Night of January 16th is a play by Russian-American author Ayn Rand,
inspired by the death of Ivar Kreuger, an industrialist and accused
swindler known as the Match King. The play is set in a courtroom during
a murder trial, and members of the audience are chosen to play the jury.
The court hears the case of Karen Andre, a former secretary and lover of
businessman Bjorn Faulkner, of whose murder she is accused. The jury
must rely on character testimony to decide whether Andre is guilty; the
play’s ending depends on their verdict. Rand wanted to dramatize a
conflict between individualism and conformity. The play was first
produced in 1934 in Los Angeles under the title Woman on Trial. Producer
Al Woods took it to Broadway for the 1935–36 season and re-titled it
Night of January 16th. It became a hit and ran for seven months. The
play has been adapted as a movie, as well as for television and radio.
Rand had many disputes with Woods over the play, and in 1968 re-edited
it for publication as her “definitive” version.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
The Danish settlement of Rungholt was reportedly sunk into the
North Sea by a massive windstorm.
Anglo-Spanish War: The British Royal Navy gained their first
major naval victory over their European enemies in the war when they
defeated a Spanish squadron in the Battle of Cape St. Vincent
The League of Nations, the first intergovernmental organisation
whose principal mission was to maintain world peace, held its first
council meeting in Paris.
TWA Flight 3 crashed into Potosi Mountain in Nevada, killing
actress Carole Lombard and all of the other 21 people on board.
The musical Hello, Dolly! opened at the St. James Theatre on
Broadway, and went on to win ten Tony Awards, a record that stood for 37
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
The investigation, or practice, of creating crop circles.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Real art has the capacity to make us nervous. By reducing the work
of art to its content and then interpreting that, one tames the work of
art. Interpretation makes art manageable, comformable.
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