1964: Beatlemania

At the start of 1964, the Beatles were at the top of the charts in the UK, but had just started to attract audiences overseas with songs from their first two albums Please Please Me and With the Beatles. Radio airplay and a broad marketing campaign in the U.S. quickly drove huge record sales and enormous enthusiasm among new fans -- the band and their sound were something new and exciting, and they were coming to America. John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison set off on a series of tours in 1964, starting in Europe, later visiting the United States, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. Beatles fans were so excited and determined to see the band that police sometimes resorted to using fire hoses to hold them back. Their first televised concert in the U.S. was on the Ed Sullivan Show, on February 9, 1964. 73 million viewers watched that performance -- 34 percent of the American population. Below are images of the Beatles' big year, in roughly chronological order, as the world discovered Beatlemania. This is the third of five entries focusing on events of the year 1964 this week (and next Monday). Later entries will feature images from Alaska's Good Friday earthquake and the New York World's Fair.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

    America’s Tent Cities for the Homeless

    More than 500,000 people were homeless in the United States at the end of last year. Many who find themselves living on the streets find a level of community and security in homeless encampments.

  • AP

    A Wild Elephant Runs Loose in an Indian City

    A wild elephant wandered into the streets and alleys of Siliguri, India, on February 10, leaving behind a trail of startled residents, damaged structures, trampled cars, and smashed motorbikes.

  • Christophe Simon / AFP / Getty

    Carnival 2016 Around the World

    Recent images of carnivals around the world, including images from Spain, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Lithuania, Bolivia, and more.

  • Joseph Eid / AFP / Getty

    Newlyweds in the Ruins: A Syrian Wedding Photo Shoot

    In Homs, Syria, where entire city blocks have been reduced to rubble by years of civil war, a Syrian wedding photographer thought of using the destruction of the city as a backdrop for pictures of newlywed couples to show that life is stronger than death.

Join the Discussion