Colombian History

Colombia: Bogotá - Cartagena - Medellin

Historical Events

Historic Expedition

1524-11-14 Francisco Pizarro begins his 1st great expedition, near Colombia

  • 1538-08-06 Bogotá, Colombia, is founded by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada
  • 1539-04-27 Re-founding of the city of Bogotá, New Granada (nowadays Colombia), by Nikolaus Federmann and Sebastián de Belalcázar.
  • 1586-12-03 Sir Thomas Herriot introduces potatoes to England from Colombia
  • 1708-01-08 Spanish armada headed by the San Jose and loaded with gold sunk after British squadron attacks off coast of Colombia (rediscovered 2015)
  • 1741-03-04 British fleet under Rear Admiral of the Blue Sir Chaloner Ogle reaches Cartagena de Indias (Colombia)
  • 1773-06-17 Cúcuta, Colombia is founded by Juana Rangel de Cuéllar
  • 1810-07-20 Citizens of Bogotá, New Granada (now Colombia), declare independence from Spain
  • 1811-11-11 Cartagena Colombia declares independence from Spain
  • 1819-08-07 Battle of Boyacá; Bolívar defeats Spanish in Colombia
  • 1819-12-17 Congress of Angostura establishes Colombia's independence from Spain
  • 1831-11-07 State of Gran Colombia disbands
  • 1831-11-17 Ecuador and Venezuela separated from Greater Colombia
  • 1858-05-22 Confederación Granadina (now Colombia) forms
  • 1863-05-08 Confederación Granadina becomes Estados Unidos de Colombia
  • 1867-10-22 Foundation of the National University of Colombia.
  • 1875-05-16 Eathquake in Venezuela & Colombia kills 16,000
  • 1886-08-04 Colombia adopts constitution
  • 1903-01-22 The Hay-Herran Treaty concerning the USA's right to the Panama Canal is signed by the Colombian Charge d'affaires in Washington, D.C. (never ratified)
  • 1903-11-03 Colombia grants independence to Panama
  • 1903-11-04 Panama and Colombia wake up to news that the insurrectionists have declared an independent Republic of Panama
  • 1904-07-28 Rafael Reyes becomes dictator of Colombia after losing Panama
  • 1906-01-31 Strongest instrumentally recorded earthquake, Colombia, 8.6 Richter
  • 1909-01-05 Colombia recognizes Panama's independence
  • 1914-04-08 US & Colombia sign a treaty concerning Panama Canal Zone
  • 1934-05-24 Colombia & Peru sign accord about harbor city Leticia

Historic Event

1934-07-10 1st sitting US President to visit South America, FDR in Colombia

  • 1936-12-23 Colombia becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty
  • 1945-11-05 Colombia joins the United Nations.
  • 1948-04-30 Org of American States charter signed at Bogota, Colombia
  • 1953-06-14 Military coup by General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla in Colombia
  • 1956-08-07 Dynamite transport explodes in Colombia; about 1200 die
  • 1957-05-11 Gabriel Paris forms government of Colombia
  • 1957-05-24 Heavy earthquake strikes Colombia
  • 1958-05-04 Alberto Lleras Camargo chosen president of Colombia
  • 1965-10-30 Fireworks explosions kill 50 in Cartagena, Colombia
  • 1967-11-14 The Congress of Colombia in commemoration of the 150 years of the death of Policarpa Salavarrieta, declares this day as "Day of the Colombian Woman"
  • 1971-04-19 75th Boston Marathon: Álvaro Mejía of Colombia wins in 2:18:45; American Sara Mae Berman 1st woman for 3rd straight year in 3:08:30 (unsanctioned)
  • 1974-06-28 Fall of earth and rocks kill 200 (Quebrada Blanca Canyon, Colombia)
  • 1978-06-04 Liberal Julio Turbay Ayola wins Colombia elections
  • 1981-03-24 Colombia drops diplomatic relations with Cuba

Nobel Prize

1982-12-08 Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez receives the Nobel Prize for Literature

  • 1983-03-31 Popayán Earthquake (5.5 Mw Depth) in Colombia kills 267 people, injuring some 7,500
  • 1983-11-27 Colombian jetliner Boeing 747 crashes in Madrid killing 181
  • 1985-11-06 M-19 guerrillas occupy Palace of Justice Bogota Colombia
  • 1985-11-07 Colombian troops end 27-hr siege of Bogota's Palace of Justice
  • 1985-11-13 Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupts in Colombia, killing 25,000 in the town of Armero
  • 1985-11-14 Volcano Nevado del Ruiz Colombia erupts, 1000s killed
  • 1986-05-25 Virgilio Barco elected president of Colombia
  • 1988-03-07 Colombia becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty
  • 1988-05-03 4,200 kg Colombian cocaine in seized at Tarpon Springs Florida
  • 1988-05-19 Carlos Lehder Rivas, of Colombia's Medellin drug cartel, is convicted in Florida for smuggling more than 3 tons of cocaine into US
  • 1989-08-18 Leading presidential hopeful Luis Carlos Galán is assassinated near Bogotá in Colombia.
  • 1989-11-27 Colombian jetliner bombed killing 107
  • 1990-05-27 Caesar Gaviria Trujillo chosen President of Colombia
  • 1990-05-28 Cesar Gaviria Trujillo installed as president of Colombia
  • 1991-10-30 Colombian government negotiate with M-19-guerrilla

Historic Event

1992-07-22 Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar escapes prison

  • 1992-10-18 6.6 earthquake hits Colombia with no fatalities
  • 1993-02-15 Bombings by mafia drug lords kill 14 in Bogota, Colombia
  • 1993-05-19 Boeing 727 crashes into mountain at Medellin Colombia, kills 132
  • 1994-06-06 6.0 earthquake/avalanche destroys Toez, Colombia (about 1000 killed)
  • 1994-06-19 Ernesto Samper elected president of Colombia
  • 1994-06-22 FIFA World Cup: USA beats Colombia 2-1 in round match at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena, 1st WC win since 1950
  • 1994-08-07 Ernesto Samper sworn in as president of Colombia
  • 1995-01-11 DC-9 crashes near Maria La Baya, Colombia: 51 die, 9 yr old girl lives
  • 1995-02-08 6.4 earthquake at Trujillo, Colombia (46+ killed)
  • 1997-08-04 In Colombia, international oil company Occidental Petroleum declare force majeure on all oil exports from the Cano Limon field after a series of attacks knocked out a major oil pipeline
  • 1998-04-20 TAME Boeing 727-200 chartered by Air France crashes into Cerro El Cable mountain after takeoff from Bogotá, Colombia, killing 53.
  • 1999-01-25 Earthquake hits Colombia, South America, killing around 300 and injuring 1000
  • 1999-04-22 Luis Garavito [The Beast, Tribilín], Colombian serial killer described as "the world's worst serial killer" (138-300+ victims) apprehended
  • 2002-01-28 TAME Flight 120, a Boeing 727-100 crashes in the Andes mountains in southern Colombia killing 92.
  • 2002-05-26 Álvaro Uribe becomes President of Colombia
  • 2008-07-02 Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other FARC hostages are rescued by the Colombian armed forces.
  • 2009-06-25 Colombia enters into recession after witnessing 0.7% contraction in the last quarter of 2008 and 0.6% in the following quarter
  • 2010-01-12 Colombia officially leaves the recession after achieving 2% economic growth in the last quarter of 2009
  • 2013-01-01 13 FARC members are killed by an airstrike by the Colombian military
  • 2015-01-25 Miss Colombia Paulina Vega is crowned Miss Universe 2014
  • 2015-05-17 A mudslide hits the alpine town of Salgar in Western Colombia killing over 50 people
  • 2015-11-27 "Holy grail" of shipwrecks the San Jose, sunk 1708, is confirmed found by an international team off the coast of Colombia
  • 2016-01-23 Zika virus outbreak in Brazil prompts Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica to recommend women delay pregnancies for up to 2 years
  • 2016-06-23 Ceasefire agreement signed between Colombian government and Farc rebels - ending more than 50 years of conflict
  • 2016-08-19 Colombian BMX rider Mariana Pajón successfully defends her Olympic title when she beats American Alise Post in the final in Rio de Janeiro
  • 2016-10-02 Colombia votes against a peace agreement with rebel group FARC in a national referendum
  • 2016-10-07 Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos wins the Nobel Peace Prize for attempts to end conflict with FARC
  • 2016-11-28 Plane carrying Brazilian Chapecoense football team crashes near Medellin, Colombia killing 71 players and journalists
  • 2017-03-31 Mudslides caused by heavy rains sweep through Mocoa, Colombia killing more than 200
  • 2017-06-27 Colombia's rebel group FARC officially end armed existence after 52 years in ceremony with President Juan Manuel Santos in Mesetas
  • 2017-08-16 Last batch of Farc rebel weapons removed by the UN in Colombia
  • 2018-07-01 Colombia's Chiribiquete National Park declared a world heritage site by the UN

Famous Birthdays

  • 1782-07-06 Luis Brión, Curacao military officer who fought in the Venezuelan War of Independence, born in Plantage Rozentak, Curaçao (d. 1821)
  • 1852-08-23 Clímaco Calderón, President of Colombia for one day in 1882, born in Santa Rosa de Viterbo, Colombia (d. 1913)
  • 1858-01-17 Tomas Carrasquilla, Colombian author (Frutos de mi Tierra)
  • 1860-07-26 Philippe J Bunau-Varilla, French engineer (Colombia-Panama), born in Paris (d. 1940)
  • 1865-01-05 Julio Garavito Armero, Colombian astronomer, born in Bogotá, Colombia (d. 1920)
  • 1865-11-27 Jose Asunción Silva, Colombian poet (Nocturno III), born in Bogotá, Colombia (d. 1896)
  • 1873-10-29 Guillermo Valencia, Colombian poet, translator and statesman, born in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia (d. 1943)
  • 1883-07-29 Porfirio Barba-Jacob, Colombian poet and writer (d. 1942)
  • 1886-01-31 Alfonso López Pumarejo, 16th President of Colombia (Liberal: 1934-38 and 1942-46) and statesman (President of UN security council 1948), born in Honda, Colombia (d. 1959)
  • 1889-02-19 Jose Eustasio Rivera, Colombian poet and novelist (Vortex)
  • 1894-01-07 Jose Rozo Contreras, Colombian composer (d. 1976)
  • 1902-11-10 Antonio Maria Valencia, Colombian composer, born in Cali, Colombia (d. 1952)
  • 1903-01-23 Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, Colombian politician, born in Cucunubá, Colombia (d. 1948)
  • 1908-04-12 Carlos Lleras Restrepo, President of Colombia (1966-70), born in Bogotá, Colombia (d. 1994)
  • 1910-08-29 Robert Pineda-Duque, Colombian composer, born in El Santuario, Colombia (d. 1977)
  • 1913-06-30 Alfonso López Michelsen, 24th President of Colombia (1974-78), born in Bogotá, Colombia (d. 2007)
  • 1917-03-16 Samael Aun Weor, Colombian writer (d. 1977)
  • 1920-11-02 Fabio Gonzalez-Zuleta, Colombian composer, born in Bogota (d. 2011)
  • 1921-09-17 Virgilio Barco Vargas, President of Colombia (1986-90), born in Cúcuta, Colombia
  • 1925-07-14 Luis Antonio Escobar, Colombian composer and musicologist, born in Villapinzón, Cundinamarca (d. 1993)

Gabriel García Márquez

1927-03-06 Gabriel García Márquez, Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist (1982 Nobel Prize in Literature), born in Aracataca, Colombia (d. 2014)

  • 1927-03-09 John Beckwith, Canadian composer, born in Victoria, British Columbia
  • 1931-10-14 Rafael Puyana, Colombian baroque harpsichordist (NY debut 1957), born in Bogotá, Colombia (d. 2013)
  • 1935-11-08 Alfonso López Trujillo, Colombian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, born in Villahermosa, Colombia (d. 2008)
  • 1937-05-08 Carlos Gaviria Díaz, Colombian politician
  • 1940-03-03 Germán Castro Caycedo, Colombian writer and journalist
  • 1947-03-31 Caesar Gaviria Trujillo, president (Colombia, 1990-94)
  • 1948-10-08 Pedro Alonso López, Colombian serial killer known as the 'The Monster of the Andes' (120-300+ victims), born in Santa Isabel, Tolima, Colombia
  • 1949-02-02 Francisco Maturana, Colombian football manager
  • 1949-08-08 Ricardo Londoño, Colombian racing driver

Pablo Escobar

1949-12-01 Pablo Escobar, Colombian drug lord, born in Rionegro, Colombia (d. 1993)

  • 1950-01-18 Claudia de Colombia, Colombian singer (Yo Creo En Ti), born in Bogotá, Colombia
  • 1951-08-10 Juan Manuel Santos, Colombian politician, President of Colombia (2010-present) and Nobel laureate (2016), born in Bogotá, Colombia
  • 1951-09-29 Andrés Caicedo, Colombian writer (d. 1977)
  • 1952-03-25 Antanas Mockus, Colombian mathematician
  • 1952-07-04 Álvaro Uribe Vélez, Colombian politician (31st President of Colombia), born in Medellín, Colombia
  • 1955-07-26 Nicholas Walker, actor (Capitol, Jimmy-General Hospital), born in Bogotá, Colombia
  • 1957-01-25 Luis Garavito [The Beast, Tribilín], Colombian serial killer described as "the world's worst serial killer" (138-300+ victims), born in Génova, Quindío, Colombia
  • 1958-01-11 Diego León Montoya Sánchez, former Colombian crime boss
  • 1958-11-16 Roberto Guerrero, Medelin Colombia, Indy racer (Rookie of Year 1984)
  • 1959-08-27 Juan Fernando Cobo, Colombian artist
  • 1959-11-22 Fabio Parra, Colombian cyclist
  • 1960-10-19 Dawn Coe-Jones, Canadian golfer (3 LPGA wins), born in Campbell River, British Columbia (d. 2016)
  • 1960-10-24 Jaime Garzón, Colombian journalist and comedian, born in Bogotá, Colombia (d. 1999)
  • 1961-05-04 Luis Herrera, Colombian cyclist, born in Fusagasugá, Colombia
  • 1961-09-02 Carlos Valderrama, Colombian footballer, born in Santa Marta, Colombia
  • 1961-12-25 Ingrid Betancourt, Colombian senator
  • 1963-07-29 Patty Dodd, WPVA volleyballer (US Open-2nd-1988), born in Bogotá, Colombia

John Leguizamo

1964-07-22 John Leguizamo, Colombian-American actor (Mambo Mouth; Whispers in the Dark), born in Bogotá, Colombia

  • 1965-05-03 Nina Garcia, Colombian-American fashion expert and television personality (Project Runway), born in Barranquilla, Colombia
  • 1965-09-05 César Rincón, Colombian matador, born in Bogotá, Colombia
  • 1967-03-13 Andrés Escobar, Colombian soccer defender (murdered in World Cup aftermath), born in Medellín, Colombia (d. 1994)
  • 1968-01-22 Mauricio Serna, Colombian retired footballer (Colombia national team 1993-2001), born in Medellín, Colombia
  • 1968-02-06 Adolfo Valencia, Colombian footballer, born in Buenaventura, Colombia
  • 1969-03-11 Soraya [Lamilla], Colombian-American singer-songwriter, guitarist, arranger and record producer ("Amor En Tus Ojos / Love In Your Eyes"'; "Casi"), born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey (d. 2006)
  • 1969-11-10 Faustino Asprilla, Colombian footballer, born in Tuluá, Colombia
  • 1970-02-03 Oscar Cordoba, Colombian footballer
  • 1971-04-14 Miguel Calero, Colombian soccer goalkeeper (50 caps; Copa América 2001; Pachuca), born in Ginebra, Colombia (d. 2012)
  • 1971-12-07 Mauricio Hadad, Colombian tennis star (1995 Bermuda), born in Cali, Colombia
  • 1972-03-12 Hector Luis Bustamante, Colombian actor

Sofía Vergara

1972-07-10 Sofia Vergara, Colombian-American actress (Modern Family), born in Barranquilla, Colombia

  • 1972-08-09 Juanes [Juan Esteban Aristizábal], Colombian singer and songwriter, winner of 24 Latin Grammy Awards, born in Carolina del Príncipe, Antioquia, Colombia
  • 1973-10-30 Silvia Corzo, Colombian newscaster, born in Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia
  • 1974-03-20 Paula Garces, Colombian actress
  • 1974-08-02 Angie Cepeda, Colombian actress, born in Magangué, Colombia
  • 1974-10-04 Claudia Elena Vasquez, Miss Universe-best costume (Colombia, 1997)
  • 1974-11-02 Orlando Cabrera, Colombian baseball shortstop (Gold Glove Award 2001, 07; Montreal Expos; Boston Red Sox), born in Cartagena, Colombia
  • 1975-06-25 Natasha Klauss, Colombian actress (La Venganza, Pasión de Gavilanes), born in Cali, Colombia
  • 1975-08-07 Edgar Renteria, Colombian baseball player (Florida Marlins), born in Barranquilla, Colombia
  • 1975-09-20 Juan Pablo Montoya, Colombian-American race car driver, born in Bogotá, Colombia
  • 1975-10-24 Juan Pablo Ángel, Colombian footballer, born in Medellín, Colombia
  • 1976-08-01 Ivan Duque Márquez, Colombian politician, President of Colombia (2018-), born in Bogotá, Colombia


1977-02-02 Shakira [Mebarak-Ripoll], Colombian pop singer ("Whenever Wherever"; "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)"), born in Barranquilla, Colombia

  • 1977-09-02 Ramiro Muñoz, Colombian musician, born in Bogotá, Colombia
  • 1977-10-11 Claudia Palacios, Colombian television journalist, born in Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
  • 1978-02-04 Danna Garcia, Colombian actress
  • 1979-11-20 Ericson Alexander Molano, Colombian gospel singer, born in Pereira, Colombia
  • 1979-12-19 Paola Rey, Colombian actress
  • 1981-04-19 Catalina Sandino Moreno, Colombian actress (Maria Full of Grace), born in Bogotá, Colombia
  • 1983-03-04 Max Vergara Poeti, Colombian-Italian writer, born in Bogotá, Colombia
  • 1984-06-09 Kaleth Morales, Colombian vallenato folk music singer and songwriter ("Vivo en el Limbo" - I Live in the Limbo), born in Valledupar, Cesar, Colombia (d. 2005)
  • 1986-02-10 Radamel Falcao García Zárate, Colombian football player (AS Monaco, Colombia national team), born in Santa Marta, Colombia
  • 1991-07-12 James Rodríguez, Colombian footballer (Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Colombia national team), born in Cúcuta, Colombia
  • 1991-10-10 Mariana Pajón, Colombian BMX rider (Olympic gold 2012, 16), born in Medellin, Colombia

Famous Weddings

John Leguizamo

2003-06-28 Colombian American actor John Leguizamo (42) weds estate planner Justine Maurer (35) on a Catholic-Jewish ceremony in New York

  • 2006-04-15 "Maria Full of Grace" actress Catalina Sandino Moreno (24) weds lighting technician David Michael Ewell in an intimate civil ceremony in Cartagena de Indies, Colombia
  • 2008-11-17 Heartthrob finalist from Top Chef's second season Sam Talbot (30) weds Colombian model and t-shirt designer Paola Guerrero in a secret wedding ceremony at City Hall in New York City

Famous Deaths

  • 1817-11-14 Policarpa Salavarrieta, Colombian revolutionary (b. 1795)

Simón Bolívar

1830-12-17 Simón Bolívar, South American revolutionary and president (Colombia), dies at 47 in Santa Marta, Colombia

  • 1840-05-06 Francisco de Paula Santander, Colombian president and independence leader (b. 1792)
  • 1913-07-19 Clímaco Calderón, President of Colombia for one day in 1882, dies at 60
  • 1920-03-11 Julio Garavito Armero, Colombian astronomer (b. 1865)
  • 1928-12-01 José Eustasio Rivera, Colombian writer (b. 1888)
  • 1942-01-14 Porfirio Barba-Jacob, Colombian writer (b. 1883)
  • 1948-04-09 Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, Colombian politician (b. 1903)
  • 1952-07-22 Antonio Maria Valencia, Colombian composer, dies at 49
  • 1959-11-20 Alfonso López Pumarejo, 16th President of Colombia (Liberal: 1934-38 and 1942-46) and statesman (President of UN security council 1948), dies at 73
  • 1966-02-15 Camillo Torres, Colombian priest/guerrilla fighter, dies
  • 1973-03-14 Rafael Godoy, Colombian composer, dies at 65
  • 1976-10-12 Jose Rozo Contreras, Colombian composer, dies at 82
  • 1977-03-04 Andrés Caicedo, Colombian writer (b. 1951)
  • 1977-12-24 Samael Aun Weor, Colombian writer (b. 1917)
  • 1986-03-13 Alvaro Fayad Delgado, Colombian guerilla leader (M-19), dies
  • 1989-08-18 Luis Carlos Galan, Colombian presidential candidate, murdered
  • 1990-01-04 Alberto Lleras Camargo, president of Colombia (1945-46, 58-62), dies
  • 1990-04-26 Carlos Pizarro Leongomez, Colombian presidential candidate, assassinated at 38
  • 1992-04-11 Alejandro Obregón, Colombian painter, dies of a brain tumor at 71
  • 1993-04-03 Eduardo Cabellero Calderon, Colombian writer and diplomat, dies at 83
  • 1994-07-02 Andrés Escobar, Colombian soccer defender (51 caps, World Cup own goal vs US), dies of a gunshot wound at 27
  • 1994-10-01 Carlos Lleras Restrepo, President of Colombia (1966-70), dies at 86
  • 1997-05-20 Virgilio Boat, president of Colombia (1986-90), dies
  • 1997-08-21 Misael Pastrana Borrero, President of Colombia (1970-74), dies
  • 1999-08-13 Jaime Garzón, Colombian journalist and comedian, murdered at 38
  • 2002-10-24 Herman Gaviria, Colombian football player (b. 1969)
  • 2005-08-24 Kaleth Morales, Colombian vallenato folk music singer and songwriter ("Vivo en el Limbo" - I Live in the Limbo), dies in a vehicle crash at 22
  • 2005-09-13 Julio César Turbay Ayala, Colombian politician (b. 1916)
  • 2006-05-10 Soraya [Lamilla], Colombian-American singer-songwriter, guitarist, arranger and record producer ("Amor En Tus Ojos / Love In Your Eyes"'; "Casi"), dies of breast cancer at 37
  • 2007-07-11 Alfonso López Michelsen, 24th President of Colombia (1974-78), dies at 94
  • 2008-03-26 Manuel Marulanda Velez aka Tirofijo, founder and lifelong leader of Colombian rebel group FARC-EP, dies of a heart attack at 77
  • 2009-12-22 Luis Francisco Cuéllar, Colombian politician (b. 1940)
  • 2010-06-07 Omar Rayo, Colombian painter, sculptor, caricaturist and plastic artist. (b. 1928)
  • 2012-12-04 Miguel Calero, Colombian soccer goalkeeper (50 caps; Copa América 2001; Pachuca), dies from cerebral thrombosis at 41

Gabriel García Márquez

2014-04-17 Gabriel García Márquez, Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist (1982 Nobel Prize in Literature), dies of pneumonia at 87