A quiet night in 1964 was interrupted by the unusual sound of an airliner approaching Walnut Ridge Airport. Its arrival sparked enough interest that three local teens went to investigate, only to discover John, Paul, Ringo and George walking from the plane. The Beatles, the biggest rock band in the world, had arrived at Walnut Ridge.
After performing in Dallas on that Friday evening, Sept. 18th, the Beatles were headed to a weekend vacation at Pigman Ranch, a dude ranch near Alton Mo. The ranch was owned by Reed Pigman, Sr. who operated the charter airline on which they flew.
Walnut Ridge had the closest airport that could accommodate such a large plane, so plans were for the group to land there secretly. But the secret didn't last.
Word spread quickly around town, especially among teens who, like the rest of the country, were in the throes of Beatle-mania. A crowd of several hundred was gathered at the airport by Sunday morning, Sept. 20th, to greet the Beatles. Sure enough, they arrived, John and Ringo in a small plane and Paul and George in A GMC Surburban from Pigman Ranch.
There were a few hands shaken and autographs
The stopover at Walnut Ridge was but a footnote in the history of the legendary band, but it was much more than that for the community that had a surprise encounter with the one and only Beatles. Lasting memories were made in that brief visit. Photographs, treasured stories, and this sculpture are among the ways we remember a very exciting day, and pay tribute to a truly great band.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & Space • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment. In addition, it is included in the The Beatles 🎶 series list. A significant historical date for this entry is September 18, 1964.
Location. 36° 4.136′ N, 90° 57.437′ W. Marker is in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, in Lawrence County. Marker is on Southwest 2nd Street just south of West Main Street (U.S. 412), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 110 SW 2nd St, Walnut Ridge AR 72476, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Washboard Sam (here, next to this marker); When The Beatles Came to Town (here, next to this marker); The Legacy of John A. Rhea (within shouting distance of this marker); We the residents of Lawrence Co.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 10, 2021, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. This page has been viewed 31 times since then. Photos: 1. submitted on April 13, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. 2. submitted on April 10, 2021, by Thomas Smith of Waterloo, Ill. 3. submitted on April 13, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.