December 6 – Constitution Day in Spain

Posted on December 6, 2016

Never forget that it can happen anywhere, at any time...

In the 1930s, there was a hotly contested election in Spain. A coalition of right wing groups lost – but just barely – to a left-leaning Popular Front. A group of generals tried to overthrow the republic – what's called a coup – but they failed. Still, the attempt was enough to throw Spain into a bloody civil war.

Half a million dead folks later, a winner emerged. It was the right-wing general-led side that won the war, but the only general left from the original group was a man named Francisco Franco. And Franco established himself as lifelong military and government leader. He called himself Caudillo, Leader in Chief.

The people who had supported Franco and his armies were the Nazis in Germany and Mussolini's forces in Italy. So...yeah, bad guys!

Franco ruled with violence, cruelty, concentration camps, forced labor, executions of political enemies.

And Franco ruled Spain for 36 years!

When he finally died, in 1975, the successor he appointed was King Juan Carlos I. But Carlos led Spain to becoming a democracy. After a referendum (popular vote), a new constitution was adopted on this date in 1978.

Don't forget, fascist dictators, military coups, civil wars, and propaganda-spewing demagogues have happened in many places and all through human history. Don't let it happen in your country!

It's a happy thing to celebrate the anniversary of a constitution after a period of human rights abuses! Here are more happy things in Spain:

In Valencia, the science museum, planetarium, and aquarium are sleek, modern architectural wonders:

The Spanish islands are beautiful!:

There are many small, charming villages. This one is Pampeneira: 

And Arcos de la Frontera is...scary!:

Also on this date:

Plan ahead:

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