On 7 February 1964, The Beatles arrived at the newly renamed John F Kennedy airport to a euphoric reception. ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ had hit number one on Billboard the previous week, and America was finding itself, to its entire surprise, being surfed on a curl of optimism, suddenly borne up and over the quagmire of despair which had threatened to engulf them since the murder less than three months before.
I’m old enough to remember those two events, and mature enough to draw parallels. Today, 20/1/09, I saw something very akin to 7/2/64 . Akin, not alike. The tragedy America emerged from then, with the Beatles’ help, can’t in any sense be compared to the tragedy America is going to emerge from, soon, by Barack’s will. But the spirit I saw and heard this afternoon, in his address and in Washington Mall, was that exact same spirit of young America. It worked then and it’ll work now. God bless.