11/22/2013 10:48 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

A look back at some Canadian headlines, trends in 1963

A look back at some of the Canadian headlines, trends and hits from pop culture in the months, weeks and days leading up to the assassination of U.S. president John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963:

Canada has a freshly elected prime minister in Lester Pearson, who defeated the incumbent, John Diefenbaker, in an April vote. Pearson campaigned on creating a new Canadian flag, reforming health care, and creating what would become the Canada Pension Plan.


Poet Leonard Cohen, then 29, releases his first novel, "The Favourite Game," to mixed reviews from critics, who are quick to call it a veiled autobiography. "In Canada, people really can't accept the fact that anything good comes out of their neighbour's house, this is a particular Canadian failing," Cohen says in an interview with the CBC. "The attitude of the reviewers is a kind of head-patting review, like, 'This is very good, this is his first novel.'"


Gordie Howe scores his 545th career goal in a game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 10, passing Maurice Richard as the all-time leading scorer. It would take 30 years before Wayne Gretzky broke that record. Terry Sawchuk also notched his 94th shutout in the same game, which tied the record for most ever shutouts. He would go on to rack up 103 shutouts, a record that stood until 2009, when it was broken by Martin Brodeur.


Future Canadian baseball Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins has his first year in the minor leagues.


Notable Canadians born in 1963:

Mike Myers

Yann Martel

Hockey hall of famers Doug Gilmour, Dale Hawerchuk, Al MacInnis

Roch Voisine

Curler Sandra Schmirler

Norm Macdonald

Former astronaut Julie Payette

Laureen Harper


Other celebrities born in 1963:

Michael Jordan

Conan O'Brien

Johnny Depp

Whitney Houston

Brad Pitt


Push-button phones begin to become available to consumers in the United States in November 1963. It takes a few more months before they're offered by Bell in Canada.


The term "Beatlemania" is coined in England as the Fab Four have a hit with "She Loves You" and begin exploding in popularity.


Other chart toppers include "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen, "Hey Paula" by Paul & Paula, "It's My Party" by Lesley Gore, and "Be My Baby" by The Ronettes.


Prime Minister Lester Pearson launches the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. It would lead to the passing of the Official Languages Act in 1969.


Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his famous "I Have a Dream" speech before hundreds of thousands of civil rights supporters during the March on Washington on Aug. 28.


The Canadian TV show "The Littlest Hobo" premieres.


The year's top films include "Cleopatra," "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," "Bye Bye Birdie" and "The Great Escape."