John Lennon and Beatles History for MayHistory offers
a chance
to truly
how the past
impacts the now.

Follow our
daily timelime
of historical
events to
discover the
role The Beatles
played in changing
the modern world.


London's Piccadilly Circus area.1896--The first “horseless carriage” show is held in London.

1932--Piccadilly Circus is lit by electricity for the first time.

British actor, Albert Finney, broke into international stardom with his lead role in the then-racy film, Tom Jones.1936--Actor Albert Finney is born in Salford, England.

1937--Sonny Curtis is born in Meadow, Texas. He was guitarist for The Crickets on such songs as That'll Be the Day (1957) and Peggy Sue (1957). He also played lead guitar for The Everly Brothers.

1941--The English Army breaks German spy codes.

1942--Tommy Roe is born in Atlanta, Georgia. He had 11 Top 40 hits between 1962 and 1971. His first hit, Sheila (1962), was a rip-off of Buddy Holly's Peggy Sue. His other hits include Sweet Pea (1966), Dizzy (1969) and Jam Up, Jelly Tight (1969). Roe, along with Chris Montez, toured the UK with The Beatles, just prior to Beatlemania.

The sixties pop group, The Cyrkle1944--Don Dannemann is born in Brooklyn, New York. He was lead singer and guitarist for The Cyrkle, a band formed while the members were attending Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Brian Epstein agreed to manage the band, and John Lennon came up with their name. Their hits include Red Rubber Ball (1966) and Turn Down Day (1966).

A London launderette, circa 1950s.1949--Britain's first launderette opens in Queensway, London.

1960--The United States becomes the first country to legalize the use of the birth control pill.

1961--The Beatles perform at the Top Ten Club, Reeperbahn, Hamburg, West Germany.

1962--The Beatles perform at the Star-Club, Hamburg, West Germany.

1962--Brian Epstein and George Martin meet for the second time. Martin offers to meet with The Beatles at Abbey Road studios on June 6. Without making a firm commitment, Martin essentially offered The Beatles a recording contract, provisional upon the outcome of their June 6 audition / recording session. Although Martin gave no guarantees, Epstein was confident enough to telegraph The Beatles in Hamburg, "Congratulations boys. EMI request recording session. Please rehearse new material." Epstein then sent a telegram to Mersey Beat editor Bill Harry, saying "Have secured contract for Beatles to recorded [sic] for EMI on Parlaphone [sic] label. First recording date set for June 6."

Jazz great, Louis Armstrong1964--Louis Armstrong breaks The Beatles' 14-week streak of consecutive #1 hit songs with Hello Dolly, knocking I Want to Hold Your Hand off the top of the American singles chart. But at No. 2 is Do You Want to Know a Secret, and at No. 35 is Thank You Girl.

1964--Dusty Springfield is the first British Invasion artist to perform on Dick Clark’s "American Bandstand."

1964--Chuck Berry begins a British tour. It's his first since serving a three-year jail term for consorting with an underage prostitute.

1965--The Beatles continue filming various location shots for the movie, "Help!"

Bob Dylan in concert in London, England on May 9, 1965.1965--The Beatles attend a Bob Dylan concert at London's Royal Albert Hall. They spend the evening with Dylan after the show. Dylan's music especially impresses John Lennon and George Harrison, and future Beatles compositions and recordings will bear the mark of Dylan's influence.

1966--The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). Recording For No One. John Lennon and George Harrison make no contribution to this song. Recording ten takes of piano / drum basic tracks, then Paul overdubs clavichord and Ringo Starr overdubs cymbals and maracas. The remaining overdubs will be made at a later date.

1967--The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). A long session (seven and one-quarter hours) with no real focus. It yields only a 16-minute untitled instrumental jam featuring two guitars (one of them vibrato), drums, and harmonium. Mark Lewisohn, perhaps misjudging the creative process, considers this particular session to have been "unproductive" and the recording to have been "out-of-tune."

1968--John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Derek Taylor, “Magic” Alex Mardas, and The Beatles’ old school friend, Ivan Vaughan, meet at Apple to plan the founding of an idealistic school for the children of The Beatles and their staff.

A piece of a poem by William Blake. Too bad Zapple didn't follow through with their plans to record classic poetry.1969--The Beatles launch their new Zapple label, reserved for avant-garde and spoken-word recordings. This day marks the UK release of LPs by John Lennon and George Harrison. The first release on the Zapple label is John Lennon / Yoko Ono’s Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With the Lions. Tracks: Cambridge 1969, No Bed For Beatle John, Baby's Heartbeat, Two Minutes Silence, and Radio Play. The second album released on the Zapple label is George Harrison’s Electronic Sound. Tracks: Under the Mersey Wall and No Time or Space. Despite the plans for a series of poetry LPs and similar literary ventures, notably an album of Allen Ginsberg performing the works of William Blake, Zapple never releases another record.

1969--Paul McCartney, using the pseudonym Paul Ramon, assists Steve Miller in the recording of the song My Dark Hour. Paul plays bass and drums, and sings backing vocals.

1970--Fluxfest continues with “Weight and Water by John And Yoko,” which involves flooding the Canal Street exhibition room.

1970--Richard Williams ends his in-depth Melody Maker review of the Let It Be album by writing: “The Beatles are dead...Long live the Beatles.”

1972--The Lennons travel to Washington, D.C. to lobby senators for support in their deportation battle.

The painting "Scream" by Edvard Munch is very commonly used to depict "going insane."1975--As part of a succession of high-profile appearances, John Lennon travels to Philadelphia, where for three days and nights, he helps out with the “WFIL Helping Hand Radio Marathon,” an event to raise money for multiple sclerosis. He talks on the phone and even does a short stint reading the weather. He was invited to do the show by DJ Larry Kane, whom John met during The Beatles first visit to the US in February 1964.

1979--There's a Beatles reunion of sorts as Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr all attend the wedding of Eric Clapton to Harrison's ex-wife, Pattie.

1989--Vice President Dan Quayle says in a speech for the United Negro College Fund: "What a waste it is to lose one's mind," instead of "a mind is a terrible thing to waste."

For more day-by-day history go to

History Index