Over 73 million Americans gathered around television sets to see what all the excitement was about.
For several weeks American radio stations had been saturating the airwaves with Beatles music.
The power of radio had led to sales of millions of Beatles singles and albums.
For weeks, the country had been warned "The Beatles Are Coming!"
The American press picked up on the story, with several magazines and newspapers running feature stories on the group.
Two days earlier, CBS and ABC showed film of The Beatles' arrival in America at New York's Kennedy Airport on their evening news shows.
But the big event was The Beatles' first live appearance on American television, which took place on the country's most popular, variety program "The Ed Sullivan Show".
The excitement began shortly after 8 p.m. EST when Sullivan gave his famous introduction:
"Now yesterday and today our theater's been jammed with newspapermen and hundreds of photographers from all over the nation and these veterans agreed with me, that the city never has the excitement stirred by these youngsters from Liverpool, who call themselves The Beatles. Now tonight, you're gonna twice be entertained by them. Right now and again in the second half of our show. Ladies and gentlemen, The Beatles. Let's bring them on."
Sullivan's last words were drowned out by the screaming young girls in attendance at CBS Studio 50.
After Paul McCartney's count-in, the group opened with one of the more popular tracks from their Capitol album, "All My Loving". It was an energetic performance that showed the Beatles had total command of the situation. The girls yelled and bounced in their seats for the entire song. Upon its completion, the crowd screamed even louder and wildly applauded as the group bow in unison.
Paul took the spotlight again on "Till There Was You". A lovely ballad from "The Music Man" that even, the adults in the audience could appreciate. Although the girls were quiet at first, the screaming resumed early on, with one youngster shouting "Ringo" as George Harrison took a solo on, his Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar.
During the song, the camera focused on each member of the group, with his first name superimposed on the screen.
When it came time for John Lennon, "SORRY GIRLS, HE'S MARRIED" appeared below his name.
The relative calm of the ballad was quickly shattered by a rocking version of "She Loves You" that provided a bold demonstration of the big beat sound. The loudest screams occurred each time John, Paul, and George went "Woooo" and shook their heads. When it was over The Beatles took their customary bow.
Thirty-five minutes later, Sullivan introduced the group's second segment with a simple,"Ladies and gentlemen, once again." the Beatles then played boot-tapping versions of both sides of their Capitol single, "I Saw Her Standing There"
and the No. 1 hit "I Want to Hold Your Hand."
During these songs, as well as the earlier performances, the cameramen did a superb job of capturing the Beatles and the excitement of the event, despite being unable to hear. the director's instructions through their headphones over the screaming girls. The last song effectively mixed long shots, close-ups, crowd shots and a move in and out on drummer Ringo Starr, by a mobile crane camera.
After taking their bows, John, Paul and George removed their instruments and Ringo jumped down from his drum riser.
The group then headed over to Sullivan to shake hands and wave to the crowd.
Reference = Beatlesagain.com/the-beatles-on-ed-sullivan