Photo of barrage balloon from America from the Great Depression to World War II, at the Library of Congress.
Today in Odd History
Beatles Wallpaper Arrives in America (February 21, 1964)
Today in Odd History, Britain shipped 24,000 rolls of Beatles wallpaper to the US, just 2 days before the Fab Four's third appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
The Beatles started their first American tour on February 7, 1964. On February 9 they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing All My Loving, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There, and I Want To Hold Your Hand, which had hit the top of the US Billboard Chart on February 1. An estimated 73 million people watched the show. Popular legend has it that crime levels dropped dramatically during the broadcast, although these reports have never been verified. A whirlwind schedule of concerts and public appearances followed, including a press concert at the Plaza Hotel in New York on February 10, a concert in Washington DC on February 11, a concert at Carnegie Hall on the 12th, another appearance on Ed Sullivan on the 16th, this one broadcast from Miami Beach, and a final appearance on Ed Sullivan on February 23, which was broadcast from a previously taped performance.
Beatlemania had reached the United States. And the merchandisers weren't far behind. Beatles wallpaper, which had only become available in Britain in January, 1964, was only one item in an ever-growing catalog of Beatles merchandise. There were lunchboxes, rings, oil paintings, wigs, guitar-shaped cakes and Beatles boots. By 1966, Northern Music, in the UK, was exporting $1 million worth of "Beatleware" to the US annually.
Almost 40 years later, the magic has barely faded. Despite the deaths of John Lennon, in 1980, and George Harrison, in 2001, the music, and the merchandise, live on.
Beatles Wallpaper image is В© Beatlebay
I Am The Beatles
Urban Legends Reference Pages
This Month With The Beatles
Today-in-History Page of Scope Systems
D.T.'s Today In All Kinds Of History!
Acme Toy Co., Beatles Items
Pop Music as a Possible Medium in Secondary Education (Philip Tagg, Manchester 1966)
More about the Beatles' first American tour:
The Beatles - The First U.S. Visit, by Albert and David Maysles.
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