December 1969 was an unusually busy time for John Lennon and Yoko Ono. They took part in two UK television documentaries, gave a series of interviews, appeared in a televised debate about religion, made the film Apotheosis 2, released the Live Peace In Toronto 1969 album, gave the only European concert by the Plastic Ono Band, launched their ’War is over’ poster campain and, on this day, flew to Toronto, Canada.
The purpose of the trip was to begin the next stage of the couple’s peace campaign. They stayed on Ronnie Hawkins’ ranch in Mississauga, Ontario, from where they gave a series of interviews to the world’s media.
The Canadian campaign coincided with the erection of a series of advertisements in 12 cities worldwide proclaiming “War is over! If you want it. Happy Christmas from John & Yoko”. In Toronto, 30 roadside billboards were set up, as well as thousands of posters and handbills.
Lennon and Ono publicly claimed their hopes that the trip would herald the beginning of “Year One AP (After Peace)”. However, although they were given considerable publicity during their stay, which ended on 23 December, it marked the end of their protest activities for two years.
Also on this day...
- 2009: Paul McCartney live at Köln Arena, Cologne
- 1966: UK single release: The Beatles’ Fourth Christmas Record – Pantomime: Everywhere It’s Christmas
- 1965: Television: The Music Of Lennon & McCartney
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.