This Day in History: Beatles Arrive in New York February 7, 1964 Arriving at Kennedy Airport, the visit marked the British rock band's first to the U.S. and the arrival of "Beatlemania." They were greeted by 3,000 screaming fans who caused a near riot when they stepped off their plane. Two days later, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison made their first appearance on the popular 'Ed Sullivan Show.' About 40 percent of the U.S. population — 73 million U.S. television viewers — tuned in to watch. The Beatles’ first American tour left a major imprint in the nation’s cultural memory. The band was the perfect catalyst for America's youth to shift away from the culturally rigid landscape of the 1950s.