The Beatles will be honored with a historical marker this Friday at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, where the group landed 50 years ago for their first trip to the United States. The marker will be unveiled by the New York Port Authority during a ceremony at JFK’s Central Terminal Area, which is also the spot where the Beatles gave their first stateside press conference.
The distinction is the latest in a string of celebratory events planned around the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Last night, Late Show with David Letterman – which films in the Ed Sullivan Theater – kicked off its “Beatles Week” with Broken Bells covering “And I Love Her” alongside a vintage video of Ringo Starr. Other acts set for this week include Sting performing “Drive My Car,” the Flaming Lips and Sean Lennon playing “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” on Wednesday and Lenny Kravitz appearing on Thursday with a song to be determined (Friday’s performer has yet to be announced).
On Sunday, CBS will also air The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute To The Beatles, which took place last month, and features not only a rare performance from Paul McCartney and Starr (who also played together during the Grammy Awards), but tributes from Stevie Wonder, Katy Perry, Dave Grohl, Pharrell, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Gary Clark, Jr., Joe Walsh and the recently reunited Eurythmics.
You can also take a peek inside the Beatles momentous trip to America in our recent Rolling Stone cover story, which covers everything from the band’s early trepidation about the trip, the American press’s early criticism of the group (“They look like shaggy Peter Pans,” Time initially wrote) and their generation-defining three-night stint on Sullivan.