The Beatles Land in NYC February 7, 1964

 

An estimated four thousand Beatles’ fans were present on 7 February 1964 as Pan Am Flight 101 left Heathrow Airport. Among the passengers were the Beatles, on their first trip to the United States as a band, with their entourage of photographers and journalists, and Phil Spector. When the group arrived at New York’s newly renamed John F. Kennedy Airport, they were greeted by a second large crowd, with Beatles fans again estimated to number four thousand, and journalists, two hundred.From having so many people packed in a little space, a few people in the crowd got injured. The airport had not previously experienced such a large crowd.

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After a press conference, where they first met disc jockey Murray the K, the Beatles were put into limousines—one per Beatle—and driven to New York City. On the way, McCartney turned on a radio and listened to a running commentary: “They have just left the airport and are coming to New York City…” After reaching the Plaza Hotel, the Beatles were besieged by fans and reporters. Harrison had a fever of 102 °F (39 °C) the next day and was ordered to stay in bed, so Neil Aspinall, the band’s personal assistant, replaced Harrison on guitar during the Beatles’ first rehearsal for The Ed Sullivan Show. On the 9th February 1964, the Beatles made their first live U.S. television appearance. 73 million viewers—about two-fifths of the total American population—watched the group perform on The Ed Sullivan Show at 8 P.M. According to the Nielsen ratings audience measurement system, the show had the largest number of viewers that had been recorded for a U.S. television program.
Two days after the television appearance, on 11 February 1964, the Beatles’ first U.S. concert took place, at Washington Coliseum, a sports arena in Washington, D.C. The concert was attended by eight thousand fans. The Beatles performed on a central stage in the arena, with the audience on all sides, and there were regular pauses to enable the band to turn their equipment around and perform facing in another direction. The concert generated intense excitement. The following day, the Beatles performed a second concert, in Carnegie Hall, New York, which was attended by two thousand fans. The concert was again well received. Following the Carnegie Hall concert, the Beatles flew to Miami Beach and on Sunday 16 February 1964 made their second television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, which this time was broadcast live from the Napoleon Ballroom of the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach. As it had done on 9 February, the television broadcast attracted around 70 million viewers. On 22 February 1964, the Beatles returned to the UK. Arriving at Heathrow airport at 7 am, they were met by an estimated ten thousand fans

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