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1963 – The Beatles Want to Hold Your Hand

  • This was the year that for the first time in the U.S. a majority of Americans of college-age enrolled in colleges and universities.
  • U.S. Postal rates rise up to five cents for the first ounce.
  • Touch-tone phones are introduced by AT&T.
  • The beginning of the feminist movement is begun by Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique”.
  • For the first time, Dr. Michael DeBakey makes use of an artificial heart to take over the functions of the heart during surgery.

World of Music

  • One of the most popular and well-known songs is released The Beatles “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”.
  • The Beach Boys continue to top the charts with many hit singles and three Top 10 albums in this year. Their joined on the scene by Jan & Dean who come out with “Surf City” which becomes a very popular surf rock song written by the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson.
  • Girl groups begin to dominate turning out many hits. Among them were the Ronettes, Crystals and Darlene Love. Topping the charts were Lesley Gore and The Chiffons.
  • Motown scored great successes in the R&B field with Martha & the Vandellas, The Miracles, Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye and the very first hit by a 12-year-old genius known as ‘Little” Stevie Wonder.
  • The first album by a R&B artist to reach number five on the album charts was “Love at the Apollo” recorded by James Brown.
  • For the first time, Wolfman Jack starts to broadcast from radio station XERF in Mexico. His broadcasts could be heard all over North America and he went on to become the most famous rock ‘n’ roll DJ in the world.

Sports

  • The Yankees lose the World Series to the Dodgers.
  • The Chicago Bears beat the New York Giants for the NFL championship.

The year is tragically interrupted with the worst news possible right around Thanksgiving time as President J.F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas.

New York re-names Idlewild Airport in honor of the assassinated president J.F.K. International Airport.

Movies and Television

  • This year’s Academy Award for Best Picture is received by the movie “Tom Jones”.

  • The most expensive movie ever made is “Cleopatra” which starred Elizabeth Taylor.
  • The award for Best Actor goes to Sidney Poitier for his role in “Lilies of the Field”.
  • For the first time on the big screen – Sean Connery as Agent 007 James Bond in “Dr. No”.
  • Other movie hits were “It’s Mad Mad Mad World” and “Irma La Douce”.
  • A great success and big fright to everyone was Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”.

  • The nightly news on CBS and NBC expand from 15 minutes to 30 minutes.
  • The most popular TV shows are The Beverly Hillbillies, Bonanza, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Petticoat Junction, and The Andy Griffith Show.

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  1. Dr. Michael DeBakey has a street named in his memory in Lake Charles. The Feminine Mystique was a two part episode of the Wonder Woman television series that starred Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman and introduced Debra Winger as her sister Drusilla.

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