Loyalty Day (Argentina)
The Loyalty Day is a commemoration day in Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

. It remembers October 17, 1945, when a massive labour demonstration at the Plaza de Mayo
Plaza de Mayo
The Plaza de Mayo is the main square in downtown Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is flanked by Hipólito Yrigoyen, Balcarce, Rivadavia and Bolívar streets....

 demanded the liberation of Juan Perón
Juan Perón
Juan Domingo Perón was an Argentine military officer, and politician. Perón was three times elected as President of Argentina though he only managed to serve one full term, after serving in several government positions, including the Secretary of Labor and the Vice Presidency...

, who was jailed in Martín García island
Isla Martín García
Isla Martín García is an Argentine island off the Río de la Plata coast of Uruguay. The enclave island is within the boundaries of Uruguayan waters; in 1973 both countries reached an agreement establishing Martín García as an Argentine territory and also as a nature reserve.The island of has a...

. It is considered the foundation day of Peronism
Peronism , or Justicialism , is an Argentine political movement based on the programmes associated with former President Juan Perón and his second wife, Eva Perón...



On June 4, 1943 nationalist military led by General Arturo Rawson
Arturo Rawson
Arturo Rawson was the President of Argentina from June 4, 1943 to June 7, 1943.-Biography:Born in Santiago del Estero, Rawson attended Argentina’s Military College, which he graduated from in 1907 and subsequently taught at for a time. Rawson rose through the ranks of the Argentine Army and was...

 removed through a coup President Ramón Castillo
Ramón Castillo
Ramón S. Castillo Barrionuevo was a conservative Argentine politician who served as President of Argentina from June 27, 1942 to June 4, 1943...

, the last president of the Infamous Decade
Infamous Decade
The Infamous Decade in Argentina is the name given to the period of time that started in 1930 with the coup d'état against President Hipólito Yrigoyen by José Félix Uriburu...

, a line of corrupt governments that had imposed the so-called patriotic fraud since the military coup of 1930.

The labor movement was against the coup, initially perplexed and undecided about the position should be adopted. It was divided into the four main groups (CGT N º 1, CGT No. 2, USA and FORA). One of the first actions was to dissolve the government CGT No. 2 (led by the socialist Francisco Perez Leirós), the Employees' Union of trade unions of Borlenghi and the communist-led unions (construction workers, meatpackers
Meat Industry Workers Federation
The Meat Industry Workers Federation was a trade union of meat workers in Argentina. The union was founded in the early 1930s. FOIC was led by the Communist Party of Argentina...

, etc.). This led to a number of unions that formed it to return to the CGT N º 1 (general secretary José Domenech). Shortly after the government passed a law on trade unions, who met some expectations but union, while allowing them to intervene by the State. Then the military government applied this law to the powerful rail unions involved and the heart of the CGT, the Union Railway and the Brotherhood. In October a series of strikes were answered with the arrest of dozens of labor leaders. It soon became apparent that the military government was composed of influential anti-union sectors.

Under these conditions some union socialists, trade unionists and some communist revolutionaries led by Ángel Borlenghi
Ángel Borlenghi
Ángel Borlenghi was an Argentine labor leader and politician closely associated with the Peronist movement.-Early life and the labor movement:Ángel Gabriel Borlenghi was born in Buenos Aires to Italian immigrants, in 1904...

 (a socialist and secretary general of the powerful General Confederation of Employees of Commerce in the dissolved socialist CGT No. 2), Francisco Pablo Capozzi (PFI), Juan Bramuglia (Railway Union), among others, agreed, albeit with reservations and distrust, to undertake a series of alliances with certain sectors of the military government which shared the union demands. Among young military colonels were Juan D. Peron and Domingo Mercante
Domingo Mercante
Domingo Mercante was an Argentine military officer and prominent Peronist political figure.-Life and times:...


The union proposed the military create a Ministry of Labor, strengthen the CGT and enact a series of labor laws that accepted the historical claims of the Argentine labor movement. Soon after, the alliance between trade unionists and military government appointed Peron as Director of the Department of Labor, a position apparently worthless. A month later, the status of the organism raised to a Secretary of State (December 2, 1943). From the Department of Labor, Peron, with the support of the unions began to develop much of the historic union agenda: it created employment tribunals; 33.302/43 Decree was passed extending the severance pay to all workers, more than two million people were beneficiaries of the retirement was enacted the Statute of farm workers and the status of the journalist, it created the Polyclinic Hospital for railway workers, prohibiting private placement agencies, the Technical Schools aimed at workers; 123 more decrees were signed. In 1944 collective agreements reached more than 1,400,000 workers and employees, and in 1945 another 347 covered 2,186,868 workers. Additionally Peron succeeded to repeal the decree-law regulating unions sanctioned in the first days of military rule.

Within this framework, the unions began a period of high growth, and what was even more important, they began to recruit large numbers to the "new" workers, who were migrating en masse to the city from the countryside, called "morochos "" fat "and" black heads "with the middle and upper classes and the workers themselves" old "descendants of European immigration.

Soon after, some unions that had remained aloof, the CGT N º 1, the USA and the autonomous unions, are beginning to unite around the Secretary of Labor. But to the contrary, in September 1945, 4 major unions split from the CGT: Fraternity, the Textile Workers Union, the Confederation of Commercial Employees and the Union of Footwear.

The alliance between unions and the group of young military officers led by Peron immediately generated strong opposition from conservative political, economic and military, with support from the U.S. Embassy (Ambassador Braden) that generates a high polarization for 1945. The events unfolded rapidly.

On 12 July 1945, the trade unions led by Borlenghi perform a massive act of downtown Buenos Aires (on Diagonal Norte and Florida). When finished, the crowd of workers begin to chant the name of Peron and proclaim it as a candidate for president.

The workers' demonstration was answered on September 19 by the middle and upper classes with the "March of the Constitution and Freedom," which brought the extraordinary sum of 200,000 people marching in the upscale Recoleta
Recoleta is a downtown residential neighborhood in the city of Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina; it is an area of great historical and architectural interest, due, particularly to the Recoleta Cemetery located there...

 ward, where supporters of the Former President Arturo Rawson
Arturo Rawson
Arturo Rawson was the President of Argentina from June 4, 1943 to June 7, 1943.-Biography:Born in Santiago del Estero, Rawson attended Argentina’s Military College, which he graduated from in 1907 and subsequently taught at for a time. Rawson rose through the ranks of the Argentine Army and was...

 gathered at the balcony of his house.

October days

General Eduardo Avalos demanded Perón's resignation, organizing a military show of force in support of this on October 8; the military government, to avoid conflict, accepted, and Perón resigned the next day.

On October 10, upon Perón's leaving office as Vice President, the CGT held a rally in his support in the corner of Peru and Alsina Streets, downtown. He directed himself to the rally, and gave a famous speech in which he detailed an ambitious program to redress labor grievances. On October 11 Avalos took over as Minister of War, and that night a meeting was held at the Military Club (Paz Palace
Paz Palace
The Paz Palace is a former mansion in Buenos Aires, Argentina, housing the Military Officers' Association, a social club maintained by the Argentine military.-Overview:...

) with nearly 300 officers, among whom were about 20 of the Navy, to discuss the course to be followed, including as to whether to retain Farrell as President. The assembly decided to send a delegation to meet with Avalos and, indeed, the only points that had agreed was to request the immediate convocation of elections, the appointment of civilian ministers, lifting the siege and the arrest and prosecution of Perón. Concurrently, a senior Senator from the Socialist Party of Argentina, Alfredo Palacios
Alfredo Palacios
Alfredo Lorenzo Palacios was an Argentine socialist politician.Palacios was born in Buenos Aires, and studied law at Universidad de Buenos Aires, after graduation he became a lawyer and taught at the university until becoming a dean.In 1902, he was elected to the Buenos Aires' legislature, and in...

, obtained a Supreme Court
Supreme Court of Argentina
The Supreme Court of Argentina is the highest court of law of the Argentine Republic. It was inaugurated on 15 January 1863. However, during much of the 20th century, the Court and, in general, the Argentine judicial system, has lacked autonomy from the executive power...

 ruling against the regime, and when the Paz Palace meeting ended at midnight, a presidential decree
Necessity and Urgency Decree
A Necessity and Urgency Decree is a special kind of order issued by the President of Argentina. Unlike regular decrees, which are used in Argentina for rulemaking, a DNU has the force of law...

 calling for elections was announced on the airwaves.

Ameeting of opposition leaders gathered around a Democratic Coordinating Board on October 11. Emboldened by the course of events, the Army decided to demand that power be handed over to the Supreme Court. Historian Félix Luna
Félix Luna
Félix Luna was a prominent Argentine writer, lyricist and historian.-Life and times:Luna was born in Buenos Aires to a family originally from La Rioja Province, in 1925...

 wrote on the lack of realism that made this decision such a tactical mistake:

While the army was divided into sectors that had serious disagreements, none of them could accept at that time give the government to recognize the Court as it involved a humiliating defeat. Moreover, the Chief Justice was Dr. Roberto Repetto, a respected jurist but lacking any political experience.

On October 12, after receiving the military delegation, Farrell called for the resignation of all ministers except Avalos; Lima Vernengo was appointed as Minister of the Navy. At the same, a demonstration was held around the Paz Palace by the most conservative students, who shouted anti-military slogans and seized the building. They demanded the Supreme Court's intervention against Perón and any government decision on his behalf, a position which further unified the latter's base of support.

When in the afternoon a delegation of civilians took this position to Avalos, the War Minister considered unacceptable, tried to reassure them and informed them that she will be arrested. The delegation returned to inform the protesters, who were still in place, causing visible irritation. On several occasions there had been clashes between elements Alliance and students, about nine o'clock that night without any clear explanation of its origin had a violent shootout between police and a group of protesters who threw the one person dead and more than fifty wounded.

Eva Perón drove on the morning of Thursday the 11th with "Rudi Freude
Rodolfo Freude
Rodolfo Freude was a close advisor of Argentine President Juan Perón and served as his Director of the Information Division ....

, son of a friend, and Juan Duarte to San Nicolás island first and then to the Delta
Paraná Delta
The Paraná Delta is the delta of the Paraná River in Argentina. The Paraná flows north–south and becomes an alluvial basin between the Argentine provinces of Entre Ríos and Santa Fe, then emptying into the Río de la Plata....

, leaving Mercante with instructions to cooperate with police, rather than hide".

On October 12 President Farrell ordered the arrest of Perón. The police came to fetch him from his apartment on Calle Posadas, in the Retiro
Retiro, Buenos Aires
Retiro is a barrio in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Located in the northeast end of the city, Retiro is bordered on the south by the Puerto Madero and San Nicolás wards, and on the west by the Recoleta ward.-Urban character:...

 ward of Buenos Aires, and Mercante told the sheriff where he was and the next day. Perón was taken into custody at the gunboat ARA Independencia
ARA Independencia
Two ships of the Armada of the Argentine Republic have been name Independencia in honour of the nation's Declaration of Independence from Spain:...

, which in turn moved to Martin Garcia Island. Following the arrest, the newspaper Crítica
Crítica de la Argentina
- Origin :The name was a throwback to a Crítica originally published between 1913 and 1962, which, during the 1920s, was the most widely-circulated in Latin America.- History :...

(then the most widely circulated newsdaily in Argentina), announced on the front page that: Perón is no longer a threat to the country.

On Saturday, October 13, Farrell met with the Attorney General, Dr. Juan Álvarez, and proposed to Avalos that he form a new cabinet with the latter as a sort of Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

, thus following a suggestion made to him by former Córdoba Province
Córdoba Province (Argentina)
Córdoba is a province of Argentina, located in the center of the country. Neighboring provinces are : Santiago del Estero, Santa Fe, Buenos Aires, La Pampa, San Luis, La Rioja and Catamarca...

 Governor Amadeo Sabattini
Amadeo Sabattini
Amadeo Tomás Sabattini was an Argentine politician. He served as Governor of Córdoba from May 17, 1936, to May 17, 1940....

. It was a compromise in which no transfer power to the Court was entrusted to a renowned civil conduction process leading to elections. Álvarez took his time: one day to consult before accepting the job and four days of consultations for candidates, presenting his list for these on October 17.

On the night of Tuesday the 16th, a Confederal Committee meeting of the General Confederation of Labor
General Confederation of Labour (Argentina)
The General Confederation of Labour of the Argentine Republic is a national trade union centre of Argentina founded on September 27, 1930, as the result of the merge of the USA and the COA trade union centres...

 (CGT) decided to call a strike for the 18th. The reason for the strike was expressed in a number of issues including freedom of political prisoners, calling for elections, maintaining the gains of workers, etc.. but, significantly, did not mention Perón. The explanation is that many leaders were not convinced to support Perón, so the favorable sector due to unemployment in the text to make concessions to reach a majority

A significant section of the CGT, enlisted in the Communist and Socialist parties Peron identified with Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 and demanded his dismissal, coinciding with the U.S. Embassy.

While the CGT hosted the mobilization to be held the next day, the strike served as a driver for several unions and workers in general, were on alert after days earlier, felt backed for actions to take.

Perón, citing health problems, managed to move him to a military hospital in the Belgrano district of Buenos Aires, where they arrive on the morning of 17.

October 17

The mobilization of workers began at dawn in the southern Buenos Aires neighborhoods of La Boca
La Boca
La Boca is a neighborhood, or barrio of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. It retains a strong European flavour, with many of its early settlers being from the Italian city of Genoa. In fact the name has a strong assonance with the Genoese neighborhood of Boccadasse , and some people believe that...

, Barracas
Barracas is a barrio, or district, in the southeast part of the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is located between the railroad of Ferrocarril General Manuel Belgrano and the Riachuelo River, and the streets Regimiento de Patricios, Defensa, Caseros, Vélez Sársfield, Amancio Alcorta, Lafayette,...

, Parque Patricios
Parque Patricios
Parque Patricios is a barrio located on the southern side of Buenos Aires, Argentina belonging to the fourth comuna.Parque Patricios underwent a transformation during the beginning of the 1900's...

, as well as in working class suburbs further south, such as Avellaneda
Avellaneda is a port city in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the seat of the Avellaneda Partido, whose population was 328,980 as per the ....

, Berisso
Berisso is the "cabecera" of the Department of Berisso of Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. It forms part of the Greater La Plata urban area and has a population of approximately 14.021 Inhabitants.-People:...

, Lanús
Lanús is the capital of Lanús Partido, Buenos Aires Province in Argentina. It lies just south of the capital city Buenos Aires, in the Greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area. The city has a population of 212,152 , and the Partido de Lanús has a total population of 453,500.A major industrial centre,...

 and Quilmes, as well as other, surrounding industrial areas. Among the first to mobilize en masse were abattoir workers led by Cipriano Reyes in Berisso, an impoverished suburb north of La Plata
La Plata
La Plata is the capital city of the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and of La Plata partido. According to the , the city proper has a population of 574,369 and its metropolitan area has 694,253 inhabitants....

 then home to numerous meat packing establishments, such as the important Swift-Armour
Swift & Company
Swift & Company is an American food procession company a wholly owned subsidiary of JBS S.A. , a Brazilian company that is the world's largest processor of fresh beef and pork, with more than US$30 billion in annual sales as of 2010. It is also the largest beef processor in Australia.Swift &...


The march swelled with those who left factories and shops, and refrained from directly entering workplaces themselves. Initially the police lifted the bridges over the Riachuelo
Matanza River
The Matanza River is known by several names, including, in Spanish, Río de la Matanza , Río Matanza , Río Mataderos , Río de la Manzana , El Riachuelo , or simply Riachuelo...

 that led into the capital, and some protesters crossed by swimming or on rafts until bridges were later lowered; some members of the police force exchanged expressions of sympathy with the demonstrators. The marchers' many banners included slogans that had nothing to do with the claims of the CGT; but expressed their support for Perón and demanded his release.

President Edelmiro Farrell had a laissez-faire attitude. The new Minister of War General Eduardo Avalos watched the protesters and refused to mobilize the troops of the Campo de Mayo
Campo de Mayo
Campo de Mayo is a military base located in Greater Buenos Aires, Argentina, northwest of Buenos Aires.Campo de Mayo covers an area of and is one of the most important military bases in Argentina, including Argentine Army's:...

 barracks in a few hours could reach the federal capital, as it is claimed by some officers of the army and the Minister of Marine. Avalos was confident the demonstration would dissolve by itself; but instead found that they became increasingly numerous, and ultimately agreed to hold talks with Perón in the Military Hospital. They had a short meeting to agree on the conditions: Perón would speak to reassure the protesters, without making reference to his arrest, and persuade them to disperse; in return, the entire cabinet would resign, as would Avalos.

At 10:30 pm that day, Dr. Juan Álvarez had attended Government House to deliver a letter with the names proposed for ministers together with the curriculum of them and their acceptance to the charges. He was received with bewilderment in the midst of the disorder that existed at the time on site, and fired him with courtesy. The list was, according to Luna, a scorn for the country, it included people with a highly questionable history as far their democratic credentials. These included, Jorge Figueroa Alcorta, proposed for Minister Justice and Public Instruction, who had been involved in a 1942 plot with military cadets; Alberto Hueyo for the Treasury, who had been director of the CHADE electirc utility when it fraudulently obtained an extension of its concession; Tomás Amadeo for Agriculture, was a close friend of U.S. Ambassador Spruille Braden
Spruille Braden
Spruille Braden was an American diplomat, businessman, lobbyist, and member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as the ambassador of various Latin American countries, and as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs...

; Antonio Vaquer for Public Works, who had been an official in President Roberto Marcelino Ortiz's Coordination of Transportation, a unit established at the behest of British tram
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

 businesses, to the detriment of local businesses collectives.

At 11:10 pm, and before a crowd estimated at 300,000 people, Perón appeared at the main balcony of the Casa Rosada
Casa Rosada
La Casa Rosada is the official seat of the executive branch of the government of Argentina, and of the offices of the President. The President normally lives at the Quinta de Olivos, a compound in Olivos, Buenos Aires Province. Its characteristic color is pink, and is considered one of the most...

, the nation's executive government offices. He thanked those present, recalling his work in government, reported on his request for retirement, pledged to continue defending the interests of workers and, finally, asked those present to disperse in peace, urging instead that they maintain the general strike
General strike
A general strike is a strike action by a critical mass of the labour force in a city, region, or country. While a general strike can be for political goals, economic goals, or both, it tends to gain its momentum from the ideological or class sympathies of the participants...

 the following day.

Immediate effects

Perón's resignation on 8 October 1945 was the result of loss of support in the army commanders. Based on the letter sent to Eva Duarte from Martín García Island, it can be considered at the time Perón was determined to retire from politics. The mobilization of 17 October had two immediate effects: it forced Perón to return to the political struggle, and persuaded the Army to turning in his favor before those among the military leadership opposed to him could organize their colleagues against him.

After a short period of rest, he and Eva Duarte were married on October 23, following which Perón began his political campaign. Former Governor Sabattini and others within the UCR formed the Junta Renovadora ("Renewal Board"), which joined independents in endorsing the Labor Party. The influential FORJA ("Wrought") faction of the UCR, led by Arturo Jauretche
Arturo Jauretche
Arturo Martín Jauretche was an Argentine writer, politician, and philosopher.-Early years:...

, disbanded to join the Peronist movement; Jauretche was later appointed Director of the Bank of the Province of Buenos Aires
Bank of the Province of Buenos Aires
The Bank of the Province of Buenos Aires is a publicly-owned Argentine bank and the second-largest in the nation, by value of assets and deposits.-History:...


Domingo Mercante
Domingo Mercante
Domingo Mercante was an Argentine military officer and prominent Peronist political figure.-Life and times:...

 was appointed to head the Department of Labor. A colonel tied to the principal rail workers' union, he helped rally organized labor in support for the Perón campaign.

The opposition parties formed the Democratic Union, an alliance centered around the presidential ticket nominated by the Radical Civic Union
Radical Civic Union
The Radical Civic Union is a political party in Argentina. The party's positions on issues range from liberal to social democratic. The UCR is a member of the Socialist International. Founded in 1891 by radical liberals, it is the oldest political party active in Argentina...

. The Perón-Quijano ticket won the February 24, 1946, election
Argentine general election, 1946
The Argentine general election of 1946, the last for which only men were enfranchised, was held on 24 February. Voters chose both the President and their legislators and with a turnout of 83.4%, it produced the following results:-President:aAbstentions....

with 54% of the vote.
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