On January 16, 1919, five states ratified the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution, taking the total number of ratifying states to 38, two more than needed to make the Amendment into law.
Haruki Murakami was born on January 12, 1949. Murakami is a Japanese writer whose blend of Japanese themes, Western genre, and dream-like surrealism has made him one of the most popular writers of recent years.
On January 5, 1953, the first full production of Samuel Beckett's play Waiting for Godot took place in Paris. The play has become a theatrical landmark, despite—or perhaps because of—its cryptic nature.
Donna Summer was born on December 31, 1948. Summer is best remembered as the "Queen of Disco," but her career lasted for thirty years after the disco era ended. Summer was raised in Boston, and moved to New York after high school.
Engelbert Humperdinck's opera Hänsel und Gretel was first performed on December 23, 1893, in Weimar, Germany.
Lester Bangs was born on December 14, 1948. Bangs wrote about popular music, and he was one of the most influential music critics of the 1970s. He wrote for Rolling Stone, Creem, The Village Voice, and a variety of other magazines.