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updated: 6/4/2013 4:35 PM

Downstate Benton to commemorate visit from George Harrison

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  • Beatles George Harrison, left, and John Lennon sit aboard an airplane in Los Angeles before leaving for London in 1964. A year earlier, Harrison visited the southern Illinois town of Benton to visit his sister, Linda Harrison Caldwell.

      Beatles George Harrison, left, and John Lennon sit aboard an airplane in Los Angeles before leaving for London in 1964. A year earlier, Harrison visited the southern Illinois town of Benton to visit his sister, Linda Harrison Caldwell.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

BENTON, Ill. -- A half century ago, he was the Beatle in Benton. And soon the southern Illinois community will observe the anniversary of that visit by the Fab Four's George Harrison.

The Southern Illinoisan In Carbondale reports the Franklin County city of 7,000 this year will unveil a historical marker commemorating the late George Harrison's 1963 visit to his sister, Linda Harrison Caldwell.

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Harrison's Benton stay came while the Beatles were soaring up the charts in their native England, but before they made their ballyhooed trip to the U.S.

Illinois State Historical Society executive director William Furry says obscurity in America allowed Harrison to walk Benton's streets, jam with local musicians, visit record stores and even camp in the Shawnee National Forest without being hassled by fans.

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