Thursday, April 4, 2013


1963 was the greatest year of the American Century -- the only one in which the United States matched its military and economic strength with its moral restraint, purpose, and wisdom. Beginning this month, we'll be highlighting the many ecstasies of '63, and its Stations of the Cross, leading to the Golgotha of Dallas. (The day, as Norman Mailer wrote, the postmodern world was born.)

In April: the 4-month-old New York City newspaper strike ends on the 7th, with the Sunday edition of the Times coming in at over 700 pages, weighing almost 8 pounds. On the 10th, a United States nuclear submarine named Thresher sinks off the coast of Massachusetts killing all 129 men on board. Also on the 10th, an assassination attempt is made on the life of retired Army General Edwin Walker, at his home in Dallas, Texas. It fails. The Warren Commission later tries to frame Lee Harvey Oswald for this shooting. The most beautiful encyclical ever coming from the Vatican is released on April 11th -- Pope John XXIII's Pacem in Terris. Herbie Nichols, the greatest jazz pianist of his time, dies on the 12th, of leukemia at the age of 44. April 15th, the White House announces that Jacqueline Kennedy is pregnant. April 16th, Martin Luther King, Jr. releases his Letter from Birmingham Jail. On the 27th, Bob Hayes becomes the first human to run the 100 meter dash in less than 10 seconds.