Fifty years ago, on February 7, 1964, there was a major event in music in America: The Beatles landed on these shores as a group for the first time (George had been here the summer before, to visit his sister and her family, who lived in Illinois), followed by their historic appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, and the subsequent outbreak of Beatlemania across the nation. On February 11, 1964, The Beatles performed their first concert in the U.S. at the Washington Coliseum, followed by a second concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City the next day. The band returned to the U.S. in August of that year as well as in August of 1965 for tours.
The Ed Sullivan Theater will unveil a special marquee honoring the event, featuring the same wording as appeared on February 9 in 1964. A 4’x 2′ piece of plastic backdrop autographed by the Fab Four will be auctioned and is expected to bring as much as a million dollars. A TV special on the 9th will feature David Letterman walking Paul and Ringo through the Sullivan theater and capturing their comments, as well as a Grammy-sponsored tribute show featuring a variety of musical artists honoring The Beatles. A variety of other multimedia and web events are scheduled to take place that night as well.