Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 is a national holiday in Argentina marking the anniversary of... nothing.
At least the Government's Decree only explains it is just to bring about an extra-long weekend when linked to Oct. 11's celebration of what was used to be named “Race Day” or “Columbus Day” in English-speaking countries.
But that was Oct. 12. Still, it is not a fixed date and it can be accomodated in order to foster tourism. But is Oct. 8 a neutral day in Argentina, linked only to spare time and leisure? No. It is not!
According to his official biographer, Enrique Pavón Pereyra, three-time President Juan Domingo Perón was born on that day in 1895 in the town of Lobos in the Province of Buenos Aires. And it has remained his official birthdate despite other studies which say he was actually born on the 7th of October, but in 1893, at a time Mario Tomás Perón and Juana Sosa were not yet married, making him a natural child.
The study also explains that the ambitious Juan Domingo would have needed to change these data to be admitted into the Military Academy without suffering discrimination as a child out of wedlock.
October 9 also marks a new anniversary of the killing in 1967 of Cuban guerrilla leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara, the Rosario-born physician who gave his life for Marxism.
But in the not so old Argentine tradition of accomodating anniversaries and holidays to other purposes, tributes to Che will also be held Oct. 8 nationwide.
The Communist Party of Argentina will hold a meeting at its Buenos Aires headquarters and the Argentine Movement of Solidarity with Cuba (MasCuba) plans to praise the mythical leader “from La Quiaca to Patagonia,” according to Cuban news service Prensa Latina, the main gatherings called for in Che's native Rosario and before Cuba's Embassy in the Argentine capital.