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Revival of "Once on This Island" opens on Broadway

Once on This Island is a one-act musical with a book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty. Based on the 1985 novel My Love, My Love, it is set in the French Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. The show includes elements of the Romeo and Juliet story and elements of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Little Mermaid.

Richard Branson flies its New Space Plane

Richard Branson's spaceship named VSS Unity completed its first flight successful glide test. The glide lasted ten minutes. By June 2017, several glide tests had been completed. One month later, Branson suggested that the craft was to begin powered tests at 3-week intervals.


Australian Rugby star David Pocock is arrested in coal protest

David is concerned about climate change and the damage to the environment. He has publicly expressed his views on these issues and has taken part in the action. Most notably, he visited the Leard Blockade against the expansion of the Maules Creek mine in the Leard State Forest and was arrested for taking part in a nonviolent protest.

Russia admits its heading into recession, in unusual move

The Russian government said the economy will contract by 0.8% in 2015. The country revised its 2015 budget based on a lower value for the ruble and oil trading at $80 per barrel, compared to its previous assumption that oil will be trading at $100 barrel next year.

South Korea strikes $55bn bailout with IMF

The IMF was expected to contribute $20bn to a $55bn bailout package with the balance coming mainly from Japan, the USA, and the Asian Development Bank. In return, the IMF insisted on the restructuring of South Korea's inadequate financial institutions.

Gorbachev and Bush declare the end of Cold War at Malta summit

The Malta Summit comprised a meeting between US President George H. W. Bush and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. During the summit, Bush and Gorbachev would declare an end to the Cold War although whether it was truly such is a matter of debate. News reports of the time referred to the Malta Summit as the most important since 1945.

Will to Power are at #1 on the US singles chart

The American dance-pop band Will to Power recorded Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley (Free Baby). The song combines elements of two previously recorded rock songs: "Baby, I Love Your Way" and American Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd's song "Free Bird", which hit #19 on the Hot 100 chart in 1975.

Judas Priest are sued by two families

The band was involved in a civil action that alleged they were responsible for the self-inflicted gunshot wounds of 20-year-old James Vance and 18-year-old Raymond Belknap in Sparks, Nevada, USA. Part of a song those youngsters were listening was marked by their parents as a subliminal message for committing a suicide. The lawsuit unsuccessful.

American actress Amanda Seyfried is born

She began her career as a model but quickly moved into acting. Seyfried made her movie debut in the teen comedy Mean Girls. She played in the musical feature film Mamma Mia! in 2008. She is was awarded MTV Movie Awards for Best On-Scream Team in 2005.

The deadliest industrial disaster

The Bhopal gas tragedy was a gas leak incident at the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. It was considered as of 2010 to be the world's worst industrial disaster. The official immediate death toll was 2,259. The government of Madhya Pradesh confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release.


Ghanaian footballer Michael Essien is born

Michael Kojo Essien is a Ghanaian professional footballer. He has also been capped for the Ghana national team more than 50 times. Essien started his career playing for Liberty Professionals in Ghana. He moved to France to join Bastia, where he would spend three seasons and appear in over 60 matches before joining Ligue 1 title holders Lyon.

Eleven people are killed in a stampede after The Who concert

The Who concert disaster occurred when British rock band the Who performed at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, and a stampede of concert-goers outside the coliseum's entry doors resulted in the deaths of eleven people. Twenty-six other people reported injuries.

An assassination attempt is made on Bob Marley

Marley, his wife, and manager Don Taylor were wounded in an assault by unknown gunmen inside Marley's home. Taylor and Marley's wife sustained serious injuries but later made full recoveries. Bob Marley received minor wounds in the chest and arm. The attempt on his life was thought to have been politically motivated.

The Montreux Casino in Switzerland burns to the ground

Predominantly jazz casino, located in Montreux, Switzerland, burned down during a concert by The Mothers of Invention. The cause of the fire was flare gun from one of the fans. The song Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple is about the incident.

The world's first human heart transplant

The world's first human-to-human heart transplant was performed by South African cardiac surgeon Christiaan Barnard utilizing the techniques developed by American surgeons Norman Shumway and Richard Lower. Patient Louis Washkansky received this transplant at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. Washkansky died 18 days later from pneumonia.

American actress and author Julianne Moore is born

Julianne Moore is best known for her portrayals of emotionally troubled women for which she has received many accolades, including the 2014 Academy Award for Best Actress for performance as an Alzheimer's patient in Still Alice. Moore has written a series of children's books about a character named Freckleface Strawberry.

Samuel Barber's "Prayers of Kierkegaard" premieres

Prayers of Kierkegaard was a religious statement, divided by Barber into four distinct parts, each representing a different prayer. It was originally premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Cecilia Society Chorus, and soprano Leontyne Price, with Charles Munch conducting.

English singer Ozzy Osbourne is born

John Michael, known as Ozzy Osbourne, lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath in the 1970s. He was fired in 1979 and became a successful soloist, releasing 11 studio albums. He earned the informal title of Godfather of Heavy Metal and was awarded a Grammy Award for the track I Don't Want to Change the World.

Tennessee Williams' "Streetcar Named Desire" premieres in NYC

A Streetcar Named Desire, a play written by Tennessee Williams, premiered on Broadway, starring Marlon Brando, Jessica Tandy, Karl Malden and Kim Hunter. It received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama next year. It is often regarded as one of the finest plays of the 20th century while being considered to be Williams greatest.

Howard Hanson's 4th Symphony premieres

Symphony No. 4 by Howard Hanson was inspired by the death of his father, taking its movement titles from sections of the Requiem Mass. It was premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the composer himself. Later awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music and he regarded it as his best work.

The first Laurel & Hardy movie is released

Putting Pants On Philip is a silent short film starring British/American comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. The plot involves Laurel as Philip, a young Scot newly arrived in the United States, in full kilted splendor, suffering mishaps involving the kilt. His uncle, played by Hardy, is shown trying to put trousers on him.

Agatha Christie mysteriously disappears for 11 days

Sometimes, after being asked for a divorce by her husband, Agatha left her home, leaving only a letter behind, saying she was on her way to Yorkshire. Her car was later found abandoned, with Christie nowhere to be found. Despite the police and lots of volunteers searching the country, it took them 11 days to find her.

FORTRAN inventor is born

American computer scientist John Backus developed the FORTRAN computer language. It was the first widely used high-level programming language. It means that you don’t have to understand computers to use it. FORTRAN is similar to natural language, or mathematics. It is still in use today, especially in high-performance computing.

The first successful technicolor movie

The Toll of the Sea is a 1922 American silent drama film directed by Chester M. Franklin, produced by the Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation. The film was the second Technicolor feature, the first color feature made in Hollywood, and the first Technicolor color feature anywhere that did not require a special projector to be shown.

Neon lights

French physicist Georges Claude presented first neon light tube on Paris Motor Show. The colored light is emitted by passing electrical current through inert gases in a vacuum tube. The color of light is dependent on the particular gas mixture in the tube. It is possible to achieve around 150 colors by various gas combinations.

Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson dies

Robert Louis Stevenson was a British author, famous for many of his works. Admired by many other authors, it has been said about him that he seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen, like a man playing spillikins. He died young, after collapsing at his home, at the age of forty-four.

Forgotten aviation pioneer is born

New Zealand farmer and inventor Richard Pearse was interested in aviation. In 1903 he built an aircraft. On 31 of January, he took off in it and flew around three hundred meters. Then he crashed into a fence. He flew nine months before Wright brothers. His aircraft was however uncontrollable.

Polish novelist Joseph Conrad is born

Joseph Conrad a British author with Polish origins is regarded as one of the greatest novelists to ever write in the English language. He is well known for creating lots of short stories and novels, which reflect aspects of a European-dominated world, many of them in a nautical setting.

Illinois becomes the 21st U.S. state

In December, Illinois became the 21st U.S. state. The capital remained at Kaskaskia, headquartered in a small building rented by the state. In 1819, Vandalia became the capital, and over the next 18 years, three separate buildings were built to serve successively as the capitol building.

Anniversaries of the (in)famous