On This Day, January 20th
1. 1993: Hollywood legend Audrey Hepburn passed away
Countless fans around the world mourned on this date in 1993 when one of America’s most beloved actresses, Audrey Hepburn, passed away near her home in Lausanne, Switzerland. She had just undergone major surgery a few months prior to combat a serious case of colon cancer. Doctors hoped she would pull through, but in the end it was too much for her. Hepburn got her big break in 1951 when she landed a starring role in the theatrical adaption of the novel Gigi. During one of her many glowing performances, she was introduced to William Wyler, who was immediately impressed by her. He ended up putting the production of his film, Roman Holiday, on hold until Hepburn completed her obligations with Gigi, just so she could play the leading lady. According to reports, shortly after meeting her, Wyler made the comment how “one day that girl is going to be the biggest star in Hollywood.” He obviously knew what he was doing because Hepburn ended up winning the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Roman Holiday.
2. 1945: Franklin D. Roosevelt inaugurated to his fourth term as President
Franklin Delano Roosevelt is considered to be one of the most influential United States Presidents of modern history. Not only was he the longest running president in U.S. history, but the time he served happened to be some of the most difficult since the founding fathers battled the British. FDR’s first term began on March of 1933, when the great depression was in full effect. Shortly after being re-elected in a landslide victory for his second term in 1937, was the beginning of WWII. Becuase of his strong leadership during the war, he was re-elected again in 1941. Towards the end of his third term in office, the balance of power in the war had started to shift in the Allies favor, but when it came time for election season in 1944, the war had not yet been won. The American people still had so much confidence in Roosevelt’s leadership abilities, they decided to re-elected him yet again. It was on this date in 1945 that Roosevelt was inaugurated to his fourth term in office, something that had never happened before. It would never happen again either because two years later Congress passed the Twenty-second Amendment that set a two-term limit for service as the President of the United States. Unfortunately, FDR passed away just three months later and in doing so left the country in the very capable hands of at the time Vice President, Harry S. Truman.
3. 1980: Bleachers collapse at Columbian bullring
The deadliest tragedy at a sporting event in Columbia’s history took place on this date in 1980 when the Corralejas bullfighting stadium collapsed leaving at least 220 casualties and hundreds more severely injured. Some reports claim the death toll was estimated to be over 400, although that was never confirmed. The horrific event was caused by overcrowding in the area due to a holiday that’s celebrated every year on January 20th. It’s called Fiestas del dulce Nombre de Jesús, which stands for “The party of the sweet name of Jesus.” This tragedy caused traditional bullfighting in the area to be put on hiatus until 1999 when the municipality authorized the construction of a new wooden structure where the events could take place safely.