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- The United States of America enters the Vietnam War.
- NASA’s space probe, Pioneer 5 is launched into orbit between Earth and Venus.
- The Beatles perform their first public performance at the Indra club in Hamburg, Germany.
- John F. Kennedy is sworn in as the 35th President of the United States, succeeding Dwight D. Eisenhower.
- Ham the Chimp becomes the first ape in space, climbing to a distance of 157 miles above Earth in the Mercury-Redstone 2 Launch Vehicle.
- George Blake, a British spy found guilty of working as a double agent for the Soviet Union, is imprisoned for 42 years.
- Construction begins on the Berlin Wall, with the purpose of restricting movement within Berlin and forming a solid boundary between East and West Germany.
- American involvement in the Vietnam War begins officially, as helicopters and four-hundred U.S. personnel land in Saigon.
- Prime Minister Harold Macmillan dismisses one third of his Cabinet in what the press dubs the ‘Night of the Long Knives’.
- The Beatles release their first single, “Love Me Do“.
- “Dr. No“, the first ever James Bond film, premieres in United Kingdom cinemas.
- The South African government arrests Nelson Mandela in Howick and charges him with incitement to rebellion.
- The Big Freeze of 1963 begins, with temperatures reaching as low as -16C (3.2F) in places. The ice and snow finally starts to thaw in early March.
- The Beatles release their first album, “Please Please Me“.
- 70,000 marchers arrive in London from Aldermaston, to demonstrate against nuclear weapons.
- The Great Train Robbery of 1963 takes place in Buckinghamshire. £2.6 million is stolen, but thirteen men are later convicted and jailed for the crime.
- Alec Douglas-Home succeeds Harold Macmillan as Prime Minister.
- U.S. President John F. Kennedy is shot dead in Dallas.
- “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “I Saw Her Standing There” are released in America, marking the beginning of full-scale ‘Beatle-mania‘.
- The Beatles arrive at New York City’s JFK International Airport, receiving a reception from a mass of screaming fans. This is the first occurrence of “Beatle-mania” in the United States.
- BBC Two begins broadcasting in the United Kingdom.
- Nelson Mandela and seven others are sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa and sent to the Robben Island prison.
- The 1964 Summer Olympics are held in Tokyo.
- The House of Commons votes to abolish the death penalty for murder in Britain.
- Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in for his full term as U.S. President.
- The State funeral of Sir Winston Churchill takes place with the largest assembly of statesmen in the world until the 2005 funeral of Pope John Paul II.
- The Beatles perform the first stadium concert in the history of rock, playing at Shea Stadium in New York.
- The Post Office Tower opens in London.
- A seventy miles per hour speed limit is imposed on British roads.
- The Rubber Soul album by The Beatles goes number 1 and stays at the top position for 6 weeks.
- Georges Pompidou is re-appointed the French Prime Minister and forms a new government.
- Harold Wilson, leader of the Labour party, wins the British general election.
- USSR’s Luna 10 becomes the first spacecraft to orbit the Moon.
- The White House Conference on Civil Rights is attended by 2,400 people.
- England beat West Germany 4-2 to win the FIFA World Cup.
- Queen Elizabeth II officially opens The Severn Bridge.
- In Aberfan, South Wales, 116 children and 28 adults are killed as a coal waste heap slid and engulfed a school.
- Both America and USSR sign a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons in outer space.
- The Beatles release “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band“, nicknamed “The Soundtrack of the Summer of Love”.
- BBC Two transmits tennis coverage from Wimbledon in colour. This is the first time that television is broadcast in colour in the United Kingdom and a full colour service begins on the channel from 2nd December.
- BBC Radio One, BBC Radio Two, BBC Radio Three and BBC Radio Four are all launched.
- The Concorde is unveiled in Toulouse, France.
- Queen Elizabeth II appoints Cecil Day-Lewis as British Poet Laureate.
- The Beatles’ album Magical Mystery Tour goes to number 1 in the charts.
- At the age of 87, Jeannette Rankin, a congresswoman from Montana, leads some 5,000 women on a march in Washington D.C. to protest the Vietnam War.
- Elvis Presley receives a gold record for the album How Great Thou Art.
- The My Lai massacre occurs; one of the most controversial incidents of the Vietnam War, in which 400 unarmed Vietnamese civilians are killed.
- Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral takes place, and he is buried in Atlanta.
- The Northern Ireland Prime Minister Terence O’Neill meets the British Prime Minister Harold Wilson for talks about Northern Ireland.
- The Beatles’ White Album goes to number 1 in the charts and stays there for 9 weeks.
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- Richard Milhous Nixon succeeds Lyndon Baines Johnson as the 37th President of the United States of America.
- The Beatles give their last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records.
- The Boeing 747 takes-off on its maiden flight.
- Prince Charles is invested with the title ’Prince of Wales’ at Caernarfon in a televised ceremony.
- Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the Moon.
- Regular colour television broadcasts begin on BBC One and ITV.
- John Lennon returns his MBE medal in protest to the British government’s support of the war in Vietnam.