"Remember, I am with you always to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20)

75 Years Ago: Eva Perón Became First Lady of Argentina in June 1946


M
aría Eva Duarte de Perón (née María Eva Duarte; 7 May 1919 – 26 July 1952), a.k.a. Evita, was the wife of Argentine President Juan Perón (1895–1974). Seventy-five years ago, in June 1946, she became First Lady of Argentina until her early death in July 1952 due to cancer. Youngest in a brood of five she was raised in poverty in the rural village of Los Toldos, in the Pampas. At 15, she moved to the nation's capital of Buenos Aires to pursue a career as a stage, radio, and film actress.

Juan Perón was elected President of Argentina in June 1946; during the next six years, Eva Perón became powerful advocate of labor rights. She also ran the Ministries of Labor and Health, founded and ran the charitable Eva Perón Foundation, championed women's suffrage in Argentina, and founded and ran the nation's first large-scale female political party, the Female Peronist Party.

In 1951, Eva Perón signified her candidacy for the Peronist nomination for the office of Vice President of Argentina, receiving great support among low-income and working-class Argentines who were referred to as descamisados or "shirtless ones." At this time her health was in rapid decline. Eventually she was forced by the Opposition from the nation's military and bourgeoisie to withdraw her candidacy. In 1952, shortly before her death, Eva Perón was given the title of "Spiritual Leader of the Nation" by the Argentine Congress. She was given a state funeral, a prerogative generally reserved for heads of state.

Eva Perón has become a part of international popular culture, most famously as the subject of the musical Evita (1976). Cristina Álvarez Rodríguez claims that Evita has never left the collective consciousness of Argentines. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the first woman elected President of Argentina, claims that women of her generation owe a debt of gratitude to Eva for "her example of passion and combativeness."

Comments

  1. Eva Peron is truly a remarkable woman of her time... Quite a sunset... Recalling an unforgettable musical Evita 1996... a touching movie to review once again listening to its meaningful songs...Thanks Fr. JM! : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are most welcome! Evita 1996 is a classic and one of the best musicals ever made.

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