Whilst Spain’s democracy is busy celebrating General Elections today, November 20th, this is also the date of an anniversary. Thirty-six years ago today, Francisco Franco died, the autocratic dictator of nearly forty years. In a way, Franco’s death was also the dawn of a new democratic beginning for the Spanish nation.
Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco y Bahamonde Salgado Pardo de Andrade (December 4th, 1892 – November 20th, 1975), known as Francisco Franco Bahamonde and sometimes called Generalísimo Francisco Franco, was self-proclaimed Head of State of the Spanish nation from 1936 until his death on November 20th, 1975, age 82, coming up 83.
Known also as El Caudillo de España, and officially as Caudillo de España por la gracia de Dios (The Leader of Spain by the grace of God), he presided for 39 years over the authoritarian government of the Spanish State following victory in the Guerra Civil (Spanish Civil War).
In 1947, Franco proclaimed Spain a Monarchy, but did not designate a monarch until just before his death.
Luckily, any possible pro-Franco celebrations have been prohibited for today due to the elections date. Some diehards will, no doubt, celebrate the death of a tyrant later in the month.
The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain, June 17th, 2010. The time: 10:32:27.