On This Day

What Happened in December 1963

Historical Events

  • Dec 1 Nagaland becomes a state of the Indian union
  • Dec 1 Wendell Scott wins the Grand National Series Jacksonville 200 at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Florida, becoming the first black driver to win a race at NASCAR's premier level
  • Dec 2 First Dutch rocket launched, reaches height of 10 km
  • Dec 2 MLB Rules Committee bans oversized catcher's mitts; rule effective only in 1965
  • Dec 2 1964 NFL Draft: Dave Parks from Texas Tech first pick by San Francisco 49ers

Historic Event

Dec 4 Aldo Moro forms Italian government (1963-1968)

Historic Event

Dec 4 Pope Paul VI closes 2nd session of 2nd Vatican Council

  • Dec 4 Boston Bruins' right wing Andy Hebenton sets a new NHL record by playing in his 581st consecutive game in 2-2 tie with Chicago Black Hawks; reaches 630 straight games
  • Dec 6 The Beatles begin a tradition of releasing a Christmas record for fan club members
  • Dec 6 Test Cricket debut of Graeme Pollock at the Gabba

Music History

Dec 6 President Lyndon B. Johnson confers Presidential Medal of Freedom on 31 recipients selected by JFK, including: contralto Marian Anderson; diplomat Ralph Bunche; cellist Pablo Casals; Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter; labor leader George Meaney; architect Mies van der Rohe; pianist Rudolf Serkin; writers E.B. White and Thorton Wilder; and painter Andrew Wyeth; as well as posthumously to JFK himself, and Pope John XXIII

  • Dec 7 Ian Meckiff no-balled for throwing against the South Africans
  • Dec 7 First use of the instant replay machine invented by CBS in a US Army vs Navy football game
  • Dec 8 "Girl Who Came to Supper" opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 112 performances
  • Dec 8 Frank Sinatra, Jr is kidnapped at Harrah's Lake Tahoe (Nevada)
  • Dec 8 Pan Am Flight 214 crashes outside Elkton, Maryland with 81 killed

Music History

Dec 10 6-year old Donny Osmond's singing debut on Andy Williams Show

  • Dec 10 Zanzibar gains independenence from Great Britain

Nobel Prize

Dec 10 Karl Ziegler and Giulio Natta receive the 1963 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on the technology of high polymers

Music Premiere

Dec 10 Leonard Bernstein premieres his Third Symphony "Kaddish" with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, in Tel Aviv, Israel

Historic Event

Dec 12 Argentina asks for extradition of ex-President Juan Perón

  • Dec 12 Frank Sinatra, Jr returned by kidnappersafter his father paid the $240,000 ransom demanded
  • Dec 12 Kenya (formerly British East Africa) declares independence from UK
  • Dec 13 Capital records signs right of first refusal agreement with The Beatles
  • Dec 14 Verne Gagne beats The Crusher in Minneapolis, to become NWA champ
  • Dec 17 Tsjoi Doo Sun forms government in South Korea
  • Dec 17 West & East Berlin sign accord about travel rules
  • Dec 17 Ballon d'Or: Dynamo Moscow goalkeeper Lev Yashin wins award for best European football player; beats Milan midfielder Gianni Rivera and Tottenham striker Jimmy Greaves; first Russian national to win trophy
  • Dec 18 Ron Clarke runs world record 10k (28:15.6)
  • Dec 18 Muskegon, Michigan gets 3' of snow

Film Premiere

Dec 18 "The Pink Panther" film premieres, directed by Blake Edwards and starring Peter Sellers and David Niven, with theme by Henry Mancini

  • Dec 20 Berlin Wall opens for 1st time to West Berliners
  • Dec 20 Massemba-Debate elected President of Congo-Brazzaville
  • Dec 20 Trial against 21 camp guards of Auschwitz begins

Film Release

Dec 20 "Contempt" film directed by Jean-Luc Godard, starring Brigitte Bardot and Jack Palance, is released

  • Dec 22 Oakland Raider Tom Flores passes for 6 touchdowns vs Houston (52-49)
  • Dec 22 Official 30-day mourning period for President John F. Kennedy ends
  • Dec 22 Cruise ship Lakonia burns 180 miles north of Madeira with the loss of 128 lives
  • Dec 23 The Beach Boys 1st appearance on "Shindig"
  • Dec 23 Fire on Greek ship Laconia, 128 die
  • Dec 24 Greek & Turks riot in Cyprus
  • Dec 25 Walt Disney's "The Sword in the Stone" is released
  • Dec 26 "Double Dublin" opens at Little Theater NYC for 4 performances
  • Dec 26 The Beatles release "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "I Saw Her Standing There" in the US
  • Dec 26 US furnishes cereal to USSR
  • Dec 28 "Double Dublin" closes at Little Theater NYC after 4 performances
  • Dec 28 "Jennie" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 82 performances

Music History

Dec 28 Merle Haggard's 1st appearance on country music chart with "Sing a Sad Song"

Davis Cup

Dec 28 Davis Cup Men's Tennis, Adelaide: American Chuck McKinley beats Australia's John Newcombe 10-12, 6-2, 9-7, 6-2 in the deciding rubber to give US a thrilling 3-2 victory

  • Dec 28 Scottish Lotus driver Jim Clark wins his record 7th Grand Prix of the F1 season, the South African event at Prince George Circuit; first Scotsman to win the World Drivers Championship
  • Dec 29 National Football League Championship, Wrigley Field, Chicago: Chicago Bears beat New York Giants, 14-10; Giants 3rd consecutive championship defeat; played in temperatures under 10 °F (−12 °C)
  • Dec 30 "Let's Make A Deal," debuts on NBC-TV
  • Dec 30 Congress authorizes Kennedy half dollar
  • Dec 31 Dear Abby show premieres on CBS radio (runs 11 years)

Music History

Dec 31 Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir play music together for the 1st time, Dana Morgan's Music Store in Palo Alto, California


Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 1 Arjuna Ranatunga, Sri Lankan cricket batsman (93 Tests, 269 ODIs) and politician (MP 2004-present), born in Gampaha, Sri Lanka
  • Dec 1 Marco Greco, Brazilian motorcycle road racer and auto racer (Indy Racing League 3rd 1996-97), born in São Paulo, Brazil
  • Dec 1 Nathalie Lambert, Canadian short-track speed skater (Olympic gold 3,000m relay 1992; World C'ships gold overall 1991, 93-94), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Dec 2 Ann Patchett, American novelist (Bel Canto), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Dec 2 Rich Sutter, Canadian NHL right wing, 1983-95 (Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, and 4 other teams), and broadcaster (Rogers Sportsnet), born in Viking, Alberta
  • Dec 2 Ron Sutter, Canadian NHL center, 1982- 2001 (Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks, and 4 other teams), born in Viking, Alberta
  • Dec 3 Ashley De Silva, Sri Lankan cricket wicketkeeper (3 Tests; 4 ODIs), born in Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Dec 3 Steve Hegg, American road and track cyclist (Olympic gold individual pursuit 1984), born in Dana Point, California
  • Dec 3 Joe Lally, American rock bassist (Fugazi), born in Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Dec 3 Terri Schiavo, American right to die figure (d. 2005)
  • Dec 4 Sergey Bubka, Ukrainian pole vaulter (Olympic gold 1988; World C'ship gold 1983, 87, 91, 93, 95, 97), born in Luhansk, Ukraine
  • Dec 4 Nigel Heslop, English rugby union and rugby league wing (10 caps RU; Orrell RUFC, Liverpool St Helens; Oldham RLFC), born in West Hartlepool, England
  • Dec 5 Carrie Hamilton, American actress (Fame), born in NYC, New York (d. 2002)
  • Dec 5 Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards, English ski jumper, born in Cheltenham, England
  • Dec 7 Barbara Weathers, American vocalist (Atlantic Starr - "Secret Lovers"), born in Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Dec 7 Theo Snelders, Dutch football goalkeeper, born in Westervoort, Gelderland, Netherlands
  • Dec 7 (Jakub) "Kuba" Stankiewicz, Polish jazz pianist and composer, born in Wrocław, Poland
  • Dec 8 Toshiaki Kawada, Japanese professional wrestler
  • Dec 9 Barry Wilburn, American NFL full safety (Philadelphia Eagles), born in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Dec 9 Bárbara Palacios, Venezuelan TV host and Miss Universe (1986), born in Madrid, Spain
  • Dec 9 Dave Hilton, Jr., Canadian boxer, born in Port Credit, Ontario
  • Dec 9 Empress Masako, Empress of Japan as wife and consort of Naruhito, born in Tokyo, Japan
  • Dec 10 Doug Henry, American baseball pitcher (NY Mets), born in Sacramento, California
  • Dec 10 Gerald Sandel, Dutch soccer player (Sparta), born in The Hague, Netherlands
  • Dec 10 Michael Lofton, fencer-sabre (Olympics 1996), born in Montgomery, Alabama
  • Dec 10 Robin White, American tennis player (US Open doubles 1988), born in San Diego, California
  • Dec 10 Gillian Wearing, English conceptual artist (60 Minutes Silence), born in Birmingham, England
  • Dec 11 Claudia Kohde-Kilsch, German tennis star, born in Saarbrücken, West Germany
  • Dec 11 John Lammers, Dutch soccer player (NAC), born in Tilburg, Netherlands
  • Dec 11 Mark Greatbatch, New Zealand cricketer (big-hitting NZ opener), born in Auckland
  • Dec 11 Jon Brion, American musician and record producer, born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey
  • Dec 12 Teresa Blake, American actress (Gloria Marsh-All My Children), born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Dec 12 Ai Orikasa, Japanese voice actress and singer, born in Tokyo
  • Dec 12 Juan Carlos Varela, President of Panama (2014-), born in Panama City
  • Dec 12 Eric Schenkman, American-Canadian rock and blues guitarist (Spin Doctors - "Pocket Full of Kryptonite"), born in Massachusetts
  • Dec 14 Cindy Gibb, American actress (Search for Tomorrow, Youngblood), born in Bennington, Vermont
  • Dec 15 Helen Slater, American actress (Supergirl, Billie Jean, Ruthless People), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 15 Andrew Luster, American Max Factor heir and convicted sex offender, born in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Dec 16 Benjamin Bratt, California, actor (Det Reynaldo Curtis-Law & Order)
  • Dec 16 Cathy Johnston, American golfer, (du Maurier Classic 1990), born in High Point, North Carolina
  • Dec 16 Jeff Carson, American country singer, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Dec 16 James Mangold, American filmmaker (Girl, Interrupted; Kate & Leopold; Walk the Line; Logan), born in New York City
  • Dec 18 Charles Oakley, American NBA forward (NY Knicks) and coach, born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Dec 18 Lori McNeil, American tennis player (1995 Oakland doubles), born in San Diego, California

Brad Pitt

Dec 18 Brad Pitt, American actor (12 Monkeys, Fight Club) and producer (The Departed, 12 Years a Slave), born in Shawnee, Oklahoma

  • Dec 18 Karl Dorrell, American football coach, born in Alameda, California
  • Dec 18 Pauline Ester, French singer
  • Dec 18 Allan Kayser, American actor
  • Dec 19 Karen Bliss-Livingston, American cyclist (Olympics 1996), born in Quakertown, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 19 Til Schweiger, German actor
  • Dec 19 Jennifer Beals, American actress (Flashdance; The Bride; The L-Word), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Dec 20 Karen Moncrieff, American actress (Xtro 3, Days of Our Lives), born in Sacramento, California
  • Dec 20 Pam Casale, American tennis player (Marco Island finals 1985), born in Camden, New Jersey
  • Dec 20 Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo, born in Madrid, Spain
  • Dec 22 Brian McMillan, South African cricket all-rounder (38 Tests, top score 113, 75 wickets; 78 ODIs), born in Welkom, South Africa
  • Dec 22 Giuseppe Bergomi, Italian footballer, born in Milan, Italy
  • Dec 22 Luna H. Mitani, Japanese-American surrealist painter, born in Hokkaido, Japan
  • Dec 23 Carol Peterka, American team handball back court (Olympics 1992, 96), born in Little Falls, Minnesota
  • Dec 23 Jim Harbaugh, NFL quarterback (Pro Bowl 1995; Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts) and coach (Stanford 2007–10; SF 49ers 2011–14; Michigan (2015–20), born in Toledo, Ohio
  • Dec 23 Keiji Muto, Japanese wrestler (NWA/WWC/NJPW), born in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
  • Dec 23 Donna Tartt, American writer (The Secret History), born in Greenwood, Mississippi
  • Dec 24 Mary Ramsey, American singer and violinist (10,000 Maniacs), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Dec 24 Timo Jutila, Finnish hockey defenseman (Team Finland), born in Tampere, Finland
  • Dec 24 Jay Bilas, American basketball analyst, born in San Pedro, California
  • Dec 24 Caroline Aherne, British comedienne, writer and actress (The Royale Family), born in London (d. 2016)
  • Dec 26 Lars Ulrich, Danish heavy metal drummer (Metallica - ....And Justice for All), born in Gentoffe, Denmark
  • Dec 27 Dana Chladek, Czech-American slalom kayaker (Olympic bronze 1992, silver 1996), born in Děčín, Czech Republic
  • Dec 27 Jim Leyritz, Lakewood OH, catcher (NY Yankees)
  • Dec 27 Gaspar Noé, Argentinian-born director
  • Dec 28 Malcolm Gets, American actor (Richard Karinsky-Caroline In the City), born in Waukegan, Illinois
  • Dec 28 Willow Bay, American TV host (Good Morning America), born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 29 Francisco Bustamante, Filipino billiard player, born in Tarlac, Philippines
  • Dec 29 Dave McKean, British artist & filmmaker, born in Maidenhead, United Kingdom
  • Dec 29 Sean Payton, American NFL coach (Super Bowl 2009, New Orleans Saints; AP Coach of the Year 2006; 'Bountygate'), born in San Mateo, California
  • Dec 30 Alessandra Mussolini, actress (Ferragosto OK), born in Naples, Italy
  • Dec 30 Johnny van 't Schip, Dutch soccer star (Ajax, Genua)
  • Dec 30 Milan Srejber, Czech tennis star
  • Dec 30 Chandler Burr, American author, born in Chicago, Illinois

Mike Pompeo

Dec 30 Mike Pompeo, American politician, US Secretary of State (2018-), born in Orange, California

  • Dec 31 Ed Simmons, American NFL tackle (Washington Redskins), born in French Camp, California
  • Dec 31 Scott Ian, American heavy metal guitarist (Anthrax - "I'm the Man"), born in Queens, New York
  • Dec 31 Konishiki, Japanese-Samoan sumo wrestler, born in Honolulu, Hawaii

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 2 Sabu [Dastagir], Indian actor (The Thief of Bagdad, Elephant Boy, Drum), dies of a heart attack at 39
  • Dec 5 Herbert H Lehman, (Gov-D-NY), dies
  • Dec 5 Karl Amadeus Hartmann, German composer, dies at 58
  • Dec 5 Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, Prime Minister of Pakistan (b. 1892)
  • Dec 6 Jozef Goossenaerts, Flem philologist (Language Boundary), dies at 81
  • Dec 8 Field Marshal Sarit Dhanarajata, Prime Minister of Thailand (b. 1908)
  • Dec 12 Yasujiro Ozu, Japanese film director (b. 1903)
  • Dec 13 Hubert ME Pierlot, Belgian advocate/premier (1939-45), dies at 79
  • Dec 13 Stan Jones, American singer-songwriter ( "Ghost Riders in the Sky"), and actor (Rio Grande; Ten Who Dared), dies of cancer at 49
  • Dec 14 Dinah Washington [Ruth Lee Jones], American jazz, blues, pop, and R&B singer ("What a Diff'rence a Day Makes": "September In The Rain"), dies of sleeping pill overdose at 39
  • Dec 14 Erich Ollenhauer, German politician, leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (1952-63), dies at 62
  • Dec 18 Winfried Zillig, German opera composer, and conductor (Fantasia Irica), dies at 58
  • Dec 20 Paul Constantinescu, composer, dies at 54
  • Dec 21 Sir Jack Hobbs, English cricket batsman (61 Tests, 5,410 runs @ 56.94, 15 x 100s; leading 1st-class run-scorer [61,760] and century-maker [199]; Surry), dies at 81
  • Dec 24 Raphaël Verwilghen, Belgian architect, and urban planner, dies at 78
  • Dec 25 Tristan Tzara [Samuel Rosenfeld] Romanian-French poet (Approximate Man), dies at 67
  • Dec 26 "Gorgeous George" Wagner, wrestler, dies
  • Dec 28 Abbott Joseph Liebling, American journalist/writer, dies

Paul Hindemith

Dec 28 Paul Hindemith, German composer (Composer's World), dies at 68