"Hoy fue un día soleado" (lost newscast excerpt from Mexican journalist Jacobo Zabludovsky; existence unconfirmed; 1968)
"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.
The year of 1968 was a quite turbulent one worldwide: the hippie movement, discontent with the Vietnam War, the first social movements, etc. In Mexico they began various movements in order to obtain social improvements. The most remembered was the 1968 Social 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 at that time wanted to maintain an image of stability for foreigners.
During the manifestation on October 2, Díaz Ordaz, the president at the time, ordered the army to shoot or imprison the students and later hold them as political prisoners. Many of these people disappeared or were tortured in the following days. The total number of victims remains unknown, as the identity of many of them. This cruel event is known as the Tlatelolco Massacre.
"Hoy fue un día soleado" urban legend
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 host and journalist Jacobo Zabludovsky began his program saying the infamous phrase "Today was a sunny day", possibly to minimize or censor what happened that day, 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. Still, 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. 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.
It is said that President Díaz Ordaz himself called the then owner of Telesistema Mexicano (today known as Televisa), Emilio Azcarraga Milmo "El Tigre" to contact Zabludovsky. 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".
Although the phrase is attributed to Zabludovsky, there is no substantial proof that he, in any of his newscasts on October 2 or 3, said the phrase. It is unknown if there is a recording of the program, but it is unlikely since the homemade devices were not yet marketed in Mexico. The only thing we have are newspaper reports that claim that he did say it. In the same way, the story has quite a few contradictions, which make the veracity of the event more doubtful.
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.
Finally, Jacobo Zabludovsky himself never denied or claimed to say the phrase.
- El Universal's note about Tlatelolco.
- Wikipedia page about Mexican Movement of 1968.
- Spanish Wikipedia page about Tlatelolco massacre.
- Spanish Wikipedia page about "Hoy es un día soleado" phrase.
- FACTICO's video trying to debunk the rumour comparing the time of events. Retrieved 31 May '21
- Letras Libres' note about Zabludvsky journalism career. Retrieved 31 May '21
- La Jornada's note about goverment control over the event. Retrieved 31 may '21
- UNAM's Crónicas del 68 clip telling the black tie anecdote Retrieved 31 May '21