What do Frank Sinatra, Gina Lollobrigida, Louis Armstrong, Chubby Checker, Warren Beatty, Peter Fonda, Ronald Reagan and Bob Hope all have in common?
They were all passengers on Air Canada or its predecessor, Trans Canada Air Lines (TCA), sometime during the past 75 years.
As part of a slew of activities to mark its 75th anniversary, Air Canada has launched a great on-line timeline with more than 300 pictures, videos and vignettes that tell the story of the airline and of the evolution of Canada’s aviation industry.
Don’t worry if you’re not really interested in Air Canada’s story. Spend a little time poking around the timeline and you’ll see some really great celebrity photos, including the Beatles posing with their wax replicas in 1965 and, from 1941, Babe Ruth.
It was the first visit to the United States by the Beatles, a British rock-and-roll quartet that had just scored its first No. 1 U.S. hit six days before with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” At Kennedy, the “Fab Four”–dressed in mod suits and sporting their trademark pudding bowl haircuts–were greeted by 3,000 screaming fans who caused a near riot when the boys stepped off their plane and onto American soil.
Here’s a great video using clips from that day:
Two days after their arrival at JFK, the Beatles made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.
“A marriage proposal in the rotunda at the F and G concourses. The guy got down on one knee right in the middle of traffic. The couple told us (Travelers assistance) that they had meet in the MSP Airport and that is where he wanted to propose. She said yes…..”
“I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, but moved up here in the early 70’s when I was in college. I recall at that time that the Lindbergh Terminal had pay toilets. $.10 to use a stall! …”
“I remember when they filmed Airport there- mom & dad brought me to the airport to watch them film the scene where Van Heflin buys the insurance at the little insurance kiosk, which was located in the upper level where the shops are all located now (If I recall correctly). Can’t watch the movie without recognizing ‘my’ airport.”
MSP has also posted some photos from its archive. My favorite is this one of the Beatles arriving at the airport in 1965.
And, if you read through the list of 50 ‘fun facts’ about MSP’s Terminal 1 – Lindbergh, you’ll learn that there was once both a drugstore and a children’s nursery in the Ticketing Lobby, that the first baggage carousels were installed in 1970 and that the pay toilets weren’t removed until the mid-1970s.
If he hadn’t been shot and killed outside his New York City apartment on December 8th, 1980, John Lennon would have been celebrating his 70th birthday today.
The day is being marked around the world with concerts and exhibits that include a bed-in and a photography exhibit that includes this iconic photograph, snapped on July 6th, 1957 on the day Paul McCartney met John Lennon in what’s considered to be the “Big Bang” moment that led to formation of The Beatles.
(by Geoff Rhind. Courtesy Paley Center for Media)
Taken by one of Lennon’s schoolmates, the snapshot above is part of an exhibition that opened this week at the Paley Center for Media in New York City. The show is filled with early, rarely-seen images, including one taken by Paul McCartney’s brother, Mike.
As they do every year on his birthday and on the anniversary of his death, Lennon fans will also gather at Strawberry Fields, the memorial site within New York City’s Central Park.
Tonight there will also be a free Central Park screening of LENNONYC,a new film by Michael Epstein with concert footage and home movies documenting Lennon’s life in New York City after the break-up of the Beatles. The film will air nationally on PBS as part of the American Masters series on November 22nd.
Here’s a preview:
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame andMuseum in Cleveland, Ohio is holding a John Lennon Weekend through Sunday that includes a concert, the sealing of a time capsule filled with Lennon’s music and items contributed by fans, as well as film highlights from both the Beatles’ and John Lennon’s inductions into the Hall of Fame. The weekend also features tours of the museum’s Beatles exhibit, which includes Lennon’s 1979 Yamaha Upright piano, his Sgt. Pepper outfit, one of his electric guitars and the 1964 Gibson J 160E acoustic guitar he and Yoko had with them for the two “bed-ins” for peace in March and May of 1969.
John Lennon's guitar. Courtesy Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Here’s a short video clip about that guitar by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame curatorial director Jim Henke.
Fans can learn more about John Lennon’s political activism in Give Peace a Chance: John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Bed-In for Peace, a traveling exhibit opening at the Lake County Discovery Museum in Wauconda, Ill. today.
On display through January 2nd, 2011 will be more than 40 large-format photos taken during the bed-in for peace John and Yoko held at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal from May 26th to June 2nd, 1969 and a re-creation of the room where the bed-in took place.
In Los Angeles, the GRAMMY Museum has opened John Lennon, Songwriter, an exhibition that displays some of John Lennon’s guitars, his signature round, wire-framed eyeglasses, his typewriter, some of his original drawings and handwritten lyrics, and photographs, posters and other artifacts and memorabilia loaned to the museum by Yoko Ono.
And in Liverpool, England is kicking off an event-filled John Lennon Tribute Season that will last through December 9th. In addition to rock, pop and classical music tributes, there will be art exhibitions, city tours, a poetry slam, lectures, an exhibition of early Beatles photos taken by Astrid Kirchherr (the girlfriend of Stuart Sutcliffe, the original Beatles’ bass player), and a Bed-In endorsed by Yoko Ono in which a curated group of participants will perform serious, humorous, commemorative or provocative actions in a publicly-sited bed over the course of 62 days.
[The original version of this story is on msnbc.com.]