Federico Garcia Lorca was born in 1898 in Fuente Vaqueros, a few miles outside Granada in the province of Andalusia, southern Spain. From an early age he was fascinated by Spain’s mixed heritage, adapting its ancient folk songs, ballads, lullabies, and flamenco music into poems and plays. By the age of thirty, he had published five books of poems, culminating in 1928 with Gypsy Ballads, which brought him far-reaching fame. In 1929-30 he studied in New York City, where he wrote the poems—among his most socially engaging and compelling—that were to be published posthumously (and famously) as Poet in New York. Upon returning to Spain he devoted much of his attention to theater, “the poetry which rises from the page . . . and becomes human.” In 1936, at the outset of the Spanish Civil War, he was shot to death by anti-Republican rebels in Franco’s army, and his books were banned and destroyed.
Elvis Presley is born in 1935 and, a little over 20 years later, he would have his first #1 single on the US charts, forever changing the landscape of popular culture and ushering in a new age of celebrity superstardom.