a mail train en route from Glasgow to London. The thieves took 120 bags of money that contained 2.6 million pounds.
  9. New York City’s newspapers resumed publishing after a 114-day strike.
  10. The infamous Alcatraz Prison closed its doors after 29 years of operation in the San Francisco Bay.
  11. Bell Telephone introduced the first touch-tone phone to customers in Pennsylvania.
  12. In the year 1963, CBS and NBC both expanded their national evening news broadcasts from 15 to 30 minutes.
  13. Harvey Ball, a graphic artist and ad man from Worcester, Massachusetts, created the first smiley face.
  14. Widely regarded as the "father of transplantation,” Dr. Thomas Starzl performed the first human liver transplant at the Denver VA Hospital.
  15. Dr. James Hardy performed the first human lung transplant in Jackson, Mississippi.
  16. Valium—a prescription drug that is used to treat a range of conditions, including anxiety—first became available.
  17. In 1963, the average household income in the U.S. was $4,400 a year or about $84 a week, a new house cost $12,650, and the average price for a new car was $3,233. Milk was $1.04 a gallon, eggs were 55 cents a dozen, and one pound of bacon cost 59 cents.
  18. The Boston Celtics were the NBA champs, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series, and the Toronto Maple Leafs clinched the Stanley Cup.
  19. Jim Thorpe, Red Grange, and George Halas were all inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  20. Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique, which examined the many ways “in which women were still oppressed by American society.”
  21. At the 35th Academy Awards, Lawrence of Arabia won seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Music Score.
  22. Cap’n Crunch cereal, cassette tapes and decks, Chips Ahoy!, Crispy Critters cereal, freeze-dried instant coffee, Instamatic cameras, McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish, Speed Stick, Sunny Delight, Tab, and the Veg-O-Matic food processor were all introduced.
  23. In 1963, Brad Pitt, Conan O’Brien, Joel Osteen, Johnny Depp, Lisa Kudrow, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Jordan, Vanessa Williams, and Whitney Houston were all born.
  24. Companies founded in 1963 include Comcast, CVS Pharmacy, The General (auto insurance), Leslie’s, the Sierra Nevada Corporation, and Weight Watchers.
  25. At the 36th Scripps National Bee, eighth-grader Glen Van Slyke III of Oak Ridge, Tennessee won the competition by correctly spelling the final word "equipage."

Here are the five most popular TV shows from 1963-64:

  1. Beverly Hillbillies (CBS)
  2. Bonanza (NBC)
  3. The Dick Van Dyke Show (CBS)
  4. Petticoat Junction (CBS)
  5. The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)

Here are ten cool food and beverage trends for the year:

  1. 7-Up (a lemon and lime flavored soft drink)
  2. Apple cake
  3. Chicken a la King
  4. Frozen dinners
  5. Gelatin molds
  6. SPAM
  7. Scalloped potatoes
  8. Tuna noodle casseroles
  9. Tunnel of fudge cake
  10. Waldorf salads

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1963. Find out about popular TV shows, movies, music, books, foods, sports facts, famous birthdays, and other cool pop culture trends to get the right mix of questions and answers for your 1960s-themed trivia game.

In 1963, Harvey Ball—a graphic artist and ad man from Worcester, Massachusetts—created the first smiley face.

In 1963, Harvey Ball—a graphic artist and ad man from Worcester, Massachusetts—created the first smiley face.

Table of Contents

For easier reading and referencing, I have divided this article into the following categories:

  1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1963
  2. History Facts From the USA and World
  3. Sports Trivia
  4. Entertainment News
  5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
  6. Nobel Prize Winners
  7. Best-Selling Books
  8. Most Popular Television Shows From 1963-64
  9. Favorite Radio Programs
  10. Highest-Grossing Films
  11. 10 Best Horror Movies of 1963
  12. Biggest Pop Music Artists
  13. Number One Songs for the Year
  14. Food and Beverage Trivia
  15. Famous Birthdays
  16. Notable Weddings
  17. Famous (and Infamous) People Who Died
  18. U.S. Automobile Production Figures for the Year
  19. America’s Largest Corporations
  20. American Companies and Brands Established During 1963
In 1963, Chips Ahoy! chocolate chip cookies appeared on grocery store shelves for the first time.

In 1963, Chips Ahoy! chocolate chip cookies appeared on grocery store shelves for the first time.

1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1963

These grocery facts have been made available courtesy of the Morris County Public Library in Whippany, NJ and the AmericanAdvisorsGroup.com.

  1. Bacon: 59 cents a pound
  2. Bananas: 10 cents per pound
  3. Beef (porterhouse steak): 89 cents a pound
  4. Blueberries: 33 cents a pint
  5. Bread (rye): 29 cents for a 16-ounce loaf
  6. Bread (white): 22 cents for a one-pound loaf
  7. Butter: 59 cents for a one-pound package
  8. Cheese (Kraft Velveeta): 79 cents for a two-pound package
  9. Cherries (bing): 49 cents a pound
  10. Cheerios: 26 cents for an 19-ounce box
  11. Chocolate (Hershey’s Kisses): 49 cents for an 11-ounce package
  12. Coffee (Beechnut): 59 cents for a one-pound can
  13. Coke: A .33 liter bottle (11.15863 fluid ounces) cost five cents.
  14. Cookies (Nabisco Oreos): 45 cents for a 16-ounce package
  15. Duck: 59 cents a pound
  16. Eggs: 55 cents a dozen
  17. Fish (flounder): 29 cents a pound
  18. Frozen dinners (Birdseye): Three 11-ounce packages for $1.00
  19. Ham (boiled): 99 cents a pound
  20. Hot dogs: (Oscar Mayer): 55 cents for a one-pound package
  21. Ice cream (Holland Dutch Treat): 59 cents for a one-gallon carton
  22. Lamb chops: 69 cents a pound
  23. Margarine (ShopRite): 25 cents for a 16-ounce package
  24. Mayonnaise (Hellman’s): 67 cents for a one-quart jar
  25. Milk: $1.04 a gallon
  26. Mustard (Ideal): 19 cents for a 16-ounce jar
  27. Peanuts (Planter’s): Three seven-ounce cans for $1.00
  28. Pickles (kosher): 39 cents for a one-quart jar
  29. Potato chips: 39 cents for a 17-ounce bag
  30. Potatoes: 29 cents for a four-pound bag
  31. Pretzels (Virginia Lee): 29 cents for a 10-ounce bag
  32. SPAM: 39 cents for a 12-ounce can
  33. Sugar (ShopRite): 67 cents for a five-pound bag
  34. Tea (Lipton): 65 cents for a 48-count box
  35. Watermelon: Five cents a pound
In 1963, Coca-Cola launched Tab, its diet soft drink.

In 1963, Coca-Cola launched Tab, its diet soft drink.

2. History Facts From the USA and World

  1. John F. Kennedy was president of the United States, and Lyndon B. Johnson was the vice-president.
  2. On January 7, the price for a first-class stamp increased from four to five cents.
  3. On January 28, the temperature plunged to -34°F in Cynthiana, Kentucky, setting a state record.
  4. On January 29, Jim Thorpe, Red Grange, and George Halas were all inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  5. On February 9, New York City had its seventh largest snowfall in history—16.7 inches.
  6. On February 19, the Soviet Union informed President Kennedy that it was withdrawing several thousand troops from Cuba.
  7. On February 19, Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique, which examined the many ways “in which women were still oppressed by American society.”
  8. On February 20, Willie Mays signed a record $100,000 contract with the San Francisco Giants.
  9. On February 27, Mickey Mantle signed a $100,000 contract with the New York Yankees.
  10. On March 21, Alcatraz Prison closed its doors in the San Francisco Bay after 29 years of operation. History.com tells us that “At its peak period of use in the 1950s, ‘The Rock,’ or ‘America’s Devil Island,’ housed over 200 inmates at the maximum-security facility. Alcatraz remains an icon of American prisons for its harsh conditions and record for being inescapable.”
  11. On March 31, streetcar service in Los Angeles ended after 30 years.
  12. On April 1, New York City’s newspapers resumed publishing after a 114-day strike.
  13. On April 9, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill became the first honorary U.S. citizen.
  14. On April 15, Aurèle Vandendriessche of Belgium won the 67th Boston Marathon.
  15. On June 8, the American Heart Association began a campaign against cigarette smoking.
  16. On June 10, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law. NPS.gov explains that the bill was “one of the first federal anti-discrimination laws that addressed wage differences based on gender. The Act made it illegal to pay men and women working in the same place different salaries for similar work.”
  17. On June 16, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to fly in space, when she launched aboard the Vostok-6 capsule.
  18. On June 17, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against compulsory prayer and Bible reading in public schools.
  19. On June 21, Pope Paul VI became the 262nd pope of the Roman Catholic Church. He succeeded John XXIII, who died on June 3.
  20. On June 23, 125,000 people took part in the Detroit March to Freedom, which became the largest civil rights demonstration in America up to that point.
  21. On July 8, the United States banned all monetary transactions with Cuba.
  22. On August 5, the United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom all signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty that “banned all tests of nuclear weapons except those conducted underground.”
  23. On August 8, the Great Train Robbery took place “when 15 masked men attacked the Glasgow to London Royal Mail train near Buckinghamshire, England. The thieves hauled off 120 bags of money totaling a record 2.6 million pounds.”
  24. On August 18, civil rights activist James Meredith became the first African-American graduate of the University of Mississippi.
  25. On August 28, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the famous “I have a dream” speech to a large group of civil rights marchers who had participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
  26. On September 2, both CBS and NBC expanded their national evening news broadcasts from 15 to 30 minutes.
  27. On September 20, President Kennedy proposed a joint U.S.-Soviet voyage to the moon.
  28. On October 9, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan resigned and was replaced by Alec Douglas-Home.
  29. On October 12, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was converted to one-way traffic on each deck.
  30. On November 18, Bell Telephone introduced the first touch-tone telephone to customers in Pennsylvania.
  31. On November 21, President Kennedy flew to Texas.
  32. On November 22, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, and Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as America’s 36th president. Two days later, Oswald was murdered by nightclub owner Jack Ruby, who was grief-stricken “to the point of insanity” over the chain of events.
  33. On November 25, JFK was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.
  34. On November 29, President Johnson established the Warren Commission to investigate JFK’s assassination.
  35. On December 22, the official 30-day mourning period for President John F. Kennedy came to an end.
In 1963, the Boston Celtics were the NBA champions.

In 1963, the Boston Celtics were the NBA champions.

3. Sports Trivia

Generally suitable for all age groups, sports questions are a welcome addition to any trivia quiz.

  1. Indianapolis 500: Parnelli Jones
  2. Kentucky Derby: Chateaugay
  3. AFL Champions: San Diego Chargers
  4. NBA Champions: Boston Celtics
  5. NCAA Basketball: Loyola
  6. NCAA Football Champs: Texas
  7. NFL Champions: Chicago Bears
  8. Orange Bowl: Alabama over Oklahoma
  9. Rose Bowl: USC over Wisconsin
  10. Stanley Cup Champs: Toronto Maple Leafs
  11. Sugar Bowl: Ole Miss over Arkansas
  12. U.S. Open Golf: Julius Boros
  13. U.S. Open Tennis (men/women): Rafael Osuna/Maria Bueno
  14. Wimbledon (men/women): Chuck McKinley/Margaret Smith
  15. World Series Champions: Los Angeles Dodgers
In 1963, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series.

In 1963, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series.

4. Entertainment News

  1. On January 5, the Broadway musical Camelot closed at the Majestic Theater after 873 performances.
  2. On January 5, the Broadway musical Carnival! closed at the Imperial Theater after 719 performances.
  3. On January 6, the documentary series Wild Kingdom debuted on NBC.
  4. On January 6, the Broadway musical Oliver! opened at the Imperial Theater.
  5. On January 16, Tennessee Williams' play, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, premiered in Italy.
  6. On January 26, the Broadway musical Milk & Honey closed at the Martin Beck Theater after 543 performances.
  7. On February 14, —a “surrealist comedy-drama film” directed by Federico Fellini and starring Marcello Mastroianni and Claudia Cardinale—was released.
  8. On February 22, the Beatles began their own music publishing company—Northern Songs.
  9. On February 23, operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti made his debut in Verdi’s La traviata.
  10. On March 29, the final episode of the soap Young Doctor Malone was broadcast on NBC.
  11. On April 1, the soap General Hospital premiered on ABC.
  12. On April 1, the soap Doctors debuted on NBC.
  13. The 35th Academy Awards on April 8 honored the best films of 1962. Here were some of the winners: Lawrence of Arabia won an Oscar for Best Picture, and David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia) won an Oscar for Best Director. Likewise, Gregory Peck (To Kill a Mockingbird) won an Oscar for Best Actor, and Ann Bancroft (The Miracle Worker) won an Oscar for Best Actress. Finally, Ed Begley (Sweet Bird of Youth) won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, and Patty duke (The Miracle Worker) won an Oscar for Best supporting Actress.
  14. On April 21, the Beatles met the Rolling Stones for the first time.
  15. On May 8, the spy film Dr. No premiered in the U.S.
  16. At the 15th Primetime Emmy Awards on May 26, the Dick Van Dyke Show (CBS) won an Emmy for Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Humor, and The Defenders (CBS) won an Emmy for Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Drama. Likewise, E.G. Marshall (The Defenders) (CBS) won an Emmy for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Series (Lead), and Shirley Booth (Hazel) (NBC) won an Emmy for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead).
  17. On June 12, Cleopatra—an epic historical drama directed by Joseph Mankiewicz and starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton—was released in New York City. At the time, Cleopatra was the most expensive film ever made.
  18. On June 15, the Broadway musical Sound of Music closed at the Lunt Fontanne Theater after 1,443 performances.
  19. On June 22, 13-year-old Stevie Wonder released Fingertips, his first single.
  20. On August 3, the Broadway musical No Strings closed at the 84th Street Theater after 580 performances.
  21. On September 2, both CBS and NBC expanded their national evening news broadcasts from 15 to 30 minutes.
  22. On September 16, The Outer Limits—”an anthology of self-contained episodes, sometimes with a plot twist at the end”—debuted on ABC.
  23. On September 17, The Fugitive, an action thriller, premiered on ABC.
  24. On September 28, the New Phil Silvers Show debuted on CBS.
  25. On September 28, the Tennessee Tuxedo cartoon series premiered on CBS.
  26. On September 29, the Judy Garland Show debuted on CBS.
  27. On September 29, the sitcom My Favorite Martian also premiered on CBS.
  28. On September 29, Tom Jones—a film based on the novel by Henry Fielding, and starring Albert Finney and Susannah York—was released at the Venice Film Festival.
  29. On October 10, From Russia With Love, the second James Bond film based on a novel by Ian Fleming, premiered in London.
  30. On October 23, Neil Simon’s play, Barefoot in the Park, opened on Broadway.
  31. On December 18, The Pink Panther, a comedy-slapstick film starring Peter Sellers and David Niven, was released.
  32. On December 30, the game show Let’s Make a Deal premiered on NBC.
In 1963, the Beverly Hillbillies was the most popular TV show.

In 1963, the Beverly Hillbillies was the most popular TV show.

5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends

PBS.org explains that pop culture is that loose blend of books, music, fashion and other daily ephemera that contributes to the identity of a society at a particular point in time. In the 1960s, radio, film, television, and books defined the essence of American pop culture. (No, the Internet wasn’t around yet.)

  1. In 1963, popular baby names were David, John, Michael, James, Robert, Mark, Lisa, Mary, Maria, Susan, Karen, and Linda.
  2. The average life expectancy at birth in the U.S. was 69.92 years.
  3. The most popular holiday gifts included the Easy Bake Oven, the Big Loo Moon Robot, Casper the Ghost, Troll dolls, and the home version of the Password TV game.
  4. What about fashion trends in 1963? Retrowaste.com tells us that the early sixties were more reminiscent of the 1950s—conservative and restrained, and certainly more classic in style and design.
  5. Fashion icons for the year were Brigitte Bardot, Doris Day, Patty Duke, Annette Funicello, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield, Mary Tyler Moore, Julie Newmar, Kim Novak, Donna Reed, Elizabeth Taylor, and Tuesday Weld.
  6. Jacquelyn Mayer (Ohio) was crowned Miss America.
  7. Marite Ozers (Illinois) became Miss USA.
  8. Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” was Martin Luther King Jr.
  9. Cars that were introduced in 1963 include the Buick Riviera, Chevrolet Testudo, Chrysler Valiant, Dodge 440, Honda S500, Honda T360, Jeep Wagoneer, Lotus Cortina, Mazda Familia, Mercury Marauder, Studebaker Wagonaire, and the Triumph 2000.
  10. In 1963, the average household income in the U.S. was $4,400 a year or about $84 a week.
  11. Milk was $1.04 a gallon, eggs were 55 cents a dozen, and one pound of bacon cost 59 cents.
  12. The minimum wage was $1.25.
  13. Inflation was $1.32%, unemployment averaged 5.5%, and GDP growth was 4.4%.
  14. A new house cost $12,650, and the average monthly rent was about $110.
  15. The average price for a new car was $3,233, and a gallon of gas cost 29 cents.
  16. You could buy a bedroom air conditioner for $149.95, and a refrigerator was $499.95.
  17. A new television cost around $270, and the annual tuition at the University of Texas as a resident was only $100.00.
  18. A pack of cigarettes cost 35 cents, and the average price of a concert ticket was $5.50.
  19. A daily newspaper cost 10 cents, and a local pay phone call was also a dime.
  20. A pack of chewing gum or a candy bar each cost five cents.
  21. The price of a movie ticket averaged $1.00, and popcorn at the theater cost another 20 cents.
  22. Maxwell House introduced the first freeze-dried instant coffee.
  23. Chips Ahoy! chocolate chip cookies appeared in the marketplace for the first time.
  24. Coca-Cola launched Tab, its new diet soft drink.
  25. Other consumer products introduced in 1963 were Cap’n Crunch cereal, cassette decks, cassette tapes, Crispy Critters cereal, Instamatic cameras, McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish, Speed Stick, Sunny Delight, and the Veg-O-Matic.
In 1963, cassette tapes appeared in the marketplace for the first time.

In 1963, cassette tapes appeared in the marketplace for the first time.

6. Nobel Prize Winners

Beth Rowen tells us that winning a Nobel Prize is a life-changing honor. Whether the laureate is an internationally known figure (such as Mother Teresa) or a scientist from obscurity (like Richard R. Ernst), the award brings worldwide recognition that highlights one's life work and provides the funds to continue the mission.

This Nobel Prize information from 1963 has been made available courtesy of NobelPrize.com.

  • Chemistry: Giulio Natta and Karl Ziegler
  • Literature: Giorgos Seferis
  • Peace: International Federation of the Red Cross
  • Physics: Maria Goeppert Mayer, Eugene Wigner, and J. Hans D. Jensen
  • Physiology or medicine: Alan Hodgkin, John Eccles, and Andrew Fielding Huxley

7. Best-Selling Books

This book trivia from 1963 has been made available courtesy of PublishersWeekly.com.

Fiction books:

  1. The Shoes of the Fisherman by Morris L. West
  2. The Group by Mary McCarthy
  3. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, and Seymour-An Introduction by J.D. Salinger
  4. Caravans by James A. Michener
  5. Elizabeth Appleton by John O'Hara
  6. Grandmother and the Priests by Taylor Caldwell
  7. City of Night by John Rechy
  8. The Glass-Blowers by Daphne du Maurier
  9. The Sand Pebbles by Richard McKenna
  10. The Battle of the Villa Fiorita by Rumer Godden

Nonfiction books:

  1. Happiness Is a Warm Puppy by Charles M. Schulz
  2. Security Is a Thumb and a Blanket by Charles M. Schulz
  3. J.F.K.: The Man and the Myth by Victor Lasky
  4. Profiles in Courage: Inaugural Edition by John F. Kennedy
  5. 0 Ye Jigs & Juleps! by Virginia Cary Hudson
  6. Better Homes and Gardens Bread Cook Book by the BH&G Editors
  7. The Pillsbury Family Cookbook by the Pillsbury Company
  8. I Owe Russia $1200 by Bob Hope
  9. Heloise's Housekeeping Hints by Heloise Cruse
  10. Better Homes and Gardens Baby Book by the BH&G Editors

8. Most Popular Television Shows From 1963-64

Encyclopedia.com tells us that “Television cemented its grip on American attention spans during the 1960s. The industry added channels and improved the quality of its color pictures. Americans enjoyed watching the Westerns, situation comedies (sitcoms), and action-adventure shows that made up the majority of network programming, but few could claim that these shows were of great quality."

Here are the 10 most popular TV shows from 1963-64:

  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)
In 1963, Don McNeill's Breakfast Club was a favorite radio program.

In 1963, Don McNeill's Breakfast Club was a favorite radio program.

9. Favorite Radio Programs

Otrcat.com tells us that on September 30, 1962, “radio passed the torch to television as the primary broadcast entertainment media. Since the rise of the radio networks in the 1920's and 1930's, radio had become a dominating force in bringing the nation together with the ability to share information on a large scale. It also helped to unify American Culture by making the same high quality entertainment available from coast to coast.”

Here are some of the most popular radio programs from 1963:

  1. Arthur Godfrey Time
  2. The Bing Crosby - Rosemary Clooney Show
  3. The Bob and Ray Show
  4. Don McNeill's Breakfast Club
  5. Major League Baseball on NBC Radio
  6. Midwestern Hayride
  7. Monitor
  8. Moon River
  9. Ranger Bill
  10. Young Doctor Malone

10. Highest-Grossing Films

These movie facts have been made available courtesy of The-Numbers.com.

  1. Peter Pan
  2. The Robe
  3. From Here to Eternity
  4. House of Wax
  5. Shane
  6. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  7. Hondo
  8. How to Marry a Millionaire
  9. The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms
  10. Niagara

11. 10 Best Horror Movies of 1963

This film trivia has been made available courtesy of IMDB.com.

  1. The Birds
  2. The Haunting
  3. Black Sabbath
  4. The Evil Eye
  5. The Whip and the Body
  6. Paranoiac
  7. The Haunted Palace
  8. Castle of Blood
  9. The Comedy of Terrors
  10. The Raven

Steve Lawrence: Go Away Little Girl

12. Biggest Pop Music Artists

Popular music artists from 1963 included the Beach Boys, Bobby Vinton, Brenda Lee, Ray Charles, the Chiffons, Chubby Checker, Connie Francis, the Crystals, the Dovells, Elvis Presley, the Four Seasons, Jackie Wilson, Martha and the Vandellas, the Marvelettes, Marvin Gaye, Paul & Paula, Peter, Paul & Mary, Ray Charles, Ricky Nelson, the Ronettes, Rufus Thomas, Steve Lawrence, Stevie Wonder, and the Tymes.

13. Number One Songs for the Year

This music trivia from 1963 has been made available courtesy of Pop-Culture.us.

  • December 22, 1962 - January 11, 1963: The Tornados - Telstar
  • January 12 - January 25: Steve Lawrence - Go Away Little Girl
  • January 26 - February 8: The Rooftop Singers - Walk Right In
  • February 9 - March 1: Paul & Paula - Hey Paula
  • March 2 - March 22: The Four Seasons - Walk Like A Man
  • March 23 - March 29: Ruby & the Romantics - Our Day Will Come
  • March 30 - April 26: The Chiffons - He's So Fine
  • April 27 - May 17: Little Peggy March - I Will Follow Him
  • May 18 - May 31: Jimmy Soul - If You Wanna Be Happy
  • June 1 - June 14: Lesley Gore - It's My Party
  • June 15 - July 5: Kyu Sakamoto - Sukiyaki
  • July 6 - July 19: The Essex - Easier Said Than Done
  • July 20 - August 2: Jan and Dean - Surf City
  • August 3 - August 9: The Tymes - So Much in Love
  • August 10 - August 30: Little Stevie Wonder - Fingertips (Part II)
  • August 31 - September 20: The Angels - My Boyfriend's Back
  • September 21 - October 11: Bobby Vinton - Blue Velvet
  • October 12 - November 15: Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs - Sugar Shack
  • November 16 - November 22: Nino Tempo and April Stevens - Deep Purple
  • November 23 - December 6: Dale & Grace - I'm Leaving It Up to You
  • December 7, 1963 - January 3, 1964: The Singing Nun - Dominique
In 1963, SPAM was all the rage.

In 1963, SPAM was all the rage.

14. Food and Beverage Trivia

GoodHousekeeping.com tells us that “Like fashion, food falls in and out of style. Back when kids of the '50s and '60s were growing up, family dinners meant these dishes were front and center at every family get-together, holiday meal, or cocktail party your parents threw. Many of these recipes evolved from the appeal of new ‘convenience’ foods ranging from canned soups to boxed cake mixes.”

Courtesy of TheDailyMeal.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, and LoveFood.com, here are some foods and beverages that were popular in 1963.

  1. 7-Up (a lemon and lime flavored soft drink)
  2. Apple cake
  3. Baked Alaska
  4. Beef Bourguignon
  5. Beef Burgundy
  6. Beef Stroganoff
  7. Beef Wellington
  8. Bubble-Up (a lemon and lime-flavored soft drink)
  9. Chicken a la King
  10. Chicken cacciatore
  11. Chicken croquettes
  12. Chicken pot pie
  13. Chiffon pie
  14. Chime by Coca-Cola (a Dr. Pepper clone)
  15. Coca-Cola
  16. Diet Rite (the first no-calorie soft drink)
  17. Fondue
  18. Froot Loops
  19. Frozen dinners
  20. Gatorade
  21. Gelatin molds
  22. Hires root beer
  23. Instant mashed potato flakes
  24. Lipton onion soup dip
  25. Meatloaf
  26. Mountain Dew (a citrus-flavored soft drink)
  27. Orange Crush (an orange-flavored soft drink)
  28. Pepsi-Cola
  29. Pineapple upside down cake
  30. Pop-Tarts
  31. Royal Crown Cola (aka RC Cola)
  32. SPAM
  33. Scalloped potatoes
  34. Shrimp cocktail
  35. Squirt (a grapefruit-flavored soft drink)
  36. Swedish meatballs
  37. Tuna noodle casserole
  38. Tunnel of fudge cake
  39. Vernon’s ginger ale
  40. Waldorf salad
In 1963, Swedish meatballs were a real crowd-pleaser.

In 1963, Swedish meatballs were a real crowd-pleaser.

15. Famous Birthdays

Here are some of the famous people who were born in 1963:

  1. Brad Pitt: Movie actor
  2. Charles Barkley: Basketball player
  3. Conan O’Brien: TV show host
  4. Donnie Yen: Movie actor
  5. Edie Falco: TV actress
  6. Elisabeth Shue: Movie actress
  7. George Michael (1963-2016): Pop singer
  8. Graham Norton: TV show host
  9. Ian Wright: Soccer player
  10. Joel Osteen: Religious leader
  11. John Stamos: TV actor
  12. Johnny Depp: Movie actor
  13. Karen Huger: Reality star
  14. Kevin Chamberlin: TV actor
  15. Larry the Cable Guy: Movie actor
  16. Lisa Kudrow: TV actress
  17. Marc Jacobs: Fashion designer
  18. Marla Maples: Reality star
  19. Mary Scheer: TV actress
  20. Michael Jordan: Basketball player
  21. Ming-Na Yen: Movie actress
  22. Natasha Richardson (1963-2009): Movie actress
  23. Tom Cavanaugh: TV actor
  24. Vanessa Williams: TV actress
  25. Whitney Houston (1963-2012): R&B singer

16. Notable Weddings

These trivia facts have been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.

  1. On January 12, country singer Willie Nelson wed singer Shirley Collie.
  2. On January 12, actor and comedian Bob Newhart married Virginia Quinn.
  3. On February 2, filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola wed documentary filmmaker Eleanor Neil.
  4. On March 21, singer and actress Barbra Streisand married actor Elliott Gould.
  5. On May 11, John Turner, the Prime Minister of Canada, wed Geills McCrae Kilgour.
  6. On June 1, actor Rod Taylor married model Mary Hilem.
  7. On June 14, the Golden Girls actress Betty White wed Alan Ludden, the Password game show host.
  8. On July 12, NFL coach Jimmy Johnson married Linda Kay Cooper.
  9. On September 8, Academy Award-winning actress Geraldine Page wed actor Rip Torn.
  10. On October 26, actress Elizabeth Montgomery married director and producer William Asher.
  11. On November 10, actress Doris Roberts wed novelist William Goyen.
  12. On November 12, singer and actor Robert Goulet married actress Carol Lawrence.
In 1963, Neil Simon’s play, Barefoot in the Park, opened on Broadway.

In 1963, Neil Simon’s play, Barefoot in the Park, opened on Broadway.

17. Famous (and Infamous) People Who Died

Thus information has been made available courtesy of OnThisDay.com.

  1. January 26: Ole Olsen (an American comedian who was a member of the famous Olsen & Johnson team)
  2. January 28: Robert Frost (an American poet)
  3. February 11: Sylvia Plath (an American poet and novelist)
  4. March 5: Patsy Cline (an American country singer)
  5. June 3: Pope John XXIII (the 261st pope from 1958-63)
  6. June 20: Gordon Jones (an American character actor)
  7. July 2: Seth Barnes Nicholson (an American astronomer who discovered the four satellites of Jupiter)
  8. October 10: Edith Piaf (a French singer)
  9. October 11: Jean Cocteau (a French poet and writer)
  10. October 24: Beverly Wills (an American actress who played in the sitcom I Married Joan)
  11. November 22: John F. Kennedy (the 35th president of the United States who was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald)
  12. November 22: Aldous Huxley (an English author)
  13. November 22: C.S. Lewis (an Irish writer)
  14. November 24: Lee Harvey Oswald (President Kennedy’s assassin who was murdered by nightclub owner Jack Ruby)
  15. December 14: Dinah Washington (an American singer who was famous for the song What a Difference a Day Makes)

18. U.S. Automobile Production Figures for the Year

The New York Times reports that in 1963, total production of cars and trucks in the United States was estimated at 9,098,966, second only to 1955 and its 9,187,919 units.

The booming 1963 auto production figures “were helped along by the biggest fourth quarter in industry history. An estimated total of 2,291,354 cars were built in the quarter, eclipsing the mark of 2,129.018 set in the January‐March quarter in 1955.”

Here are the U.S. automobile production figures for 1963:

  1. Chevrolet: 2,237,201
  2. Ford: 1,525,404
  3. Pontiac: 590,071
  4. Plymouth: 488,448
  5. Oldsmobile: 476,753
  6. Rambler: 464,126
  7. Buick: 457,818
  8. Dodge: 446,129
  9. Mercury: 301,581
  10. Cadillac: 163,174
  11. Chrysler: 128,937
  12. Studebaker: 69,555
  13. Lincoln: 31,233
  14. Imperial: 14,121
  15. Checker: 1,080
In 1963, Comcast—the largest cable TV company and largest home Internet service provider in the United States—was launched.

In 1963, Comcast—the largest cable TV company and largest home Internet service provider in the United States—was launched.

19. America’s Largest Corporations

Money.CNN tells us that “Since 1955, when the first FORTUNE 500 was created, more than 1,800 companies have appeared on the list. Many of these companies have changed names over this period, owing to mergers, acquisitions, and bankruptcies. Other companies have gone private, or simply changed their names."

Here is the 1963 FORTUNE 500:

  1. General Motors
  2. Exxon Mobil
  3. Ford Motor
  4. General Electric
  5. Mobil
  6. U.S. Steel
  7. Texaco
  8. Gulf Oil
  9. AT&T
  10. Esmark

20. American Companies and Brands Established During 1963

  1. Advantage Rent a Car: A car rental company.
  2. Comcast: The largest cable TV company and largest home Internet service provider in the United States.
  3. Country-Wide Insurance Company: An auto insurance company.
  4. Crocker National Bank: A San Francisco-based bank that later merged with Wells Fargo.
  5. CVS Pharmacy: A drugstore chain that operates nearly 10,000 stores.
  6. Foxmoor Casuals: A chain of women’s mall-based clothing stores that operated from 1963 to 1990.
  7. The General (Insurance): A licensed insurance agency that focuses on auto insurance.
  8. Heck’s: A West Virginia-based discount department store chain.
  9. Leslie’s: The largest American retailer of swimming pool supplies and related products.
  10. Liberty Studios: A New York City-based production house that produces films, video, advertising, and e-commerce productions.
  11. MCI Communications: A telecommunications company that at one point was the second-largest long-distance provider in the United States.
  12. The Odyssey Bookshop: The exclusive provider of textbooks for Mount Holyoke College.
  13. Pennzoil: An American oil company.
  14. Pimsleur Language Programs: A language learning company.
  15. Rocky Mountain Airways: A commuter airline that was once headquartered at Stapleton International Airport in Denver, Colorado.
  16. Score Productions: A music production company.
  17. Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC): An aerospace and national security contractor.
  18. Super Shops: A chain of 165 auto parts stores that operated from 1963 to 1998.
  19. Westborn Market: A chain of gourmet supermarkets located in the Detroit metro area.
  20. WW International: Formerly Weight Watchers International, Inc., WW International is a global company that offers various weight loss products and services.
In 1963, you could buy a one-pound package of bacon for 59 cents.

In 1963, you could buy a one-pound package of bacon for 59 cents.

References:

At the 35th Academy Awards, Lawrence of Arabia won seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Music Score.

At the 35th Academy Awards, Lawrence of Arabia won seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Music Score.

© 2021 Gregory DeVictor

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