NEW YORK -- The Beatles, Britain's beat singers with the mop hair-do, invaded the United States today and got a screaming reception from thousands of frantic youths.
Some said the reception rivaled that given Gen. Douglas MacArthur when he returned from Korea.
The youths, most of whom skipped school and some coming from hundreds of miles away, shouted, squealed, and waved placards as the Beatles' jetliner ground to a halt at an airport gate.
Pandemonium broke loose when the singing quartet emerged from the aircraft and the shaggy-dog-type haircut became visible. Some 1500 youths jammed a third floor observation deck, chanting "we want the Beatles." An estimated 1000 more crowded the area inside the building.
Major police security measures reserved for kings and visiting state leaders were invoked to prevent rioting that is a usual accompaniment of Beatles appearances.
"I think the world has gone mad," said one police officer who has served at John F. Kennedy International Airport for 10 years.
Veteran newsmen who have covered the airport since it was opened in 1948, as well as employes, could not recall any thing resembling today's mob scene at the arrival of other entertainment personalities.
They said the crowd rivaled that which turned out when General MacArthur was recalled from Korea by President Harry S. Truman and when Capt. Kurt Carlsen, famed skipper of the Flying Enterprise, came home.
Some of the youths already were shouting and screaming an hour before the mop-coifed entertainers arrived. They chanted "Tell 'em we love the Beatles" and waved placards which indicated that welcoming committees had come from as far away as Arkansas.
"Everybody down In Arkansas has heard about the Beatles," said John McValn, 18, a freshman at the University of Arkansas. "I drove out to see them because I want to be able to go back and tell everybody about it."
Peter King. 17, said he had hitchhiked 250 miles from Manchester, N.H., where he is a high school student to see the foursome who has wowed commoners and Queen Mother Elizabeth alike.
"This is worth cutting school for," he said.
Another boy said he lost his job because he absented himself to witness the Beatle invasion.
The Beatles' first U.S. appearance will be on the Ed Sullivan Show Sunday evening. More than 50,000 ticket requests have been received by the studio seats only 728.