The Beatles launched the British Invasion on this day in 1964

The rock and roll world changed forever on February 7th, 1964, when  The Beatles  first arrived in America.

With "I Want to Hold Your Hand" already number-one on the radio and a deal forged two months earlier for the band to appear on  The Ed Sullivan Show , the groundwork had been laid. A then-record 72-million people tuned in.

The fresh faced witty musicians, just 21 to 23, were just what American youth -- and perhaps, the country overall -- needed to shake it from its malaise following the death of President  John F. Kennedy .

The upbeat music, inspired by  Chuck Berry  and  The Everly Brothers , but in a style all their own, took the airwaves by storm. Soon, other British artists -- starting with the rival  Dave Clark Five  a month later -- would use the Sullivan show as a springboard to American fame.

It was 1:01 p.m. ET on February 7th, 1964 when Pan Am flight 101 landed at New York's JFK Airport. Greeted by wildly cheering fans and toying with the press, the Fab Four made it clear that America hadn't seen a pop phenomenon like this since  Elvis Presley .

Ringo Starr remembered his feelings as The Beatles' fight approached and arrived in New York (courtesy of CBS News): "I felt on the plane, the buzz from New York. Before we landed, you felt the vibe and we came down... [it] was incredible."

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