Beatles' historic arrival in New York City 50 years ago gave Big Apple unforgettable lift

Monday, January 27, 2014

On Feb 7, 1964, just 77 days after the JFK assassination, the Fab Four stepped off of Pan Am Flight 101 at the newly-minted Kennedy Airport. The city and the Beatles would never be the same. They say the world doesn't change in a day. But one day, it did.

On Feb 7, 1964, events were set in motion that changed the culture so fundamentally, life for millions could be cleanly divided into before and after. When Pan Am Flight 101, carrying The Beatles, touched down at Kennedy Airport in Queens at 1:20 in the afternoon, they were met by 4,000 teenagers, 200 members of the press and more than 100 New York City police officers. “It felt as though there was a big octopus with tentacles that were grabbing the plane and dragging us down to New York,” Ringo commented in “The Beatles Anthology” documentary. “It was a dream.” “They’re so cute,” 17-year-old June Clayton of Brooklyn told The News right after the band landed. “And Ringo’s the cutest. Look at them comb their hair!” Two days later, such swoons and screams would be magnified by a factor of 70 million as the band performed for the first time in America, on the stage of the Ed Sullivan Show at 52nd St. and Broadway. Millions yelling themselves blue over pop stars wasn’t new. Frank Sinatra inspired that response decades earlier, as had Elvis ten years before the Fab Four ever arrived. 

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Source: Daily News

Photo Credit: MEHLMAN, JUDD

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