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February 4, 1996 – Busy news day in the world and a sad news day for the entertainment world.
Starting with news that gunshots were heard in Guatemala earlier in the day. An assassination attempt at the newly inaugurated President Alvaro Arzu just hours before Pope John Paul II was scheduled to visit that country. Reports said the attack happened only a few hours earlier as Arzu, with his bodyguards, was riding a horse through the streets of Antigua, a town about 30 miles away from Guatemala City. Shots were fired from a moving vehicle and spokespeople said Arzu had escaped injury. An unconfirmed report said one suspect had already been captured.
Aftershocks from a 7.0 earthquake rattled parts of China earlier in the day. The latest jolt measured 6.0. It came hot on the heels of the initial quake only two days before that claimed some 200 lives and injured some 14,000 others.
And barely getting over the loss only two days earlier of Hollywood legend Gene Kelly, came word that Audrey Meadows had lost her battle with lung cancer. Meadows was 71. She gained lasting fame as Alice Kramden, the wife of Jackie Gleason in the long-running 1950s TV series The Honeymooners. The Emmy winning actress succumbed at Cedars-Sinai Medical center in Los Angeles where she had been hospitalized for more than a week. Meadows had been keeping her cancer diagnosis secret, even from her sister Jane, who only found out via news reports. After The Honeymooners, Audrey Meadows returned to television in the 1980s as a regular on the sitcom Too Close For Comfort and later in the 1990-1991 season of Uncle Buck.
And that’s just a little of what happened, this February 4, 1996 as reported by CBS Radio’s News On The Hour.