This was Television on February 9

1964: “Ladies and gentlemen… The Beatles!”

An estimated 73 million viewers tuned into The Ed Sullivan Show to witness the American TV debut of rock and roll’s reigning sensation. Performing five songs over two sets, the appearance helped galvanize “Beatlemania”—a trend which indirectly worked to the benefit of another of Sullivan’s guests on this evening, a young man in the Broadway cast of Oliver! named Davy Jones, who gained fame on the Beatles-inspired comedy The Monkees two years later. -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Jim J. Bullock, wacky neighbor (58); Charlie Day, Philadelphian (37);  Ciarán Hinds, conqueror (60); Michael B. Jordan, quarterback (26); Sheila Kuehl, Dobie admirer (72); Judith Light, boss (64).

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