February 1963

01 02
03 04 05 06 07 08 09
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28

The following events occurred in February 1963:

February 21, 1963: Telstar satellite destroyed by radiation
February 14, 1963: One-calorie diet cola introduced

February 1, 1963 (Friday)Edit

  • A convent school collapsed in the town of Biblián, in Ecuador, during chapel services during a heavy rainfall. An estimated 450 people, mostly schoolgirls, were buried in the rubble, and 104 were killed.[1]
  • Middle East Airlines Flight 265, with 14 people on board, was struck by a Turkish Air Force C-47 airplane with 3 people, as the airliner was descending for a landing at the airport in Ankara. Plunging from an altitude of 7,000 feet, the wreckage of Flight 265 fell into Ulas Square, killing another 87 people and injuring 200.[2]
  • A double-headed train rammed into a passenger train, exploded and caught fire at Nogales, Veracruz, Mexico, killing 17 people and injuring 63.
  • The United States Army activated the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) to test the concept of helicopter assault by ground forces.

February 2, 1963 (Saturday)Edit

February 3, 1963 (Sunday)Edit

  • In the Nicaraguan general election, evidence of massive impending fraud caused the Traditional Conservative Party, led by Fernando Agüero Rocha, to abandon its loyalist stance and to call for a boycott of the 1963 elections.[8] The result was a victory for René Schick Gutiérrez, considered a puppet of Luis Somoza and the Somoza family that had ruled since 1932.
  • On orders from Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, Operation Coldstore was carried out in Singapore, with the arrest of more than 150 journalists, labor and student leaders, and members of political parties that opposed Lee's People's Action Party (PAP). The detainees were kept at the Outram Road Prison for three months; with the leaders of the Barisan Sosialis and other parties forced out of campaigning, the PAP would capture 2/3rds of the seats in the parliamentary elections, and maintain control thereafter.[9]
  • Canadian Minister of National Defence Douglas Harkness resigned in disagreement over the nuclear policies of Prime Minister Diefenbaker, triggering the collapse of the rest of the ministry.[10]

February 4, 1963 (Monday)Edit

  • The SS Marine Sulphur Queen, a tanker with a crew of 39 and a cargo of molten sulphur, was heard from for the last time, two days after its departure from Beaumont, Texas en route to Norfolk, Virginia. Contact between the ship and its owner, Marine Transport Lines, Inc., was lost and the ship was reported missing two days later.[11] Debris from the tanker washed ashore in Florida, but a search by U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy airplanes did not locate the ship.[12] The story of the disappearance of the tanker would be the first wreck described in the Argosy magazine article (by Vincent Gaddis) "The Deadly Bermuda Triangle", although an investigating panel concluded that the ship, structurally unsound and burdened by its heavy cargo, broke in half during a storm.[13]
  • The UK Football Association decided to postpone the fifth and sixth rounds of the 1962–63 FA Cup because of delays caused by the severe winter.

February 5, 1963 (Tuesday)Edit

  • The Canadian House of Commons voted 142-111 in favor of a resolution of no confidence in the government of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker.[14] Parliament was dissolved the next day by Governor-General George Vanier, and elections were scheduled for April 8.
  • Travel, as well as financial and commercial transactions, by United States citizens to Cuba were made illegal by the John F. Kennedy Administration.[15]
  • Died:
    • Abd el-Krim, 77, Moroccan nationalist who fought for independence against France and Britain after Morocco had become a French protectorate in 1911
    • Barnum Brown, 90, American paleontologist who discovered the first documented Tyrannosaurus rex remains in 1902.

February 6, 1963 (Wednesday)Edit

  • U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara appeared at a nationally televised press conference from the White House to show proof, with photographs from U-2 spy planes, that all offensive missiles had been removed from Cuba.[16]
  • Died: Piero Manzoni, 29, Italian artist, died of a heart attack

February 7, 1963 (Thursday)Edit

February 8, 1963 (Friday)Edit

February 9, 1963 (Saturday)Edit

February 10, 1963 (Sunday)Edit

  • Five Japanese cities located on the northernmost part of Kyūshū were merged to become the city of Kitakyūshū, with a population of more than one million.
  • U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, taking up a challenge made by his brother, the President, for U.S. Marines to meet Teddy Roosevelt's standard for hiking 50 miles within three days, completed the distance in 17 hours and 50 minutes.[27]
  • Born: Smiley Culture, British reggae singer and DJ, as David Victor Emmanuel in South London (died 2011)

February 11, 1963 (Monday)Edit

  • The CIA's Domestic Operations Division was created.
  • The Beatles recorded the ten songs of their debut album Please Please Me in a single, 13-hour session at the Abbey Road Studios.[28]
  • Died: Sylvia Plath, 30, American poet, novelist and short story writer, and author of The Bell Jar, committed suicide at her apartment in London by inhaling carbon monoxide fumes from her gas oven.[29]

February 12, 1963 (Tuesday)Edit

February 13, 1963 (Wednesday)Edit

  • Residents of the Rwenzori Mountains in the Toro Kingdom region of southwestern Uganda rebelled against the government and declared independence of a state they called the Republic of Ruwenzuru. The Toro independence movement was defeated in 1970, and a majority of the secessionist leaders were murdered in 1972.[33]
  • An earthquake occurred off the coast of Taiwan, near Su-ao, Yilan County. It had a magnitude of Mw 7.3[34] and killed three people.

February 14, 1963 (Thursday)Edit

February 15, 1963 (Friday)Edit

  • Television was introduced in Singapore, with one hour per week of programming initially, increasing by April to five hours of programming each weeknight, and 10 hours each on Saturday and Sunday.[39]
  • The Dutch liner Maasdam struck the wreckage of SS Harborough at Bremen, West Germany and was holed. All 230 passengers and 276 crew were rescued by the German ship SS Gotthilf Hagen. The Maasdam had been three days away from inaugurating direct service between West Germany and the United States.[40]
  • The Tandy Center Subway, the only privately owned subway in the United States, opened in Fort Worth, Texas.[41] It would cease operations in 2002.

February 16, 1963 (Saturday)Edit

February 17, 1963 (Sunday)Edit

February 18, 1963 (Monday)Edit

  • Mount Agung, a dormant volcano on the Indonesian island of Bali, became active again for the first time in 120 years. Its lava flow would destroy villages in the vicinity and kill more than 1,000 people.[45]
  • Born: Fuad Muhammad Syafruddin ("Udin), Indonesian journalist murdered in 1996. The date of his birth was considered unlucky in the Javanese calendar as it fell on a kliwon Monday.[46]

February 19, 1963 (Tuesday)Edit

February 20, 1963 (Wednesday)Edit

February 21, 1963 (Thursday)Edit

  • Telstar 1, the first privately financed satellite, became the first satellite to be destroyed by radiation. Telstar had been launched from the United States eight months earlier on July 10, 1962, one day after the U.S. had conducted a high altitude nuclear test, and the increased concentration of electrons in the Van Allen radiation belt had caused the communication satellite's transponders to deteriorate.[50]
  • An earthquake destroyed the city of Al Maraj, Libya. Measuring 5.3 magnitude, the quake lasted for 15 seconds collapsed 70 percent of the town's buildings and killed between 300 and 500 people, and left 12,000 homeless.[51]
  • The Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party sent a formal letter to the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, proposing a summit between the two in order to settle their differences. China would respond favorably on March 9.[52]
  • Operation Plowshare: A nuclear test blast of 3 kilotons took place at the Nevada test site in the US.[citation needed]
  • Klein's Sporting Goods of Chicago received a shipment of Mannlicher–Carcano rifles from Crescent Firearms Company of New York, including rifle #C2766, which would be used to kill John F. Kennedy.[53]

February 22, 1963 (Friday)Edit

The Medal
  • The Presidential Medal of Freedom was established by Executive Order 11085 from U.S. President Kennedy, for the stated purpose of honoring "any person who has made an especially meritorious contribution" in one of three categories, "the security or national interests of the United States", "world peace", or "cultural or other significant public or private endeavors".
  • China and Pakistan signed an agreement to settle the 280-mile-long border between China's Xinjiang region and Pakistan's Gilgit–Baltistan area, with 775 square miles being relinquished by China to Pakistan.[54]
  • The fictional cartoon character Pebbles Flintstone was "born" in an episode of the cartoon The Flintstones called "The Blessed Event".[55]
  • Born: Devon Malcolm, Jamaican-English cricketer, in Kingston

February 23, 1963 (Saturday)Edit

  • General Ne Win, the President of Burma, ordered the nationalization of all that country's banks. At 1:00 in the afternoon, tanks were sent to the various financial institutions in Rangoon and the private management was forced by troops to relinquish the vaults to the Army.[56]
  • Canadian politician Marcel Chaput called a press conference to announce the opening of the office of the Parti républicain du Québec (PRQ).
  • Born: Bobby Bonilla, American MLB player, in New York City
  • Died: Robert Leroy Cochran, 77, American politician and 24th Governor of Nebraska

February 24, 1963 (Sunday)Edit

February 25, 1963 (Monday)Edit

  • The Greek cargo ship SS Aegli sank in the Aegean Sea with the loss of all but one of her 22 crew.[57]
  • An unnamed ferry collided with a Japanese cargo ship off Kobe and sank. Of the 64 people on board, nineteen were rescued, seven killed and 38 reported missing.

February 26, 1963 (Tuesday)Edit

  • A final piece of debris from the decaying orbit of Mars 2MV-4 No.1 re-entered the earth's atmosphere.

February 27, 1963 (Wednesday)Edit

February 28, 1963 (Thursday)Edit

  • Chicago alderman Benjamin Lewis of the 24th Ward, the first African-American to be elected to the Chicago City Council, was found murdered at the Ward's Democratic Headquarters, two days after being overwhelmingly re-elected to a second term. Lewis had been handcuffed and then shot four times in the back of his head.[59] The murder was never solved.[60]
  • Dorothy Schiff resigned from the New York Newspaper Publisher's Association, saying that the city needed at least one paper operating during the newspaper strike. Her newspaper, the New York Post, would resume publication on March 4.
  • Died: Rajendra Prasad, 78, the first President of India, who served from 1950 to 1962


  1. ^ "104 Killed At Prayer In Ecuador", Miami News, February 2, 1963, p1
  2. ^ The "Searchers Seek Bodies In Ankara Air Disaster", Miami News, February 2, 1963, p1; Flight Safety Network database
  3. ^ "It'll Be Up, Up With Even Fiberglass", Miami News, February 3, 1963, p1C
  4. ^ Jonathan Haslam, Russia's Cold War: From the October Revolution to the Fall of the Wall (Yale University Press, 2011) p210
  5. ^ Youngmi Kim, The Politics of Coalition in Korea (Taylor & Francis, 2011) p22
  6. ^ Byung-Kook Kim and Ezra F. Vogel, The Park Chung Hee Era: The Transformation of South Korea (Harvard University Press, 2011) p109
  7. ^ ""This Day in Beatle History"". Archived from the original on 2005-02-07. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  8. ^ John A. Booth, The End and the Beginning: The Nicaraguan Revolution, 2d. Ed. (Westview Press, 1985) p99; "Four Killed In Nicaragua Vote Riot",Miami News, February 4, 1963, p2A
  9. ^ Carl Trocki, Singapore Wealth, Power and the Culture of Control (Routledge, 2005) p110
  10. ^ Greg Donaghy, Tolerant Allies: Canada and the United States, 1963-1968 (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003) p7
  11. ^ "Search Widens For Lost Tanker With 39 Aboard", Miami News, February 9, 1963, p
  12. ^ "'Sulphur Queen a Risky Ship'", Pacific Stars And Stripes, February 25, 1963, p1
  13. ^ Bruce Parker, The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters (Macmillan, 2012) p126
  14. ^ "2 Commons Votes Topple Diefenbaker Government", Montreal Gazette, February 6, 1963, p1
  15. ^ René De La Pedraja Tomán, Latin American Merchant Shipping in the Age of Global Competition (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999) p50
  16. ^ "NO CUBA BUILDUP, McNAMARA STATES- All Offensive Weapons Gone, U. S. Is Assured", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 7, 1963, p1
  17. ^ New Zealand Disasters - Bus Accident: The Brynderwyns. Christchurch City Libraries website
  18. ^ "15 Die After Seeing Their Queen", Miami News, February 5, 1963, p2A
  19. ^ a b Kevin Jefferys, Labour Forces: From Ernie Bevin to Gordon Brown (I.B.Tauris, 2002) p160
  20. ^ Harry Beckwith, Unthinking: The Surprising Forces Behind What We Buy (Hachette Digital, 2011); Linda Schultz, Tales of the Awesome Foursome: Beatles Fans Share Personal Stories and Memories of the Fab Four (Infinity Publishing, 2004) p130
  21. ^ "Iraq Regime Reported Overthrown", Miami News, February 8, 1963, p1
  22. ^ Sturtivant, Ray, British Naval Aviation: The Fleet Air Arm, 1917-1990, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1990, ISBN 0-87021-026-2, p. 216.
  23. ^ Philip K. Lawrence and David W. Thornton, Deep Stall: The Turbulent Story of Boeing Commercial Airplanes (Ashgate Publishing, 2005) p46
  24. ^ "3 Jet Airliner Tested", Spokane (WA) Daily Chronicle, February 9, 1963, p2
  25. ^ Jonathan Luxmoore and Jolanta Babiuch, The Vatican and the Red Flag: The Struggle for the Soul of Eastern Europe (Continuum International, 1998) p116-117
  26. ^ "Kassem Executed: Iraq to 'Annihilate' Reds", Miami News, February 10, 1963, p1
  27. ^ Ed Ayres, The Longest Race: A Lifelong Runner, an Iconic Ultramarathon, and the Case for Human Endurance (Workman Publishing, 2012)
  28. ^ Travis Elborough, The Vinyl Countdown: The Album from LP to iPod and Back Again (Counterpoint Press, 2009) p178
  29. ^ Connie Ann Kirk, Sylvia Plath: A Biography (Greenwood, 2004) pp103-104
  30. ^ "AIRLINER LOST — 42 ABOARD", Miami News, February 12, 1963, p1
  31. ^ Flight Safety Network
  32. ^ "The Gateway Arch Experience"
  33. ^ "Toros", in Encyclopedia of Stateless Nations, Volume 4: S-Z, James Minahan and Peter T. Wendel, eds. (Greenwood Publishing, 2002) pp1911-1912
  34. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-08-06. Retrieved 2012-08-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  35. ^ "A Sweet Celebration: TaB Commemorates Golden Anniversary on Valentine's Day", Coca-Cola Company website, February 7, 2013
  36. ^ "Coke Tests New Drink", Decatur (IL) Review, February 19, 1963, p8
  37. ^ [1]; "No. 2 Briton Wants No A-Weapons", Miami News, February 15, 1963, p1
  38. ^ Delbert D. Smith, Communication Via Satellite: A Vision in Retrospect (BRILL, 1976) p86; "Hovering Satellite Up There— Where?", Miami News, February 14, 1963, p1
  39. ^ "Television", in Historical Dictionary of Singapore, Justin Corfield, ed. (Scarecrow Press, 2010) p268
  40. ^ "Liner Crashes into Wreck in Fog". The Times (55627). London. 16 February 1963. col D-G, p. 8.; "Dutch Liner Strikes Wreck", Miami News, February 15, 1963, p1
  41. ^ "Fort Worth, Texas". 2005. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
  42. ^ "Kayes, Treaty of", in Historical Dictionary of Mauritania, by Anthony G. Pazzanita (Scarecrow Press, 2008) pp285-287
  43. ^ Yezid Sayigh and Avi Shlaim, The Cold War and the Middle East (Oxford University Press, 1997) p258
  44. ^ Penny M. Von Eschen, Race Against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism, 1937-1957 (Cornell University Press, 1997) p183
  45. ^ VolcanoDiscovery.com; R. B. Cribb, Audrey Kahin, Historical Dictionary of Indonesia (Scarecrow Press, 2004) p176
  46. ^ Tesoro 2004, p. 19.
  47. ^ "Friedan, Betty", in Encyclopedia of Leadership, George R. Goethals, et al., eds. (SAGE Publishing, 2004) p523
  48. ^ Larry Diamond, Class, Ethnicity, and Democracy in Nigeria: The Failure of the First Republic (Syracuse University Press, 1988) p136
  49. ^ Mary Fulbrook and Martin Swales, Representing the German Nation (Manchester University Press, 2000) p91-92
  50. ^ Raoul Velazco, et al., Radiation Effects on Embedded Systems (Springer, 2007) pp31-32
  51. ^ "Libya", in Encyclopedia of Earthquakes and Volcanoes, Alexander E. Gates and David Ritchie, eds. (Infobase Publishing, 2009) p149; "Stricken Libya Counts Her Dead", Miami News, February 23, 1963, p1
  52. ^ Alfred D. Low, The Sino-Soviet Dispute: An Analysis of the Polemics (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1976) pp145–146
  53. ^ The Warren Commission Report (Government Printing Office, 1964) p119
  54. ^ S. Frederick Starr, Xinjiang: China's Muslim Borderland (M.E. Sharpe, 2004) p143
  55. ^ "Pebbles Flintstone Arrives Tonight", Miami News, February 22, 1963, p13
  56. ^ Brian Crozier, South-East Asia in Turmoil (Taylor & Francis, 1966) p166; Krishna Sen and Terence Lee, Political Regimes and the Media in East Asia: Continuities, Contradictions and Change (Routledge, 2007) p109
  57. ^ "Japanese Ferry Disaster". The Times (56635). London. 26 February 1963. col D, p. 10.
  58. ^ G. Pope Atkins and Larman C. Wilson, The Dominican Republic and the United States: From Imperialism to Transnationalism (University of Georgia Press, 1998) pp129-130
  59. ^ "POLITICIAN HANDCUFFED, SLAIN IN CHICAGO OFFICE", Long Beach (CA) Press Telegram, February 28, 1963, p1
  60. ^ John M. Hagedorn, A World of Gangs: Armed Young Men and Gangsta Culture (University of Minnesota Press, 2008) p75