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On Abbey Road, the Beatles Made a Crosswalk Famous—and Unruly

Fifty years ago, the Beatles crossed Abbey Road. The iconic album cover created the world’s most famous crosswalk, and a traffic nuisance that endures today.
Fans recreate the iconic Beatles photo on Abbey Road in London.
Fans recreate the iconic Beatles photo on Abbey Road in London.Henry Nicholls/Reuters

On this day 50 years ago, the residents of Abbey Road were probably unaware of just how much they were going to hate the Beatles.

It was on August 8, 1969, that the band snapped the photo that would change Abbey Road’s future forever. The following month they would release an album named after the northwest London street where it had been recorded, and that album’s iconic cover would seal the street’s fate. A photo of the Fab Four crossing the street in tidily-arranged profile made Abbey Road the site of the most famous crosswalk in the world.