Fifty years later, a young actor named James Earl Jones will find work at the Ramsdell, first as a carpenter, then as Othello. 70 YEARS AGO (1933) In Murder at the Vanities, a musical about the slaying of a showgirl, BeIa Lugosi plays his sixth and final stage role on the Great White Way. 50 YEARS AGO (1958) President Eisenhower signs a bill establishing a National Capital Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Renamed the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1964, it is the first such complex to be funded by the federal government. 30 YEARS AGO (1978) The Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, the first institution of its kind in the U.S., opens its doors to the public.