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50 Years of Beatlemania

By Daniel Fickman


Mulchrone, Vincent. “This Beatlemania.” The Daily Mail 21 Oct. 1963

Spitz, Bob. “Chapter 23/ So This Is Beatlemania.” The Beatles: The Biography. New York City: Little, Brown, 2005

Beatles Invade America. Perf. The Beatles. Universal, 1964. Newsreel

Strongin, Theodore. “The Beatles, “Musicologically”” The New York Times 10 Feb. 1964

Schneider, Cary. “What the Critics Wrote about the Beatles in 1964.” N.p., 9 Feb. 2014. Web.

Kaplan, Fred. “Teen Spirit: What Was so Important about the Beatles’ Appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show?” N.p., 10 Feb. 2014. Web.


The Birth of Beatlemania

Many music fans, journalists, and reporters debate who coined the term, “Beatlemania.” The first printed use of the term seems to have appeared in The Daily Mail, a British middle-market tabloid newspaper, on Oct. 21, 1963. The headline, “This Beatlemania” ran above a feature article written by Vincent Mulchrone. Underneath the headline Mulchrone asked, “Would you let your daughter marry a Beatle?”

About a week before this article appeared, Beatlemania really began to spread throughout the UK. The Beatles’ Oct. 13, 1963, performance on “Val Parnell’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium” made them a fixture on the nation’s front pages. And although they busted out No.1 hits including “From Me To You,” and “Twist and Shout,” it wasn’t the music that caught everyone’s attention. It was the extreme fandom surrounding them. If you watch the original recording you’ll notice that The Beatles could barely hear themselves playing.

No one had ever seen anything like this. Eyewitnesses spoke to The Daily Herald in London remarking that they saw screaming girls launching themselves at police, “sending helmets flying and constables reeling.” In a matter of months, Beatlemania was set to reach a fever pitch when The Beatles made their way over to America, kicking off the British invasion.



It was 50 years ago today…

In January 1964 “I Want to Hold Your Hand” became the band’s first No.1 hit in the U.S. Also in January TV talk show host Jack Paar gave Americans their first prime-time glimpse of Beatlemania in the UK by showing clips of their concerts and crazed fans. Excitement and anticipation was through the roof.

The British invasion truly began on Feb. 7, 1964. The Beatles arrived at JFK airport in New York City to kick off their United States tour, and they were greeted by thousands of screaming fans. Two days later one of the most important moments in rock n’ roll history occurred on “The Ed Sullivan Show.

On February 9, 1964 The Beatles made their U.S. television debut. A record-breaking 70 million viewers tuned into “The Ed Sullivan Show” to watch the fab four from Liverpool change the face of popular music in the United States. Interestingly enough, however, critical reaction to this legendary performance was mixed at the time.

On Feb. 11, 1964, one Los Angeles Times critic wrote that they were a “press agent’s dream combo.” The critic then doubled up on that insult by stating, “Not even their mothers would claim that they sing well.” On Feb. 10, Theodore Strongin who wrote for The New York Times claimed that, “The Beatles’ vocal quality can be described as hoarsely incoherent, with the minimal enunciation necessary to communicate the schematic texts.”

Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Ed Sullivan John Lennon, Paul McCartney

The Beatles performing on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” “For Educational use only.”


Roll Over Beethoven

In 2004, the 40th anniversary of “The Ed Sullivan Show” appearance, Fred Kaplan, a writer for Slate, reflected on why that specific television performance was so important in terms of U.S. pop culture.

“The Beatles took hold of our country and shook it to a different place because they were young, because their music had a young, fresh feel, and because—this is the crucial thing—our parents didn’t get it,” Kaplan stated. “The day after that Sullivan show, every boy came to school with his hair combed down as far as he could manage (which, in most cases, wasn’t very far). Some went out and bought Beatle wigs. Or saved up to buy a guitar and then got together with friends to form a band.” Kaplan also made the interesting point that most popular music before 1964 sounds ancient, while most popular music that came after that point still sounds modern today.

Regardless of what the critics said at the time, one thing is for sure: The Beatles elevated popular music in a way that had never been done before.


Daniel Fickman is a journalism senior. He can be reached at

The Wilderness Protection Act of 1964

It’s never been disputed that the 1960s was a time of change. Amidst a rapidly changing political landscape, the actual landscape of the nation was experiencing transformation as well—a devastating one. Urbanization and the development of highway systems spelled out deforestation for much of the United State’s remaining wilderness. After some urging by congress, U.S. President and Texas State alumnus Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Wilderness Act of 1964, protecting millions of acres of wild lands from the reaching arm of urbanization. In this outline for my news editor, I explain how I would cover an anniversary piece on the Act, utilizing first-person sources, photos and articles.


Why the Act Was Called For

For the introductory graf, I would advise my editor to include the events that led to the Wilderness Act’s proposal. Through my research based primarily on congressional transcripts and original articles from the late 1950s, I discovered that the act was first proposed as a response to the ever-growing concern of deforestation due to the rapidly developing interstate transportation system. Extensive railway systems and highways were threatening to destroy much of what was already considered to be a deteriorating environment. My grandfather, Dallas Moore, a rancher in the El Paso area beginning in the late 50s, said he himself witnessed the landscape changing with each passing year to make room for easier freight shipments to and from Mexico.


What the Act Entailed

Next, I would describe in detail exactly what the Wilderness Act did for the nation. According to a New York Times editorial piece in September 2014, the Act was designed to “preserve the remaining wild places from any form of development, providing the highest level of protection accorded any federal lands.” The article said when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the act in 1964, it initially protected 9 million acres. Since then, it has been amended to protect about 100 million more, many of which were turned into recreational areas by individual states.


What It Means for Today

Finally, I plan to draw parallels to modern-day environmental concerns and — perhaps more importantly — congressional bipartisanship like that shown in 1964. According to transcripts from 2011 executive orders, President Obama is making strides toward dedicating new monuments and parcels of land to states for recreational use and protection. Additionally, Congress is stalling about the fate of several environmentally important acts, including allocation of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The New York Times estimates that the United States is losing about 6,000 acres of land per day while Congress delays action.

36th President Johnson signed the Wilderness Act just a year into his presidency in 1964 | Photo courtesy of the White House commons, photographer unknown.

36th President Johnson signed the Wilderness Act just a year into his presidency in 1964 | Photo courtesy of the White House commons, photographer unknown.


Peace, Love, Revolution

Source: wikipedia

Source: wikipedia

By Francisco Lugo

About the movement

America’s golden age is typically imagined as the classical 1950’s lifestyle of the nuclear family, the suburban home, and the traditional roles of men and women to conform to this ideal. With the development of baby boomers into teenagers during the 1960’s however, the status quo came to be challenged by those people we call hippies who had had enough of the conservative traditional values they felt were being pushed onto them.

Hippies were all about breaking down societal norms and establishing their own ideas of what culture and living should be. They were very much antiestablishment and felt that corporate businesses and government created many of the problems that society faced such as war and living for money.

They dabbled in drugs, they wore flowers in their hair, the men grew out their beards, and women were encouraged to express their sexuality freely. They protested war and lived in communes, which were basically villages or compounds where people would divide tasks and live self-sustaining lifestyles.

I had never asked anybody that had lived through that time period what they thought of the hippie movement and so I talked to my grandparents about it. Although they had lived in Mexico during the time, they had heard much about the movement through media such as television and newspapers.

“All I know is that they seemed like a bunch of wanderers; vagabonds I guess you would say,” said my grandmother.

“Hippies just wanted to smoke weed and be left alone,” said my grandfather.

After this brief yet insightful mini interview, I had quickly learned that not everyone was exactly supportive of the movement. Politicians feared that hippies  Though it is true that drugs and homelessness were a large part of being a hippie, there was much more to their ideas and dreams.


Important places, events and figures of the movement

Of course with the rise of a major movement, comes the rise of important voices and faces along with it. As I briefly mentioned before, a big part of hippie culture was drugs. They would often go to concerts and festivals where they would take multitudes of drugs and explore their consciousness and sexuality. Another big aspect of the counterculture also involved  the idea of “free love”, which encouraged people to be with whoever they want whenever they want, a major change from the traditions of past America.

Big names such as Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Carlos Santana mesmerized the crowds of LSD tripping hippies with their music at various festivals, often under the influence of LSD and other drugs themselves.

In 1967, the Human Be-In at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park was the first large scale concert of the hippie movement where hundreds of people were high on drugs, with many of the aforementioned artists participating in the festivities. Because of the success of this concert, it laid down the foundation for arguably the most famous event of the entire movement; Woodstock. Held in Bethel, New York, Woodstock was a massive musical event. An estimated 500,000 people attended the concert which spanned four days.

For more details you can look at my sources here and here as well as the archives of the NY Times and Time Magazine.

Francisco Lugo is a Journalism Major at Texas State University. 

The women’s movement: liberating our voices

The faces of second-wave feminism

Heidi Kucera

Information on this piece was gathered fromThe Feminine Mystique”, by Betty Friedan.  Feb 19 1963.  pg. 10, “How do you spell Ms.”, by Abigail Pogrebin.  Oct 30 2011.  NY magazine online, “John Mack Carter, 86, Is Dead; Led ‘Big 3’ Women’s Magazines”, by Leslie Kaufman.  Sep 26 2014.  NY Times online, The Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Library of Congress.


Important Women:

The 1960s was an important era for feminism and women’s rights. Women such as Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem are associated with this era, and are even credited for sparking the beginning of second-wave feminism; the first wave having been the long journey of women’s suffrage in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Betty Friedan, author of “The Feminine Mystique”, studied American women in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and focused on her findings in this controversial book.  Friedan theorized that housewives and women in general were unhappy during this time, and she questioned the idea of whether marriage and children are what constitute happiness, or if perhaps there was something more to life than the domestic duties of homemaking and childcare.

Chapter One of “The Feminine Mystique” includes her observations:  “The problem lay buried, unspoken for many years in the eyes of American women.  It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the twentieth century in the United States.  Each suburban wife struggled with it alone.  As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night—she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question—“Is this all?” Friedan showed a curiosity in which she felt that there was more to life than being a wife or mother, and she continued to question what people expected of women in this era.


Library of Congress

Betty Friedan advocates the National Organization for Women’s intention to “put sex into section I of the New York constitution”


Another feminist, Gloria Steinem, is known for her involvement in the women’s liberation movement, also known as second-wave feminism. Steinem began working at New York magazine when it debuted in 1968.  “Radicalized by an abortion speak-out, which she covered for New York in 1969, Steinem started spending more time thinking, writing, and giving talks about feminism.”  After this, Steinem went on to fight for equal rights and then helped launch Ms. magazine.


Library of Congress. Photo by Warren K. Leffler

Gloria Steinem at news conference, Women’s Action Alliance.


Important Men:

John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which geared toward abolishing wage inequality based on sex. The law states that “No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex.”  President Lyndon B. Johnson then went on to sign the Title VII prohibition of discrimination based on sex in 1964, which “prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”

John Mack Carter was also a huge contributor to the transformation of the feminist era. He was the editor for three of the largest women’s magazines, including:  McCall’s, Ladies’ Home Journal and Good Housekeeping.  When Carter became editor in chief of McCall’s in 1961, he decided it was time to make some changes and start publishing articles that discussed issues that affected women.

“Women’s magazines were badly behind the times,” he told The New York Times in an interview in 1963. “They were using baby talk to communicate with their readers. They were failing to keep up with the rising educational levels in this country.”


john mack carter

AP Images

A group of feminists invaded John Mack Carter’s office to insist that he resign his title of editor in chief in order for a woman to replace him.  Carter understood their point, but made it clear that he wasn’t going to resign.

Women of the 1960s and their impact on today’s women

The 1960s was a pivotal moment for women. Not only did they begin to learn the importance of individualism and independency; they also finally gained many freedoms and rights that they weren’t “entitled to” in the past. The women of this era who rebelled against the norm and fought for equality are the reason that the women of today have the rights that they do.  Women such as Friedan and Steinem helped pave the way for the American women of today.

Heidi Kucera is a mother of one, and a journalism minor at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. She will graduate in May and pursue a career in teaching high-school English.  She resides in Kyle, Texas with her two-year-old son Slade.



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