NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
27th July, 1952 : At 9.42 last night, Argentina learnt that Eva Peron was dead. “Our spiritual leader has gone!” cried the radio announcer. The First Lady had succumbed to ovarian cancer at the age of only 33. Maria Eva Duarte was born at Los Toldos in 1919, the illegitimate daughter of a cook. At 15, singing in a Buenos Aires nightclub, she met Labour Minister Juan Peron. Less than 12 month later, he married her. Her charisma and popularity exceeded that of her husband. In October 1945, Peron was arrested on a treason charge. Eva – or Evita, as she was also known – took to the airwaves, inciting workers to rise up and free him. The ruling junta took fright and let him go. She championed many worthy causes, getting women the vote and legalising divorce. Argentina’s “descamisados”, or shirtless poor, loved her dearly.