On this day 55 years ago, The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show before a record-setting audience of Americans waiting to see them perform their No. 1 hit “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Never before had so many viewers tuned-in to a live television program; with 73 million viewers, it totaled three-fourths of the total adult audience in the U.S.

The band recorded two more songs that night for other broadcasts, Please Please Me and Twist and Shout (see below). WATCH the clip of Sullivan introducing the third broadcast performance, speaking warmly of “their conduct as fine youngsters”…  (1964)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Volleyball was invented by William Morgan (1895)
  • Jamaica became independent (1962)
  • Satchel Paige became the first Negro League player in the Baseball Hall of Fame (1971)
  • Voters in Lithuania voted for independence (1991)
  • The Vance-Owen peace plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina was announced (1994)
  • Space Shuttle astronauts Bernard A. Harris, Jr. and Michael Foale become the first African-American and first Briton to perform spacewalks (1995)

And on this day in 1998, the first annual Random Acts of Kindness Week began. Originally, the idea to “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty” came to Anne Herbert while sitting in a Sausalito cafe during the 1980s. After writing the idea on a napkin, she wrote a 1991 book about it, for ages 7 and up. This year, the week-long campaign will run the second week of February, culminating in RAK Day on Feb. 17kindness-founders

And, Happy 77th Birthday to singer–songwriter Carole King, whose life was portrayed on Broadway in The Carole King Musical.

Carol Klein, a Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah, she wrangled her way into the record business as a teen and soon had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock n roll. But when her personal life began to unravel, she found her true calling, singing her own songs, and she released one of the biggest selling albums of all time, Tapestry. (1942)

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