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23/F Where were you on that historic day in 1981?

Wendy . Blog Published 23 February 2009

Most people around the world won't remember where they were or what they were doing on February 23rd, 1981. Well, that's not entirely true. Spanish diplomats abroad remember; Spaniards living overseas remember.

Spaniards over the age of about 40 probably remember the day that members of the civil guard took over the Spanish parliament in full session. It was a Coup d'Etat, a"golpe de estado"! A camera crew was filming the session and so the Spanish population could hear and see part of what was going on.

Spain was still a fledgling democracy at the time, with a recently re-installed monarchy. And this was a military takeover. What would happen next? Shots were fired. Everyone ducked. Hours went by. Then King Juan Carlos made his statement and the crisis was over. The military would NOT support the uprising. The rest is history.

And where were you on 23/F?

If you are in your late 20s or 30s you'll probably answer, " I don't remember".

If you are under 28, you'll respond with, "I hadn't been born yet."

And those of you who DO remember? Where were YOU?

I remember. I was in a preparation for childbirth class. Yep, I was 8 1/2 months pregnant and about to bring another Spaniard into the world. A TV crew was filming our exercise class for the TV show "Más Vale Prevenir". As we started to exit there was a lot of talking and whispering and shouting and running. "Military Takeover"... The film crews ran out the door. And we went home to watch TV and get ready to have our babies.

-Wendy

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Comments (6)
Pedro (not verified)
5 February 2016 12:29 pm Reply

I was at the Architectural School in Madrid. When you are in the University you feel a bit out of the world so we didn't take the hole affair very seriously, we thought it would end soon. Only at night, when the civil guard was still in the Congress and the streets where empty, I realized that the situation was dangerous.

Paqui García Rubiño (not verified)
5 February 2016 12:29 pm Reply

I was taking a shower when these shots broke my windows!

Raquel (not verified)
5 February 2016 12:29 pm Reply

Although I am 30 years old I slightly remember that day. I was at home with my sister and my grandparents. My parents came really soon that day and I remember that we were watching TV waiting for more information. There were a silence and finally my father said that we had to stay at home. That's all but I think that I remember that day because I had never seen a so intense concern and worry since I was born.

Nora (not verified)
5 February 2016 12:29 pm Reply

Wow, I can't imagine what that would have been like. Pregnant and with a "golpe de estado". :)

Jerry Kammer (not verified)
5 February 2016 12:29 pm Reply

Of all places, I was at my private students' home giving English lessons! That's right, I've been at this job for quite a while. I was giving classes to 3 members of the family and I was with the father when Marta, the 18-year-old daughter came running into the room with a transister radio on and we all heard Tejero Molino shouting: "Al suelo, coño!" It wasn't until later that evening that I realized how serious the incident really was. The golpe luckilly fizzled out but the mentality behind it unfortunately lives on.

David (not verified)
5 February 2016 12:29 pm Reply

I hadn't been born yet! So... nowhere :-)

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