When The Beatles performed on The Ed Sullivan Show 50 years ago today, on 9 February 1964, they were seen by a record-breaking viewing audience of over 73 million (according to the US Census Bureau, the population in 1964 was 191,888,791) - or, 60% of American televisions tuned in to see their live national television debut.
And reportedly, the crime rate rate dipped to an a 50-year low (BBC).
"We were aware that Ed Sullivan was the big one because we got a telegram from Elvis and the Colonel. And I’ve heard that while the show was on there were no reported crimes, or very few. When The Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, even the criminals had a rest for ten minutes." (George Harrison, The Beatles Anthology)
This is me in hospital, the second time, mind you. With TB, we used to just sit in this parkland and in the grass ward, getting all the fresh air because where I come from it wasn’t very fresh. There was lots of TB in out neighbourhood, and before streptomycin they used to just sit in the living room and die, whoever had it. That was just the answer; they couldn’t cure it. That’s Nurse Edge. She was so great to us all.
- Ringo Starr