November 20th, a special day in Spain

20_nToday it is November 20th, an important day and certainly not only because it is my birthday, here in Spain it also has another meaning. 20-N is a symbolic abbreviation used to denote the date of death of some of the best known and controversial figures in 20th-century Spanish history.

The first date, 20 November 1936, near the end of the first year of the Spanish Civil War, marks the execution in Alicante of 33-year-old José Antonio Primo de Rivera, the founder of the nationalist party, Falange Española([Spanish Phalanx), who became extolled as a cult figure during the years of post-Civil War led by Francisco Franco.

In a startling coincidence, the same day also proved to be fatal to Primo de Rivera’s political opposite, 40-year-old Buenaventura Durruti, a key leader of Spain’s two largest anarchist organizations, Federación Anarquista Ibérica , the Iberian Anarchist Federatio] and the anarcho-syndicalist trade union Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (National Confederation of Labor). Durruti’s death occurred, according to his chauffeur, in the midst of distant gunfire in Madrid.

The second date, 39 years later, is 20 November 1975, when Generalissimo Franco himself – aged 82 and having ruled Spain for close to four decades as its caudillo (Spanish for leader) – died following a lengthy illness. The date continues to be commemorated by far-right groups which mark it by organizing public demonstrations.

Let’s hope it will be a quiet day today, with no deaths caused by violence.


About The El Guarda Posts

We are a Dutch couple - Miranda and Hans - that has after having searched for a small hotel to buy in several countries around the world we came across El Guarda and fell in love with it straight away. We would love to share our excitement for the place and its surroundings with our guests and invite you to stay with us for some days when travelling through gorgeous Andalucía.
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