Day of the Veterans, also known as Malvinas Day, is an annual holiday observed on April 2 in Argentina. It is a public holiday commemorating the loss of lives during the 1982 Falklands War. The holiday was instituted on November 22, 2000, and replaced the Day of Argentine Sovereignty over the Malvinas, Sandwich, and South Atlantic Islands, which had previously been observed on June 10 to commemorate the appointment of a governor over the islands in 1892. During the 74-day occupation, which lasted from April 2 to June 14, 1982, 649 Argentines, 255 Britons, and three Falkland Islanders were slain. Argentina surrendered to the United Kingdom on June 14, 1982, and the British immediately reasserted control over the islands.
History of Day of the Veterans
The Falkland Islands are known as “Islas Malvinas” in Spanish. The islands had been governed by the British since January 1833, despite the presence of an Argentine population at the time. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands were likewise annexed by the British in 1843, and in 1908 they were made part of the Falkland Islands Dependencies. In South Georgia, Argentina started the Argentine Fishing Company in the early 20th century and proclaimed its independence in 1927. Argentina subsequently declared control of the South Sandwich Islands in 1938.
On April 2, 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. The British governor of the islands, Rex Hunt, surrendered at 9:15 a.m. in the face of overwhelming military force and was removed from the islands and sent to Montevideo, Uruguay. The next day, Argentina occupied South Georgia and the uninhabited South Sandwich Islands, and Brigadier General Mario Menendez was appointed Military Governor. The Argentine Peso was swiftly adopted as the islands’ official currency, and the official driving side was switched from left to right. Residents that were considered problematic to the Argentines were either expelled, imprisoned, or placed under house arrest. Despite this, there was hardly any abuse of Falkland Islanders, except in a few isolated events. After a 74-day occupation and fierce battles, Argentina surrendered to Britain on June 14, 1982. In total, 649 Argentines, 255 Britons, and three Falkland Islanders lost their lives during the war.
Malvinas Day was officially instituted on November 22, 2000, as the Day of the Veterans and Fallen of the Malvinas War. The new holiday replaced the Day of Argentine Sovereignty over the Malvinas, Sandwich, and South Atlantic Islands, which was formerly observed on June 10 to commemorate the appointment of Luis Vernet as governor over the islands back in 1829. Argentina continues to claim the islands as part of the Tierra del Fuego province. Day of the Veterans is not observed in the Falkland Islands.
Day of the Veterans timeline
Britain establishes sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.
Britain declares sovereignty over South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
Britain incorporates South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands as Falkland Islands Dependencies.
Argentina claims sovereignty over South Georgia.
Argentina claims sovereignty over the South Sandwich Islands.
In April, Argentina launches an invasion of the Falkland Islands and expels the British governor.
The Falklands War is brought to an end with Argentina’s surrender to Britain in June.
Day of the Veterans is instituted as a public holiday in Argentina.
Day of the Veterans FAQs
Are the Falklands part of the U.K.?
The Falkland Islands are a United Kingdom Overseas Territory.
Do the Falkland Islands have a president?
The United Kingdom’s monarch is the head of state of the Falkland Islands, and the governor and chief executive of the territory exercise power on her behalf.
Who was the president of Argentina during the Falklands War?
Leopoldo Galtieri was president and military dictator of Argentina during the Falklands War.
How to Observe Day of the Veterans
Observe a moment of silence
On both sides of the war, hundreds of precious lives were lost. Observe a moment of silence on behalf of those that were lost.
Watch a documentary
War is never a one-sided affair. Watch a documentary on the Falklands War to understand all that went on during the 74-day occupation.
Share your knowledge with others
Let others know about this memorable event in history. Share this holiday on social media with all your connections.
5 Interesting Facts About Argentina
‘Argentina’ is an Italian word
The name ‘Argentina’ is an Italian word that means ‘silver’ or “silver-colored.”
Argentina borders many others
Argentina borders five countries — Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, and Uruguay.
Argentina has four climates
In the north, Argentina’s climate is subtropical; in the south, it’s subpolar; the lowlands have an arid or semi-arid climate; and an alpine climate along the Andes Mountains.
Argentina stayed neutral
Although Argentina tried to remain neutral during the Second World War, it joined merely a month before the war ended due to pressure.
The first animated feature film
In 1917, the Argentinian Quirino Cristiani produced the world’s first animated feature film“El Apostol.”
Why Day of the Veterans is Important
Peace reigns at last
Since the Falklands War ended in 1982, no other wars have plagued the islands, and peace now reigns. Argentina and the U.K. re-established diplomatic relations in 1990.
The islands are prosperous
The Falkland Islands enjoy economic prosperity to such an extent that unemployment is almost non-existent. The islands’ G.D.P. ranks 5th worldwide, and the Human Development Index is high, which is good news for a place once torn apart by war.
The islands are beautiful
The islands’ beautiful archipelago and fascinating wildlife are incredible tourist attractions. Visitors can revel in activities such as fishing and wreck diving.
Day of the Veterans dates