Aug. 13, 1961
East German authorities begin construction of the Berlin Wall, cutting off West Berlin from the rest of West Germany. East German citizens can no longer cross to the non-communist West.
Oct. 14, 1962
U.S. surveillance aircraft find evidence of nuclear missile sites in Cuba, precipitating a Cold War crisis that over 13 days brings the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of war.
June 26, 1963
President Kennedy visits the Checkpoint Charlie crossing point and sees the Berlin Wall, before speaking to an enthusiastic crowd of 450,000 in front of West Berlin’s city hall.
Aug. 28, 1963
Martin Luther King delivers his “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
Oct. 7, 1963
President Kennedy signs the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with the United Kingdom and Soviet Union, outlawing testing in the atmosphere, in space and under water.
Nov. 1, 1963
Vietnam’s leader Ngo Dinh Diem is ousted in a military coup with U.S. encouragement, and later executed.
Nov. 22, 1963
President Kennedy is assassinated.
June 12, 1987
In a speech at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate to mark the city’s 750th anniversary, U.S. President Ronald Reagan calls on Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”