First Beatle In America - George Harrison

Sep 18, 2013

It was 50 years ago this month that a young George Harrison, a virtual unknown, traveled from Great Britain to the United States.  He was coming to visit his sister, Louise, who had moved with her husband to the southern Illinois town of Benton.  

George spent a couple of weeks in that area.  He bought a classic guitar, later used on Beatles' recordings.  He also did a radio interview and camped out in the Shawnee National Forest.  

That moment in time will be commemorated this weekend when an historical marker is placed in Benton.  

William Furry is Executive Director of the Illinois State Historical Society.  "I think Louise Harrison said it best. It was the only time George could go to America and be human, just a regular person."

The home in Benton, IL where Louise Harrison lived, and her brother George visited in 1963.
Credit William Furry