You probably think the Vatican's recent pardon of the Beatles seems rather quaint and out-of-touch.
But back in the 60's parents and authority figures everywhere were seriously panicked over The Beatles.
One day when I was about seven or eight I went down the street to visit my friend Lori. She was a year or two older than I and very much into everything that was hip and groovy and rock and roll. On this occasion I found her sitting on the floor of her room with all her records (a disc-shaped audio format that preceded the CD), very unhappy.
"The President has passed a law, and now it's against the law to listen to Beatles records and my dad says we have to burn them all tonight or we'll go to jail."
I had no idea they were that dangerous. I knew The Beatles had a cartoon on Saturday mornings but in our house we only had records of Handel's Messiah and folk singers like Burl Ives so I wasn't well-versed in them. I do recall that when I had asked my mother for a record of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" she vetoed that because it was "not a very nice song". So my first impression was only that this new legislation wouldn't affect us much.
I don't know how long Lori's dad got away with this deception. Maybe a week of no Beatles records played in the house before Lori noticed that none of her friends had been shipped off to internment camps.