On February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst, the 19-year-old daughter of newspaper publisher Randolph Hearst, is kidnapped from her apartment in Berkeley, California, by two black men and a white woman, all three of whom are armed. Her fiance, Stephen Weed, was beaten and tied up along with a neighbor who tried to help. Witnesses reported seeing a struggling Hearst being carried away blindfolded, and she was put in the trunk of a car. Neighbors who came out into the street were forced to take cover after the kidnappers fired their guns to cover their escape.
In April, however, the situation changed dramatically when a surveillance camera took a photo of Hearst participating in an armed robbery of a San Francisco bank, and she was also spotted during a robbery of a Los Angeles store. She later declared, in a tape sent to the authorities, that she had joined the SLA of her own free will.
On May 17, Los Angeles police raided the SLA's secret headquarters, killing six of the group's nine known members. Among the dead was the SLA's leader, Donald DeFreeze, an African American ex-convict who called himself General Field Marshal Cinque. Patty Hearst and two other SLA members wanted for the April bank robbery were not on the premises.
Finally, on September 18, 1975, after crisscrossing the country with her captors--or conspirators--for more than a year, Hearst, or "Tania" as she called herself, was captured in a San Francisco apartment and arrested for armed robbery. Despite her claim that she had been brainwashed by the SLA, she was convicted on March 20, 1976, and sentenced to seven years in prison. She served 21 months before her sentence was commuted by President Carter. After leaving prison, she returned to a more routine existence and later married her bodyguard. She was pardoned by President Clinton in January 2001.
"On the airplane, I felt New York," Ringo Starr said many years later. "It was like an octopus....I could feel, like, tentacles coming up to the plane it was so exciting." For the better part of a year leading up to their arrival in America on this day in 1964, the Beatles had been adjusting to the hysteria that seemed to greet them wherever they went. They had grown somewhat accustomed to the screaming hordes of teenage fans and the omnipresent pack of photographers, cameramen and reporters. They had conquered Sweden, France, Germany and their native England. Yet even the Beatles were nervous at the prospect of finally visiting the United States, a country that had seemed to react indifferently to the initial small-label release of singles like "Please Please Me" and "She Loves You" almost a year earlier. "I know on the plane over I was thinking, 'Oh, we won't make it,'" John Lennon later recalled. "But that's that side of me. We knew we would wipe them out if we could just get a grip."