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1928 Oct 2
Spanish priest Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer (1902-1975) founded Opus Dei, a conservative Catholic organization, in Madrid. In 2002 Pope John Paul II raised him to sainthood.
Links: Spain, Vatican     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1931
Randoplh Hearst, American newspaper magnate, purchased a collapsing former Trapist monestary in Spain, the Santa Maria de Ovila, for $97,000. Plans to rebuilt the 16th century chapter house at his mother’s Wyntoon estate went on hold with the Great Depression. Hearst later gifted the crated stones to San Francisco. In 1994 SF agreed to loan the stones to Cistercian monks at Vina, near Chico, Ca. In the spring of 2012 the scaffolding of rebuilt structure in Vina came down.
Links: Spain, USA, California     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1936 Jul 17
Gen. Francisco Franco was flown from the Canary Islands, where he served as military governor, to Spanish Morocco where he led a rebellion against the elected Popular Front. This began the Spanish civil war. The first word of the rebellion was reported by Lester Ziffren (1906-2007) of the United Press. The rebel Nationalist movement under Francisco Franco gained support from the fascist regimes in Italy and Germany in opposition.
Links: Spain, Morocco, Canary Islands     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1936 Sep
Robert Capa's photograph of a falling Spanish Civil War militiaman was first published by French magazine Vu, and later in Life magazine. The caption on the legendary photojournalist's "Falling Militiaman" said it depicted the moment a Republican rifleman was mortally wounded. In 2009 Spanish researchers who studied events surrounding the picture believed it may have been staged.
Links: Spain, Photography, Magazine     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1936 Nov 7
The Battle of Madrid began.
Links: Spain     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1936 Nov 7
In Spain as Franco’s army besieged Madrid, Santiago Carrillo (1915-2014) was appointed Councilor for Public Order in Madrid. His first act was to organize the execution of more than 2,000 imprisoned army officers, suspected of being “fifth-columnists.”
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1936 Nov 19
German Luftwaffe bombed Madrid and continued bombing to Nov 23.
Links: Spain, Germany     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1936 Nov
1936 Dec
In Spain hundreds of Franco supporters were killed at Paracuellos. Between 2,000 and 4,000 suspected supporters of the coup against the Second Spanish Republic, were killed by the Republican Army. The Soviet NKVD was later implicated.
Links: Russia, Spain, USSR, Massacre     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1936
1939
The Spanish Civil War has been commonly referred to as "a rehearsal for World War II" by historians because of the intervention by Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and the Soviet Union, and their use of the war to test new weapons and military techniques. It was fought between the liberal Second Spanish Republic government and right-wing rebel forces, including the fascist Falangists, monarchists and Nationalists. The rebels had the support of the Roman Catholic Church, in addition to Germany and Italy. The Government supporters, called Loyalists, had the support of communists, socialists, anarchists, the Soviet Union and volunteers from around the world who formed the International Brigades. Between 400,000 and 1 million were killed in the war, ultimately won by the rebels. In 2008 Paul Preston authored “We Saw Spain Die: Foreign correspondents in the Spanish Civil War.” In 2012 Paul Preston authored “The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain.”
Links: Russia, Spain, Germany, USSR, Journalism     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1937 Jan 8
In San Francisco demonstrations took place in front of the German Consulate at 201 Sansome Street protesting the bombing of Madrid.
Links: Spain, Germany, SF     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1937 Jul 1
Spanish bishops supported Franco & fascists.
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1939
A handful of Spanish artists, including Eugenio Granell and Jose Vela Zanetti, immigrated to Santo Domingo of the Dominican Republic and introduced the modern art idiom.
Links: Artist, Spain, Dominican Rep.     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1943 Sep 23
Julio Iglesias De la Cueva, Spanish singer (To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before…), was born in Madrid.
Links: Spain, Pop&Rock     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1945
Carmen Laforet (23), Spanish writer, authored her first novel “Nada” (Nothing). It was set in Spain during the 1930s and conveyed the crushing weight of war through its characters. An English translation became available in 2007.
Links: Spain, Writer, Books     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1950
The Club Mediterranean resort opened catering to singles. Gilbert Trigano (d.2000 at 80) of France and Gerard Blitz, a Belgium water polo champion, founded the 1st Club Med with 200 tents on the Spanish island of Mallorca.
Links: Belgium, Spain, France     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
1952
Rafael del Pino founded Grupo Ferrovial S.A., a multinational Spanish company involved in construction, infrastructure, real estate, and related services.
Links: Spain     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1952
Barnaby Conrad (1922-2013) authored the bestseller "Matador," about the life of Manolete, Spain's greatest bullfighter. He later used royalties from the book to move back to San Francisco and open his El Matador saloon.
Links: Spain, USA, Writer, SF, Books     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1953
The Spanish film “Bienvenido Mister Marshall!” was directed by Luis Garcia Berlanga.
Links: Spain, Film     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1954
Gen. Franco closed the Spanish consulate on Gibraltar in a fit of rage over a visit by Queen Elizabeth II.
Links: Spain, Britain, Gibraltar     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1956 Apr 19
In Spain 12 people died and about 70 were injured following earthquakes in the southern Granada region.
Links: Spain, Earthquake     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1956 Nov 22
Melbourne, Australia, hosted this summer’s 16th Olympiad. 65 countries and 4,276 athletes competed. Closing ceremonies were held on Dec 8. The Netherlands and Spain withdrew from the Olympics in support of Hungary following Russia’s invasion. 45 athletes from Hungary defected during the games. Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq boycotted the games in protest over British and French actions over the Suez Canal. China boycotted protesting the inclusion of athletes from Taiwan.
Links: Australia, Iraq, Russia, Spain, China, Taiwan, Hungary, Netherlands, Egypt, Olympics, Lebanon     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1957
In Spain a flood devastated the Ciutat Vella, the historic district of Valencia. To avoid another such deluge the government diverted the Turia River and turned the riverbed into a public green zone.
Links: Spain, Flood     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1958 Dec
Julen Madariaga helped found ETA. EKIN (engage), a Basque nationalist group, transformed into Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (E.T.A., Basque Homeland and Freedom). ETA was the only armed group that emerged in the Spanish state during Francoism [see July 31, 1959].
Links: Spain, Basques, ETA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1959 Jul 31
In Spain dissident student members of the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), inspired by Marxist-Leninist teachings, formally founded ETA, which stands for Euskadi ta Askatasuna, meaning Basque Fatherland and Liberty in the Basque language. Its founders focused on Gen. Francisco Franco's suppression of the Basque language and culture.
Links: Spain, Basques, ETA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1961 Jul 18
In Spain ETA’s first violent action tried to derail a train carrying supporters of dictator Gen. Francisco Franco.
Links: Spain, , Basques, ETA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1963 Oct 8
Remedios Varo (b.1908), Spanish-born surrealist painter, died in Mexico. Walter Gruen, her 11-year lover and promoter, collected her work and in 1987 attempted to get copyright protection. A Mexican judge denied his request due to Varo’s failure to get a formal divorce from French poet Benjamin Peret. In 1999 the Mexican government tried to seize the paintings on behalf of Mexico but faced a claim by next of kin niece Beatriz Varo. By 2005 Mr. Gruen agreed to give his entire collection to the Mexican government if it gets named after his deceased daughter.
Links: Artist, Spain, Mexico     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1967 Jan 4
Mohamed Khider (b.1912), Algerian politician and a leading figure in the FLN, was assassinated in Madrid, Spain.
Links: Algeria, Spain, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968 Mar 3
The embassies of Greece, Portugal and Spain were bombed in the Hague.
Links: Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, Greece     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968 May 5
Spain closed its frontier with Gibraltar. This Followed a referendum in which Gibraltar's voters were asked whether they wished to become part of Spain and voted with a re-sounding no vote.
Links: Spain, Gibraltar     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968 Jun 7
In Spain ETA, a Basque Homeland and Freedom separatist group, shot and killed Civil Guard Jose Pardines Arcay at a checkpoint. This marked ETA’s 1st killing as it began fighting for independence. Its political wing was Herri Batasuna.
Links: Spain, ETA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1968 Oct 12
Eq. Guinea gained Independence was from Spain. Eq. Guinea consists of two geographic entities: the mainland of Rio Muni and the island of Bioko, formerly Fernando Poo. Francisco Macias became the 1st president and proclaimed himself God’s "unique miracle." He drove the economy into the ground and over a third of the population went into exile.
Links: Spain, Equatorial Guinea     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968
James Michener (1907-1997), American author, wrote his travel book "Iberia," a detailed and illustrated exploration of Spain at it was during the mid 1960s.
Links: Spain, USA, Writer     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968
Jerome Mintz (d.1997 at 67), US anthropologist, published "The Anarchists of Casa Viejas," an account and oral history of the 1933 Spanish uprising.
Links: Spain, USA, Books, Anthropology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968
In Spain the ETA, Basque Homeland and Freedom, a Basque separatist group, began fighting for independence. Its political wing was Herri Batasuna.
Links: Spain, Basques, ETA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1969 Jan 4
Spain returned the Ifni province to Morocco.
Links: Spain, Morocco     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
1969 Jan 23
Gregorio Ordonez, deputy mayor of San Sebastian, Spain, was assassinated by an ETA terrorist.
Links: Spain, ETA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1969 Jun 4
Armando Socarras Ramirez (22) sneaked into wheel pod of a jet parked in Havana & survived a 9-hr flight to Spain despite thin oxygen levels at 29,000 ft.
Links: Spain, Cuba, Aviation     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1969 Jun 6
Gen. Franco closed the Gibraltar border with Spain. It stayed closed for 16 years. This effectively starved Gibraltar of workers while depriving some 9,000 former workers of much-needed jobs and of a right to claim pensions. The frontier was not fully reopened until 1985.
Links: Spain, Gibraltar     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1969 Jun
A block of flats near Segovia, Spain, collapsed killing 58 people. Developer Jesus Gil y Gil (1933-2004) was jailed for 5 years for criminal negligence, but was pardoned after 18 months.
Links: Spain     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1969 Jul 22
Spain’s dictator Francisco Franco appointed Prince Juan Carlos de Borbon y Borbon as official successor to the position of Head of State.
Links: Spain     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1969
The International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas entered into force. ICCAT, with headquarters based in Madrid, Spain, was established at a Conference of Plenipotentiaries, which prepared and adopted the convention, signed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1966.
Links: Spain, Fish     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1970 Jul 3
A British Dan-Air charter, flying a Comet 4 turbojet, crashed near Barcelona and 112 were killed.
Links: Spain, Britain, Air Crash     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1972 Nov 17
Juan Peron (1895-1974) returned to Argentina from Spain for a short time after 17 years of exile.
Links: Argentina, Spain     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1972
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) drew his chilling crayon self-portrait as a skull.
Links: Artist, Spain     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1972
In southwest Spain a train collided with a bus killing 86 people and injuring 112.
Links: Spain, Train Crash, Disaster     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1973 Apr 8
Pablo Picasso (b.1881), Spanish artist, died at his home near Mougins, France, at age 91. He left some 50,000 works that included 1,885 paintings, 1,228 sculptures, 2,880 ceramics, 18,095 engravings, 6,112 lithographs, 3,181 linocuts, 7,089 drawings plus 4,669 drawings and sketches in 149 notebooks, 11 tapestries and 8 rugs. Two books of a planned 4-volume biography were published by John Richardson, who then interrupted the series in 2000 with "The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Picasso, Provence, and Douglas Cooper." Picasso’s estate owed so much in death duties that many of his works fell into government hands. In 2007 John Richardson authored “A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932.”
Links: Artist, Spain, France     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1973 Aug 6
Fulgencio Batista y Zaldivar (b.1901), former dictator Cuba (1940-58), died in Spain.
Links: Spain, Cuba     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1973 Oct 22
Pablo Casals (96), Spanish cellist, conductor and composer died in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.
Links: Spain, Composer, Puerto Rico     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1973 Dec 20
ETA killed PM Adm. Luis Carrero Blanco with a bomb in Madrid.
Links: Spain, ETA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1974 Jul 19
In the Philippines a Miss Universe beauty pageant was held and thousands of squatters around Manila were forcibly moved out of sight. Amparo Munoz of Spain won.
Links: Spain, Philippines, Pageant     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1974 Sep 12
In its 1st major attack ETA killed 12 people with a bomb at a Madrid cafe.
Links: Spain, ETA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1974
A Spanish census was conducted in Western Sahara.
Links: Spain, Western Sahara, Census     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1974
The Suresnes Congress in France handed power over the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party to Felipe Gonzalez (b.1942), who became prime minister of Spain four times (1982-1996).
Links: Spain, France     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1975 May
Spain moved out of Spanish Sahara and the native Sahrawi called for independence. Both Morocco and Mauritania laid claim to Spanish Sahara (Western Sahara) following Spain’s withdrawal. The Polisario Front, an armed nationalist movement, sought to turn Western Sahara into an independent state for its largely nomadic people.
Links: Spain, Morocco, Mauritania, Western Sahara     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1975 Oct 30
Juan Carlos (37) assumed power in Spain after General Franco, near death, gave him control.
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1975 Nov 20
After nearly four decades of absolute rule (1936-1975), Spain's General Francisco Franco died, two weeks before his 83rd birthday. Juan Carlos, grandson of King Alfonso, was his designated successor and the monarchy was restored. In 2002 Gabrielle Ashford Hodges authored "Franco: A Concise Biography."
Links: Spain, Biography     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1975 Nov 22
Juan Carlos was proclaimed king of Spain.
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1975
Spain created the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish speaking world’s highest literary prize.
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1975
Rosalia Mera (1944-2013), a seamstress, and her husband, Armancio Ortega, co-founded a clothing store in La Coruna, Spain. It grew into Zara, one of the world's largest retail chains.
Links: Spain, Fashion, Retail     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1976 Jul 3
Spain’s King Juan Carlos appointed Adolfo Suarez (1932-2014), a young Francoist minister, as prime minister in an effort to try to unite Francoists and anti-Franco socialists, who were still in a sense fighting the 1936-1939 civil war.
Links: Spain     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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