South & Central America (inc. Atlantic Islands): key historical events

Page last modified 12/2/2019


Home Page


See also Central & South America

See also Falklands Islands


Colour key:



25/5/2003, Nestor Kirchner became President of Argentina, defeating Carlos Menem.

12/1/2003, Leopoldo Galtieri, President of Argentina, died.

1/12/2001, The Argentine Government froze all bank accounts; depositors were only allowed to withdraw 250 Pesos a week (later raised to 300 pesos). US Dollar accounts were totally frozen, unless the depositor agreed to take Pesos. The Argentine Peso was nominally at par with the US$ but a devaluation was widely anticipated as the Peso was grossly overvalued. Then the Peso was devalued to 4 to the US$, and Dollar depositors had to accept the conversion of their Dollars to Pesos at the old 1:1 rate, effectively losing three quarters of their savings.

18/4/1995, Artuto Frondizi, President of Argentina, died.

7/1/1993. The British Foreign Secretary, Douglas Hurd, became the first Cabinet Minister to visit Argentina since the Falklands War of 1982. He met Argentine President Carlos Menem, and the still disputed question of ownership of the Falkland Islands was avoided. Oil exploration and fishing issues were discussed,

3/12/1990, Argentinean President Carlos Menem foiled an attempted coup.

15/5/1989, Carlos Menem won the presidential elections in Argentina.

6/6/1985, A skeleton, conformed on 21/6/1985 as that of Nazi Josef Mengele, was unearthed in Argentina,

22/4/1985, In Argentina, the trial began of nine former military leaders, including Galtieri.

30/10/1983, The first democratic elections were held in Argentina after 7 years of military rule.

26/8/1982, Argentina lifted the ban on political parties.

See Falkland Islands for Falklands War 1982

22/12/1981, General Leopoldo Galtieri became President of Argentina.

24/3/1976, Isabel Peron, third wife of former President Juan Peron, was ousted as President of Argentina in a bloodless military coup.

13/1/1976, Argentina suspended diplomatic relations with the UK over the Falkland Islands.

1/7/1974. General Juan Peron, President of Argentina, died aged 78. He was succeeded by his wife, Maria Estela Peron. However she was deposed in a military coup in March 1976 and sentenced to five years in prison for alleged corruption.

23/9/1973. General Juan Peron was elected President of Argentina.

20/6/1973, Juan Peron returned to Argentina as President after 18 years exile.

25/5/1973, The Peronist Hector Campora was elected President of Argentina.

11/3/1973, In Argentine general elections, the Peronist candidate, Hector Campora, won. On 13/7/1973 he resigned to make way for Peron.

13/11/1955, In Argentina, General Lonardi, who had succeeded Peron, resigned. He had been accused of being too lenient on the Peronistas, also on the trades unions who had been Peron main supporters. Lonardi was succeeded by General Pedro Aramburu. Persecution of the Peronistas intensified; the unions called a general strike, and Aramburu sent troops against them. Peronistas were imprisoned, along with some Catholics (despite these being anti- Peron). Many were internally exiled to the harsh terrain of south-eastern Argentina.

21/9/1955, Juan Peron, Presidential dictator of Argentina since 1946, resigned and went into exile, ousted by a military coup. He was born on 8 October 1895, son of a wealthy rancher. In 1930 he took part in an uprising against President Hipolioto Irigoyen A widower in 1945, he met and married Maria Eva Durate, known as Evita. Evita died in the early 1950s, and economic difficulties and labour unrest increased in Argentina. Peron disliked the Catholic Church in Argentina and sought to minimise its influence, which brought him into conflict with the military officers. In 1955 Peron arrested 85 priests and expelled the Bishop of Buenos Aires, which earned him an excommunication from Pope Pius XII. On 18/6/1955 officers from the Argentine air force and navy rebelled and fighter planes bombed government buildings at Plaza del Mayo. Over 300 civilians were killed in the attack and Peron placed Argentina under martial law. A full military coup was launched on 16/9/1955 by General Eduardo Lonardi. Peron fled to Paraguay, remaining in exile until 1973 when his party won Argentine elections. Peron retuned to a heroes welcome, becoming President until his death on 1/7/1974.

16/9/1955, In Argentina the garrison at Cordoba – a strongly Catholic city – rebelled against Juan Peron, a revolt led by General Eduardo Lonardi, a devout Catholic, Other garrison towns joined the rebellion, and Isaac Roja, a senior naval officer, threatened a naval bombardment of Buenos Aires unless Peron resigned. Peron now had no military support and had to resign.

16/6/1955, Civil strife continued in Argentina. A group of naval officers attacked Juan Perons headquarters at Government House and naval aircraft dropped bombs, killing several bystanders. Two warships were also shelling Government House. However the Army remained loyal to Juan Peron and the naval revolt failed..

19/9/1954, Juan Peron, President of Argentina since 1946, resigned and went into exile in Paraguay.

26/7/1952. Eva Peron (Evita), Argentina’s first lady, died of cancer aged 33.

11/11/1951, Juan Peron was re-elected President of Argentina.

7/3/1948. Juan Peron won elections in Argentina.

4/6/1946. General Juan Peron became President of Argentina.

24/2/1946. Juan Peron was elected President of Argentina.

4/2/1931, Isabel Peron was born

6/9/1930, In Argentina, demonstrations by the people and an army rebellion forced President Hipolito Irigoyen to resign. General Jose Uriburu was appointed President.

14/6/1928. Birth of the Argentine revolutionary, Che Guevara, at Rosario, Argentina.

9/6/1921, Maria Luis Drago, Argentine statesman (born 6/5/1859 in Buenos Aires) died in Buenos Aires.

8/10/1895, Juan Peron, Argentinean general and nationalist dictator, was born in Lobos.

1881, Argentina and Chile agreed in a treaty that their mutual border should be “The line of highest peaks which divides the waters”. However subsequent exploration revealed that faster flowing westwards streams had, by headwaters erosion, established a watershead many miles east of the line of highest peaks of the Andes. The two countries asked Queen Victoria of Britain to arbitrate a border, which was done at the Courth of Arbitration in 1902, by best available mapping. Subsequently, improved mapping rendered that border ambiguous, and in 1965 the British Government was again asked to arbitrate. On 9/12/1966 the British Government set a new border, which was marked on the ground in early 1967.

1862, The short-lived Mapuche ‘Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia’ was suppressed, see Chile for more details.

11/11/1859. The city of Buenos Aires, which broke away from the Argentine Federation in 1853, was compelled to rejoin today.

8/12/1829, De Rosas made himself Governor of Buenos Aires.

26/2/1824, Carlos Calvi, Argentine historian (died 1906) was born in Buenos Aires.

9/7/1816. Argentina, as the ‘United Provinces of the River Plate’, formally declared independence from Spain. In practice independent government had been run since 25/5/1816.

9/7/1815, At the Congress of Tucuman, Argentina declared independence from Spain, after a long campaign by Jose de San Martin.

25/5/1810, Argentina formed a revolutionary government under General Manuel Belgrano, that was only nominally dependent on Spain.

1/3/1565. The Portuguese established a colony at Rio de Janeiro.

1536, Buenos Aires was first founded by the Spanish.


Back to top