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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

February 9, 1964

Welcome to another edition of the Tuesday Timeline, and a very happy Mardi Gras to all of you out there!  Have fun and collect all sorts of beads - and hopefully you won't regret how you got them either!

For today's topic, I think you'll agree that there really was no other subject that was worthy of a discussion.  Today is just one of those days where I knew what topic I wanted to talk about from the moment it arrived.

It's not often I have this happen.  Most times, I struggle to come up with a topic!

Anyway, let's see what happened in the history books on February 9.

1555 - Bishop of Gloucester John Hooper is burned at the stake

1775 - The British Parliament declares Massachusetts in rebellion during the American Revolutionary War

1825 - John Quincy Adams is elected as President of the United States by the House of Representatives following the 1824 elections in which no candidate received the majority of electoral votes

1861 - Jefferson Davis is elected Provisional President of the Confederate States of America

1870 - The United States Weather Bureau is established

1895 - The sport of volleyball is created by William G. Morgan - originally called "Mintonette"

1900 - The Davis Cup competition is established

1909 - Brazilian singer/dancer/film star Carmen Miranda (d. 1955) is born

1914 - Country singer Ernest Tubb (d. 1984) is born in Crisp, Texas

1934 - The Balkan Entente is formed

1936 - Folk singer Stompin' Tom Connors (d. 2013) is born in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

1942 - Year-round Daylight Savings Time is re-established in the United States as a way to conserve energy resources during World War II

1950 - Senator Joseph McCarthy accuses the United States Department of State as being filled with communists during the Second Red Scare

1951 - The Geochang Massacre takes place during the Korean War

1969 - The first test flight of the Boeing 747 takes place

1971 - An earthquake strikes the San Fernando Valley, killing 64 people - that same day, Satchel Paige becomes the first Negro League player to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame

1981 - Singer Bill Haley of Bill Haley & His Comets dies at the age of 55

1986 - Halley's Comet last appears in the inner Solar System - the next time this will occur will be in the year 2061

1996 - The Provisional Irish Republic Army declare an end to their 18-month long ceasefire by blowing up a large bomb in London's Canary Wharf

2009 - The first winter ascent of Makalu occurs by Simone Moro and Denis Urubko

And celebrating a birthday on February 9 are the following famous faces; Roger Mudd, Clive Swift, Barbara Young, Barry Mann, Carole King, Barbara Lewis, Joe Pesci, Alice Walker, Mia Farrow, Joe Ely, Judith Light, Charles Shaughnessy, Mookie Wilson, Holly Johnson, Anik Bissonnette, Travis Tritt, Darren Dalton, Stephin Merritt, Alejandra Guzman, Tom Scharpling, Sharon Case, Matt Gogel, Crispin Freeman, Jason Winston George, Colin Egglesfield, Amber Valletta, Charlie Day, A.J. Buckley, Irina Slutskaya, Zhang Ziyi, Tom Hiddleston, David Gallagher, Sam Coulson, Michael B. Jordan, and Jimmy Bennett.

So, what day are we revisiting this week?  Well, as mentioned before, it's a day that I knew right away what the subject was going to be all about.

That day is February 9, 1964.

Now, before I get into the discussion about the Tuesday Timeline subject, I want to tell you all about a gift that I got for Christmas that loosely ties into today's topic.

I received a desk calendar (you know, one of those calendars that you peel the dates off one by one) that is a "Blast From The Past" edition.  Every page features a trivia fact about one of three decades - the 1960s, the 1970s, and the 1980s.  Obviously, I only have memories of the 1980s, but it's a very cool calendar to have.  And, I've been posting photos of each page on my Facebook page in hopes of inspiring discussion.

Check out the page that has today's date on it.

Why, thank you "Blast From The Past" calendar for announcing the topic of today's Tuesday Timeline!

Yes, it was on this date fifty-two years ago that the group that kicked off the British Invasion first arrived on American television.  It was the date that The Beatles first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first of three nights!

It seems almost unbelievable to realize this, but it took the band nearly two years before they made it to North America.  I seem to recall that when the Spice Girls broke out onto the music scene back in 1996 that it didn't take nearly as long for them to spread their "Girl Power" to North America.

So, how did the deal go through to bring Beatlemania to the United States?

Well, as mentioned, The Beatles were already huge successes in their native UK.  The group released their first single in the fall of 1962 (a little ditty entitled "Love Me Do"), and released their first LP "Please Please Me" in March 1963.  By the end of 1963, the Beatles had already scored three #1 hits ("From Me To You", "She Loves You", and "I Want To Hold Your Hand").  Also by the end of 1963, the group was starting to break into the American market, with the latter two songs peaking at #1.

So, naturally, the group wanted to find a way to meet their American fans.

And that opportunity came one day at Heathrow Airport.

By chance, Ed Sullivan and his entourage happened to be at the airport around the same time that The Beatles were due to arrive back from Sweden.  He was blown away by just how huge the reception was for their homecoming and Sullivan compared it to the days in which Elvis Presley had gotten the same treatment.

(Mind you, this was only six or seven years after the fact, but still...The Beatles were that big!)

He approached Brian Epstein - manager of The Beatles - and made him an offer to have the group perform on his show for what was initially supposed to be one night only.  But Epstein, who knew a promotion idea when he saw it - upped the ante.  Instead of one night, he wanted the group to appear on three shows.  And while the band would work for bottom dollar, they would receive top billing in the show and be allowed to open and close each show they appeared on.

Sullivan - who also knew a good thing when he saw it - agreed.

And so, on February 9, 1964 - in front of hundreds of screaming teenage girls in the audience - The Beatles made their American debut. 

And to close this Tuesday Timeline off, let's watch part of that performance now!

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