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[VIDEO] July 10, 1964 | Beatles Press Conference in Liverpool

July 10, 1964 - Fantastic scenes marked the return of the Beatles to their hometown of Liverpool tonight.

They got a frenzied welcome from at least 100,000 fans — “the biggest thing that has ever happened in Liverpool,” said Chief Constable Joseph Smith.

At least 40 people caught in the crush were taken to the hospital — and one hospital had to close its casualty ward because it could take no more cases. Ambulance men treated more than 300 who fainted in the swaying, screaming crowds.

The greatest ever welcome for the Beatles began at 5:25 p.m., when their airliner touched down at Speke airport, Liverpool.

Five thousand shrieking, banner-waving fans were waiting there — but all that most saw of their idols was the mopheaded musicians submerged in a sea of policemen.

All police leaves in the city had been suspended, and reinforcements were rushed to the airport in double-decker buses.

Chief Constable Smith was brushed aside as the fans broke through a cordon and tried to touch the Beatles.

And the storming welcome went on all the way along the seven-mile route from the airport to the town hall, where the Beatles had a civic reception before the premiere of their film, “A Hard Day’s Night.”

As the Beatles’ limousine, followed by two official cars, crawled into the center of the city, the police linked arms and leaned at an angle of 45 degrees to keep back the cheering crowds.

Teenagers were bowled over in the rush. “They went down like ninepins,” said one police officer.

Castle Street, in front of the town hall, was jammed with people — and three mobile first-aid stations worked at top pressure.

Girls sat along the wall of an insurance building waiting for treatment. Others, who appeared to be hysterical, had sponges of water flung into their faces — which were also slapped by nurses.

When the Beatles appeared on the balcony of the town hall with the Lord Mayor, Alderman Louis Caplan, the crowd went crazy.

Casualties being treated in the street rose from their stretchers on the pavement and fought men and women police to get back in front of the town hall.

Mounted police rode down the street to block the way. Girls screamed more loudly when they realized they could not get through.

The crowd in front of the Town Hall kept calling back the Beatles, who eventually pointed to their watches to indicate that it was time for the civic reception at which there were 650 guests.

On their way to the reception, the Beatles came across the Liverpool City Police Band.

Paul McCartney grabbed a trumpet, George Harrison a horn, and Ringo Starr whipped the conductor’s baton from the hands of a chief inspector.

Outside, the excitement was dying down.

And Chief Constable Smith wiped his brow and said: “I estimate that at least 100,000 people turned out. The crowds were quite fantastic. The only thing I am sorry about is that so many people have been hurt.”

Earlier, after arriving at the airport, the Beatles had held a press conference full of noise and confusion.

John Lennon began the conference with: “Anyone from Liverpool here?”

Fellow Beatles Paul McCartney said: “We have no intention of going to South Africa or to any other places in America where there is segregation for the audiences.”


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