May 20, 2011 in Nation/World

In brief: Beatlemania on display in photos

 

New York – It was 1964. Beatlemania ruled. Two days after their momentous debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” the Fab Four boarded a train from New York for Washington, D.C., for their first U.S. concert. An enterprising 18-year-old Mike Mitchell was there, a press pass in hand, shooting photographs just feet away.

Forty-seven years later, Mitchell has made 50 silver gelatin prints from his negatives of the event and the Beatles’ Sept. 3, 1964, performance at the Baltimore Civic Center. He’s offering them for sale at Christie’s New York auction house on July 20. The total pre-sale estimate is $100,000; the images will be sold individually.

Mitchell laughs when he describes the scene at the indoor arena that night – not only of screaming fans but also of his unrestricted access to the stage. No cordoned-off media pens, no tight security.

“It was a long time ago. Things weren’t that way then,” the 65-year-old said in a telephone interview from Washington, where he lives and works as an art photographer.

Mitchell stored the negatives all these years in a box in the basement of his home.

Flooding fears ease slightly

Vicksburg, Miss. – The Mississippi River crested at more than 14 feet above flood stage in Vicksburg on Thursday, a slightly lower than expected level that eased worries about water potentially spilling over a nearby levee and inundating thousands more acres of farmland.

But officials warned that the flood was by no means over. The river was expected to stay at its crest for several days before beginning a long, slow retreat.

Also Thursday, authorities reported the first person to die in Mississippi floodwaters since the mighty river began climbing out its banks last month – a 69-year-old man who apparently collapsed in the high water.

Astronauts install ray detector

Cape Canaveral, Fla. – Endeavour’s astronauts accomplished the No. 1 objective of their mission Thursday, installing a $2 billion cosmic ray detector on the International Space Station.

But hours after astronauts finished that work, NASA said it might add one more job: a detailed inspection this weekend of a troublesome damaged thermal tile on the space shuttle’s belly.

The space fliers used a pair of robot arms to remove the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer from the shuttle, then hoist it onto the sprawling framework on the right side of the station.

The instrument will search for antimatter and dark matter for the rest of the life of the station, and hopefully help explain how the cosmos originated.


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