This Day in History, February 7, 1964

A bit of fun, and a trip down memory lane.

Beatles arrive in New York

On February 7, 1964, Pan Am Yankee Clipper flight 101 from London Heathrow lands at New York’s Kennedy Airport–and “Beatlemania” arrives. It was the first visit to the United States by the Beatles, a British rock-and-roll quartet that had just scored its first No. 1 U.S. hit six days before with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” At Kennedy, the “Fab Four”–dressed in mod suits and sporting their trademark pudding bowl haircuts–were greeted by 3,000 screaming fans who caused a near riot when the boys stepped off their plane and onto American soil.

Two days later, Paul McCartney, age 21, Ringo Starr, 23, John Lennon, 23, and George Harrison, 20, made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, a popular television variety show. Although it was difficult to hear the performance over the screams of teenage girls in the studio audience, an estimated 73 million U.S. television viewers, or about 40 percent of the U.S. population, tuned in to watch.

The Beatles’ first American tour left a major imprint in the nation’s cultural memory. With American youth poised to break away from the culturally rigid landscape of the 1950s, the Beatles, with their exuberant music and good-natured rebellion, were the perfect catalyst for the shift. Their singles and albums sold millions of records, and at one point in April 1964 all five best-selling U.S. singles were Beatles songs. By the time the Beatles first feature-film, A Hard Day’s Night, was released in August, Beatlemania was epidemic the world over. Later that month, the four boys from Liverpool returned to the United States for their second tour and played to sold-out arenas across the country.

This entry was posted in History, Nostalgia, The Culture. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to This Day in History, February 7, 1964

  1. nyetneetot says:

    Little known alternative facts include the songs prior to hitting it big;

    “I Want to Hold Your Appendages”

    “I Want to Hold Your Extremities”

    “I Want to Hold Your Forelimb”

    Liked by 4 people

  2. kinthenorthwest says:

    Not nice Stella–Reminding me of how old I am getting.
    In 1964 or was it 1965 I was the person that reported my High School’s sports score to a major radio station. Often they would give out press passes for the school’s newspaper to bands having concerts in Houston..
    I remember the journalism teacher coming to me first for a change on them. (Usually I went to them).
    .All I got was one pass, for the school paper. (hey I did get to be in on the Paul Revere and the Raiders one, even though I was way in the back LOL).

    Liked by 3 people

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