EXIT OF THE DAY:
Hear this…. HERE!
EXIT 1; I-678s, JFK, Ozone Park, n of Belt Parkway
Over there you may think you are looking at JFK Airport, but actually you are looking at the site of an invasion — an invasion from a foreign country.
On February 7, 1964 the British Invasion began. It started right here at JFK airport. It came in the form of four mop top musicians from Liverpool. The Beatles had landed!
John Paul, George, and Ringo stepped from a Pan Am airliner to greet tens of thousands of screaming teenagers. One sign said, “Please STAY here FOREVER!”. From here they commenced their first concert tour of the USA.
After the Beatles came the Rolling Stones, The Kinks, and numerous other British Rock sensations. This was known as the British Invasion.
Tens of thousands of world famous celebrities discreetly slip through Customs at JFK International to enter the United States. Perhaps that was why the city authorities thought it imperative to make a grand first impression.
John F Kennedy airport was one of the first Airports that melded architectural beauty with functional design. World Famous architects like Skidmore, Owens and Merrill, I M Pei are represented with the most famous likely the TWA Flight Center of 1962, designed by Eero Saarinen and known for its distinctive winged-bird shape and now home to Jet Blue.
JFK was originally built on Idlewild Beach Golf Course and named Idlewild Airport. The first airline flight from JFK was on July 1, 1948; the opening ceremony was attended by then President Harry Truman. To push acceptance of the new airport, The Port Authority cancelled foreign airlines' permits to use LaGuardia, forcing them to move to JFK during the next couple of years.
It is the busiest international air passenger gateway into the United States, handling fifty nine million passengers in 2015. While the size has expanded to almost 5000 acres, the number of Terminals has been reduced from 10 terminals to 7. Over seventy airlines operate out of the airport, with non-stop or direct flights to destinations in all six inhabited continents.
As for the Beatles…John Lennon actually did move here. He eventually moved to New York City and despite push back from Richard Nixon's conservative pals in Washington, John became an American Citizen.
How soon will they have regularly scheduled flights to the last continent, Antarctica? No one can say. But maybe if Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the last living Beatles, do a tour there, the crowds will follow!
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