The Beatles arrive at JFK Airport. Photo from the Library of Congress
On February 7th 1964, Paul, John, Ringo and George, four young men from Liverpool, England got off the Pan Am 101 flight, at the newly named John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens. These four young men, all wearing black suits, black ties and black shoes were greeted at the now demolished Worldport Terminal by three large groups: 100 members of the NYPD, 200 members of the press, and over 4,000 screaming fans (mostly female).
The U.S was still in mourning over John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, Texas 77 days earlier. The nation was in need of a distraction, something to talk about besides war, assassination and riots. When Paul, John, George and Ringo first arrived in NYC 50 years ago for a performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, their first ever U.S. appearance, over 70 million people tuned in—a television record.
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center hosts a new exhibit showcasing Beatlemania and its conquest of American pop culture from 1964-1966. The exhibit titled “Ladies and Gentleman… The Beatles!” is a collaboration between the NYPL, the GRAMMY Museum® and Fab Four Exhibits. It goes in-depth with the pop culture phenomenon that was The Beatles.
The exhibit features numerous Beatles themed merchandise ranging from dolls to fashion items, and large installations showcasing how fans and businesses dealt with the arrival of the Fab Four.
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