Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A serious case of Beatlemania in Arkansas

Posted By on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 8:43 AM

THEY LOVED THEM YEAH, YEAH, YEAH: Ecstatic fans were a staple in the Beatles heyday.
  • gallerynucleus.com
  • THEY LOVED THEM YEAH, YEAH, YEAH: Ecstatic fans were a staple in the Beatles' heyday.
Thanks to Eric Francis for a direction to Slate's history blog and a fun entry on the depth of Beatlemania in 1964. They've unearthed letters from the National Archives written when the Labor Department tightened rules on entry of foreign entertainers into the U.S. Exemptions were allowed, but the news gave rise to a panic among fans that the Beatles had been barred from the U.S. (Wait: Do I need to explain who the Beatles were?)

Letters included one from a 15-year-old in El Dorado.

Janelle Blackwell’s arguments in this letter rested mostly on her own health and wellness. (“I and three other girls were so upset we couldn’t go to school today.”) Blackwell asked that her letter be treated as a business letter, though she acknowledged that she wasn’t quite sure how to write one: “This letter I know is not in good form of any kind … but I feel terrible. I’m 15 and I feel like 80.”

Slate links the actual letter, which includes this closing page:

page2.gif

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