Life in 1963 – Popular Culture Facts


This page offers an insight into life in 1963 and includes World news, political leaders, prices, population statistics and information about the popular culture of 1963.

The year 1963 began on a Tuesday. It was not a leap year.

1963 In The News

Life in 1963 - JFK Assassination 1963
President Kennedy shortly before he was shot

29th January – Charles de Gaulle of France vetoed Britain’s entry into the European Common Market

21st March– Alcatraz Prison was closed.

1st May– Tab Cola was the first diet version of Coca-Cola

26th June– President Kennedy visited Berlin

28th August– The March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

22nd November– President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas by Lee Harvey Oswald.


Life in 1963 – Prices

dollar bill

Average house:
UK – £2,748; USA – $12,650
Petrol per gallon:
UK – £0.22; USA – $0.30
Loaf of Bread:
UK – £0.06; USA – $0.22
Gold per ounce:
UK – $35.09, USA – $35.4

Life in 1963 – Population

World Map

World: – 3,209,535,892
Australia: – 11,001,483
Canada: – 19,342,840
China: – 674,248,704
India: – 473,613,856
Soviet Union: 124,276,520
United States: – 188,483,008
United Kingdom: – 53,625,000


Life in 1963 – Music

Popular MusicBest Selling Single:
UK – She Loves You – The Beatles
USA – Sugar Shack – Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs
AUS – I Want to Hold Your Hand – The Beatles
CAN – Sugar Shack – Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs

Best Selling Album:
UK – With the Beatles – The Beatles
USA – West Side Story – Original Soundtrack
AUS – No data – Charts began 1965
CAN – No data – Charts began 1968

Popular Artists:
Beach Boys, Boots Randolf, The Drifters, Four Seasons, The Kingsmen, Leslie Gore, Martha and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye,


On the Bookshelves

BookshelfBooks Published in 1963:

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut Jr
The Spy Who Came In From the Cold – John le Carré
The Feminine Mystique – Betty Friedan
The Graduate – Charles Webb

At the Movies

Movies Films1963 Top Movies (USA box office figures):

1. Cleopatra – $26 million
2. How the West Was Won – $22 million
3. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World – $20.8 million
4. Tom Jones – $17.2 million
5. Irma la Douce – $12.1 million


Life in 1963 – World Leaders

John F Kennedy 1961
President John F Kennedy

Australia Prime Minister – Robert Menzies 
Canada Prime Minister – John Diefenbaker to 22nd April; Lester Pearson from 22nd April
China President – Liu Shaoqi
India Prime Minister – Jawaharlal Nehru
Soviet Union Leader – Nikita Khruschchev
United States President – John F Kennedy to 22nd November; Lyndon B Johnson after 22nd November
United Kingdom Prime Minister – Harold MacMillan to 19th October; Alec Douglas Home after 19th October


Born in 1963

Jose Mourhino
Jose Mourhino

26th January – José Mourinho (Football Manager)
2nd February – Stephen McGann (Actor)
8th April – Julian Lennon (Musician)
16th April – Jimmy Osmond (Singer)
25th June – George Michael (Singer)
5th November – Tatum O’Neal (Actress)
18th December – Brad Pitt (Actor)

Died in 1963

Hugh Gaitskell
Hugh Gaitskell

18th January – Hugh Gaitskell (British Politician)
11th February- Sylvia Plath (Poet)
22nd November- Aldous Huxley (Author)
22nd November- C S Lewis (Author)
22nd November – John F Kennedy (President of the USA)
24th November – Lee Harvey Oswald (Assassin)


1963 Sport Highlights

Jacques Anquetil 1963
Jacques Anquetil

Football – Manchester United won the FA Cup
Cycling – Jacques Anquetil (FRA) won the Tour de France for the 3rd time
Tennis – Margaret Smith won the Australian Open and Wimbledon
Golf – British Open won by Bob Charles; US Open won by Julius Boros
Baseball – Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series
Horse Racing – Mill House won the Cheltenham Gold Cup; Chateaugay won the Kentucky Derby


Christmas Wishlist

Etch a Sketch 1963

Barbie and Ken Dolls
Chatty Cathy
Etch A Sketch
Matchbox Cars
Easy Bake Oven

What Was New?

Touch Tone Telephone 1963

Touch-tone telephone
Ring-pull tab for cans invented
Lava lamp developed
Computer mouse developed
First episode of Dr Who shown



First published 2020; updated and republished Mar 24 2022 @ 11:04 am – Updated – Mar 30, 2022 @ 12:12 pm