Saturday, May 25, 2013

Peggy Hironimus greets The Beatles as they arrive in America (Feb. 7, 1964)

Prank pays off for small-town girl in the Big Apple

New York City, Feb. 7, 1964. -- Centre County, Pennsylvania, resident Peggy Hironimus greeted English rock band The Beatles today, when they stepped off Pan Am flight 101 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City.

Standing in front of the Boeing 707, surrounded by John, Paul, George and Ringo, Ms. Hironimus seemed to be having the time of her life as she posed for photos with the Liverpool boys.  As the camera flash-bulbs ignited, John put his hand on Ms. Hironimus' shoulder and the pair grinned for the photographers while Paul, George and Ringo waved to the large crowd.

More than 3,000 fans were awaiting the group at JFK Airport, according to a spokesperson from Capitol Records, the recording label promoting The Beatles' visit to the States.

"I just can't believe I was able to sneak onto the tarmac and get to the front of the crowd," said Ms. Hironimus, who had made her own long trip from Centre County, Pennsylvania, to see the English band touch down on American soil for the first time. "I kept telling the airport security guards that I was a Capitol Records promoter, and I guess they believed me, because they let me right through."

Peggy Hironimus, of Centre County, Pennsylvania, greets The Beatles at Kennedy Airport, apparently fooling airport security and the Liverpool rock band, at least long enough to pose for some photos.

The ruse worked even better than Ms. Hironimus had planned when The Beatles stepped from the 707.

"Just as they got off the stairway, Paul looked at me and asked 'Are you the girl they sent from The Ed Sullivan Show?'," Ms. Hironimus explained. "Of course, I said 'Yes, that's me.'"

"Who would've thought a girl from a small town in Pennsylvania would be rubbing elbows with The Beatles in New York?"

[Source: Centre Daily Times. Feb. 8, 1964.]


EDITOR'S NOTE (2013): Peggy Hironimus is now Peggy Barger and resides in Florida.