On This Day

Francisco Franco

Spanish Dictator and General Francisco Franco

Profession: Spanish Dictator and General


Biography: Francisco Franco, General and ruler of Spain for nearly forty years began his career as a young soldier, rising to 2nd in command of the Spanish Foreign Legion in 1920 and later its commander. Franco was one of a group of military leaders who in 1936 planned a coup to overthrow the Republican elected government, effectively starting the Spanish Civil War.

Franco assumed leadership of Nationalist forces slowly winning control of Spain. Franco was aided in his cause by some support from fascist Germany and Italy.

However Franco failed to come to an agreement with Hitler at the outbreak of WWII and remained outside the war. Franco's early rule saw a continuation of the Nationalist 'White Terror' the oppression, imprisonment and execution of political opponents.

The first years of Franco's reign were bleak as many went into exile. Franco promoted a nationalist, conservative state and suppressed regional languages and identity. In 1969 he appointed Prince Juan Carlos as his successor. Upon his death in 1975 he was interred in Valle de los Caídos, a vast memorial.

Born: December 4, 1892
Birthplace: Ferrol, Galicia, Spain

Generation: Lost Generation
Star Sign: Sagittarius

Died: November 20, 1975 (aged 82)

Articles and Photos

Married Life

  • 1923-10-16 General Francisco Franco (30) marries María del Carmen Polo y Martínez-Valdés (23) at Church of San Juan el Real in Oviedo

Historical Events

  • 1926-02-25 Francisco Franco becomes Spain's youngest general at 33
  • 1936-07-17 Spanish generals Francisco Franco and Emilio Mola lead a right-wing uprising, starting the Spanish Civil War
  • 1936-07-18 Spanish Civil War: General Francisco Franco issues manifesto and leads an uprising in the Spanish army stationed in Morocco
  • 1936-09-04 Franco's troops conquer Irun & Talavera de la Reina, Spain
  • 1936-09-21 Spanish fascist junta names Francisco Franco to Generalissimo and Supreme Commander
  • 1936-09-27 Franco troops conquer Toledo
  • 1936-10-01 Generalissimo Francisco Franco establishes state of Spain
  • 1936-11-18 Germany & Italy recognize Spanish government of Francisco Franco
  • 1937-03-20 Franco offensive at Guadalajara, Spain
  • 1937-06-19 Francisco Franco's troops conquer the Bilbao Basques
  • 1937-07-01 Spanish bishops support Francisco Franco and his fascist movement
  • 1937-08-06 Franco's artillery fires on Madrid
  • 1937-08-26 General Franco's Nationalist troops conquer Santander during the Spanish Civil War
  • 1937-10-21 Francisco Franco's troops occupy Gijon
  • 1937-12-01 Japan recognizes Spain's Franco government
  • 1938-03-17 The Italian Air Force, in support of Francisco Franco, bombs Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War
  • 1938-05-03 Vatican recognizes Franco-Spain
  • 1939-01-13 Belgian premier signs Burgos Treaty for trade relations with Franco's Spain
  • 1939-01-26 Francisco Franco's troops conquer Barcelona
  • 1939-02-22 Netherlands recognizes Franco regime in Spain
  • 1939-02-27 Britain and France recognize Francisco Franco's government in Spain
  • 1939-02-28 Great Britain recognizes Franco regime in Spain
  • 1939-03-28 Spanish Civil War ends, Madrid falls to the Nationalists headed by Francisco Franco
  • 1939-04-01 US recognizes Francisco Franco's government in Spain at end of Spanish civil war. Pope Pius XII congratulates Generalissimo Franco's victory in Spain
  • 1946-12-03 US government asks UN to order dictator Francisco Franco out of Spain
  • 1947-07-09 Spain votes for Franco monarchy
  • 1965-01-20 Generalissimo Francisco Franco meets with Jewish representatives to discuss legitimizing Jewish communities in Spain
  • 1969-01-24 Spanish dictator General Franco announces state of emergency
  • 1969-06-08 General Franco closes Spain's frontier with Gibraltar
  • 1971-07-16 Franco appoints prince Juan Carlos as deputy in Spain
  • 2018-09-13 Spanish parliament votes to exhume former dictator Francisco Franco from the Valley of the Fallen
  • 2019-09-24 Spain's Supreme Court rules body of dictator Francisco Franco can be removed from state mausoleum, the Valley of the Fallen, to municipal cemetery
  • 2019-10-24 Remains of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco removed from mausoleum in Valley of the Fallen and reburied in private family vault in Madrid