Illinois History Minutes

September 28 Illinois History Minute


It’s September 28th, the day that broadcast pioneer William S. Paley was born in Chicago in 1901. Paley bought a small, struggling radio network, and built it into the Columbia Broadcasting System – CBS for short.

On this day in 1963, “20-year-old Beatles guitarist George Harrison made his U-S debut, sitting in with a rockabilly band at a VFW hall in the southern Illinois town of El Dorado. At the time, the Beatles were famous in England, where their song, “She Loves You” was their latest hit. But they were still unknown in America. On a break from touring, Harrison was in southern Illinois with his older brother Peter to visit their sister Louise, who lived in Benton. He also shopped for an electric guitar in Mount Vernon and plugged the Beatles on a teen radio show in West Frankfort. It was the only time George Harrison visited the United States as an unknown. In February of the following year, Harrison was back in the U.S. with the rest of the Beatles, as they launched their first American tour from New York City.