59 years ago on February 7th, 1964
The Beatles land at JFK Airport, beginning the British Invasion in American music culture
The band was aware that their music was becoming popular in the U.S., but even they were surprised by the massive crowd gathered to herald their arrival at the airport. The airport radioed the pilot ahead of their arrival and told the band to be prepared for large crowds. An estimated 5,000 screaming fans packed the arrival area of JFK, with the event having been promoted by posters and radio stations. In their press conference, they joked with reporters, addressing their famous shaggy haircuts and saying they were also surprised by the popularity of their music. Crowds would continue to follow them during their stay at the Plaza Hotel and their historic appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show two days later. They would play two concerts at Carnegie Hall on February 12th and play before a record-breaking crowd at Shea Stadium on August 15, 1965 on their second visit to the U.S., where they were shuttled to and from the stadium in an armored truck.