John and Yoko arrived back in England on this day from Canada, where they had launched their global peace campaign. Part of the campaign was to have been a Christmas Eve antiwar demonstration due to take place in various countries, for which the couple had tape-recorded a greeting to be played.
Upon their arrival back in the UK, they were driven to Rochester Cathedral in Kent, where they intended to join a fast and sit-in calling for peace and to highlight world poverty. They arrived, accompanied by comedian Dick Gregory, in a white Rolls-Royce.
They were due to take part in a 24-hour sleepover with the homeless of Kent. However, a small crowd was already present when they arrived, and it was felt likely that their continued presence would have caused a commotion.
Lennon, Ono and Gregory posed for press photographers, and briefly went inside the cathedral but soon returned to their limousine to avoid being mobbed. They later attended midnight mass in the cathedral before returning to Tittenhurst Park in Ascot, Berkshire.
Also on this day...
- 2015: I want to stream your band: The Beatles’ music made available on streaming services worldwide
- 1964: Another Beatles Christmas Show begins
- 1963: The Beatles’ Christmas Show begins
- 1962: Live: Star-Club, Hamburg
- 1960: Live: Grosvenor Ballroom, Wallasey
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.