"Hoy fue un día soleado" (lost newscast excerpt from Mexican journalist Jacobo Zabludovsky; existence unconfirmed; 1968)

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This article has been tagged as NSFL due to its disturbing subject matter.


Jacobo Zabludovsky, Mexican journalist between 1946 to 2000.

Status: Existence Unconfirmed

"Hoy fue un día soleado" ("Today was a sunny day" translated in English) is an infamous quote attributed to the controversial journalist Jacobo Zabludovsky (1928-2015), who, as the collective memory say, said it at the beginning of one of his newscasts after the Mexican Student Movement of 1968, also known as the Tlatelolco massacre.

To this day there is no recorded fragment that proves that Zabludovsky enunciated the infamous phrase, although there are several testimonies that affirm that he did.

Historical Context[edit | edit source]

Mexican army cornering students.

The year of 1968 was a quite turbulent one worldwide: the hippie movement, discontent with the Vietnam War, social movements, etc. Mexico wasn't the exception, citidens organized various movements in order to obtain social improvements. One of the most important is the 1968 Student Movement, led not only by students, but also by teachers, workers, housewives, etc. That same year, Mexico City would host the 1968 Olympic Games, so the government of that time wanted to maintain an image of stability for foreigners.

During the manifestation on October 2nd, ex-president Díaz Ordaz ordered the army to shoot and imprison the students to later hold them as political prisoners. Many of these people disappeared or were tortured in the following days. The total number of victims, as the identity of many of them, remains unknown until this day. This cruel event in Mexican history is known as the Tlatelolco Massacre.

"Hoy fue un día soleado" Urban Legend[edit | edit source]

An urban legend (one of the most famous in the history of modern Mexico), says that, during one of the newscasts after the event, the controversial journalist Jacobo Zabludovsky began his program saying the infamous phrase "Today was a sunny day". Possibly as an attempt to minimize what happened, or as an example of the control that the government had over television and the media in general.

It is unknown in which specific news program it was said, although it is likely that it was said in the evening news broadcast from 6:45 PM on Channel 4. It should be noted that the events in Tlatelolco began around 6:00 PM, and they stopped at midnight, making it unlikely that Zabludovsky said the phrase of an event that was happening at the same time as the broadcast.[1] However, he could have said it on the next day's newcast.

Some claim that Zabludovsky did not appear on television until the 1970s and that the phrase may have been spoken on the radio. However, according to the Spanish Wikipedia, his first television appearence occurred on the Notimundo newscast in 1950, while from 1965 on he conducted the informative capsules Su Diario Nescafé in which the most important news of the day were read with a more optimistic tone.[2] On the other hand, it is also possible that Zabludovsky said the phrase years after the massacre during the 24 Horas newscast, whose first broadcast was in 1970. With other similar events such as "El Halconazo" in 1970, it gives the possibility that the reporter has said the phrase in later news and that the collective memory has confused the facts.

Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, President of Mexico between 1964 to 1970.

Which is truth is an anecdote related to President Díaz Ordaz himself calling the then owner of Telesistema Mexicano (today known as Televisa), Emilio Azcarraga Milmo "El Tigre", to contact Zabludovsky.[3] When he answered the phone, Ordaz asked him why he was wearing a black tie (suggesting that it was a sign of mourning), to which he replied "I have been wearing a black tie for a long time".[4]

Although the phrase is attributed to Zabludovsky, there is no substantial proof that he, in any of his newscasts on October 2nd or 3rd, said the phrase. It is unknown if there is a recording of the program, but it is unlikely since the home video devices were not yet marketed in Mexico. The only available thing are newspaper reports that claim that he did say it after the events.

Nor has it been confirmed whether Televisa contains a file of it. Although it is highly probable that, in case of having the recording, it will never be released to the public eye due both to its nature and to the fact that the image of the company will be damaged.

Other testimonies[edit | edit source]

It should be noted that despite the rumours, Jacobo Zabludovsky himself never denied or affirmed to say the phrase. Zabludovsky is not the only one who has been attributed the phrase. There are less widespread testimonies that mention other people who may have said it. Because Zabludovsky was better known figure in the journalistic field, it's possible that the collective memory has confused him as the author of the phrase.

A rumour tells that Pedro Ferriz Santa Cruz, Zabludovsky's partner, was the one who said it in one of the subsequent news. Another version, which is referenced by a source, mentions that Agustín Barrios Gómez said it on his program Mesa de Celebridades the same day. Others consider Guillermo Vela or Jorge Saldaña, who were leading the newscast Variedades at the time, although this is unlikely.[5]

According to defenders of Zabludovsky, the journalist used this expression very often. Although there are no concrete records that he has said something similar on other occasions, it is possible that viewers have misunterstood the intention with what was said.

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]