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The flyer for the Broadway production
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. (Full article...)

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Comet Hale–Bopp in April 1997
Comet Hale–Bopp

In the news

Zhou Youguang in 2012
Zhou Youguang

On this day...

January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States (2017)

Painting of the Battle of Cape St. Vincent
Battle off Cape St Vincent, 16 January 1780 by Francis Holman
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From today's featured list

The accolades received by Grand Theft Auto V, an open world, action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games, include appearances on year-end lists of the best games of 2013. Grand Theft Auto V received Game of the Year wins from CNET, Edge, the Golden Joystick Awards, Machinima's Inside Gaming, the Spike VGX, Slant Magazine and Time. It was awarded the title of Most Immersive Game at the Inside Gaming Awards, and the Best British Game from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). Rockstar Games and Rockstar North won Best Studio and Best Developer from Edge, and the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award at the 10th British Academy Video Games Awards. Various in-game elements were recognised with awards. Two characters, Trevor Philips and Lamar Davis, received multiple nominations for Best Character. The music received awards from the Spike VGX, Hardcore Gamer and The Daily Telegraph. (Full list...)

Today's featured picture


A panoramic view of Taurus–Littrow taken in December 1972, during the Apollo 17 lunar mission. This lunar valley is located on the near side of the Moon, along a ring of mountains on the southeastern edge of Mare Serenitatis. Toward the right, geologist–astronaut Harrison Schmitt prepares to take a sample. Data collected on Apollo 17 show that the valley is composed primarily of feldspar-rich breccia in the large massifs surrounding the valley and basalt underlying the valley floor, covered by an unconsolidated layer of regolith, or mixed materials, formed by various geologic events.

Photograph: Eugene Cernan

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