John Lennon and Yoko Ono flew to Toronto, Canada on this day to begin the next stage of their peace campaign. To coincide with the launch, huge posters and billboards were erected in 12 countries proclaiming “War is over! If you want it. Happy Christmas from John & Yoko”.
The campaign was launched in 12 major cities: New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Rome, Athens, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Helsinki. The posters were white with stark black lettering. Two years later Lennon turned the message into the basis for his Christmas song ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’.
In some of the countries the message was translated into the native language. In Toronto, 30 roadside billboards were set up, as well as thousands of posters and handbills. Only in London were the posters defaced.
Also on this day...
- 1969: Plastic Ono Band live at Lyceum Ballroom, London
- 1969: Mixing, editing: Get Back album
- 1969: Ringo Starr records a charity appeal for BBC radio
- 1966: Recording, mixing: Strawberry Fields Forever
- 1964: US album release: Beatles ’65
- 1963: Television: Thank Your Lucky Stars
- 1962: Live: Majestic Ballroom, Birkenhead
- 1961: Live: Tower Ballroom, New Brighton, Wallasey
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.