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The Significance of the October 17th in Argentina


October 17th was a very significant time for the people of Argentina from the year 1946 to 1953. It was the day that became important to the working class who have celebrated their leader and the policies that he has brought about. Even though previously the politics have used holidays to unite and create an image of support for people, nonetheless the holiday became the celebration of patriotic feelings which was aligned with a “function of ritual in religion”.[1]

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The holiday of October 17th was the celebration of Peron and Eva, who were political leaders and more specifically, the president and the First Lady. Eva Peron was very much valued by the people because she was the one who delivered the “feelings” of the people and the nation to the president. She was the First Lady from 1946 until the year 1952 when she died.

The origins of the holiday took place when Juan Peron was arrested. This happened because he was an avid supporter of the working class and those who were less fortunate, and his influence and caring attitude were greatly supported. The opposition was afraid that this amount of support would make him the head of government and this led to the arrest. But after the arrest people gathered in protest and Peron was released. The speech that Peron gave became very influential and was made a part of the “ritual” on the holiday of October 17th.

Around this time the elections were held and so, it was a very heated period for both the people and the current government.

In February, the elections were won by Peron, as he was supported by the large population and so, he became the president. The year 1946 marked another historical event when the new president “was sworn in as the constitutional president”.[2] October Seventeenth was aligned with the holiday of May 25th, as this was the beginning of a new era for the country and social direction. Starting from 1946 during the parade, people would throw “newspapers from the balconies” which were used as torches and this ritual was repeated in the following years. From 1948 to 1950, the celebration intensified and became even more ritualistic.

Eva also was now widely known to the public as a supporter of the working class values and needs. An important figure who took part in the holiday was Dr. Oscar Ivanissevich. He was the secretary of education and was a progressor of the holiday. He was the one who wrote the words to the hymn which became the “March of Labor or Peronist March”.[3] In 1948, Peron was given a Medal that was to recognize the great contributions he has made to the nation.

But he always stayed the representative of the people, often saying that the nation’s individuals were the ones that gave him the power so that he could speak on their behalf. Significant words were spoken by Peron on October 17th in 1950, when he said that those who did not understand and support their views were “idiots”.[4] After the year 1952, when Eva died, the holiday became also a memorial, marking her great achievements and contributions to the people.

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It is possible to see that October 17th was marked by some very important changes for a whole population of people, not only in the shift of society but also as the movement that was able to re-direct the nation’s views and policies.

Works Cited

Plotkin, Mariano Ben. Manana es San Peron: A Cultural History of Peron’s Argentina. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2007.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, May 6). The Significance of the October 17th in Argentina.

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StudyCorgi. "The Significance of the October 17th in Argentina." May 6, 2022.


StudyCorgi. 2022. "The Significance of the October 17th in Argentina." May 6, 2022.


StudyCorgi. (2022) 'The Significance of the October 17th in Argentina'. 6 May.

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