Born Eva Duarte but globally renowned as “Evita,” the First Lady of Argentina (1946-1952) initially found fame as a stage actor, model, film actor and radio star. Among her enduring radio broadcasts was a popular drama series, Great Women of History, in which she played the likes of Queen Elizabeth I and Czarina Alexandra of Russia. She soon assumed a similar public role after marrying Argentina’s Vice President Juan Peron on October 22 1945. Her extreme popularity among labor union workers, women, and the poor helped elect him President and continued until her death on July 26, 1952.
After 18 years spent in exile, Juan Peron returned to Argentina from Spain, elected to a second non-consecutive term as its President, from October 12, 1973 until his July 1, 1974 death. In that brief period, on March 5, 1974, Peron welcomed Romania’s Communist President Nicolae Ceausescu at the Buenos Aires airport for a four-day visit concluding with a series of oil and metallurgy economic accords.
Four years later, on April 12, 1978, Ceauşescu arrived in Washington D.C. for a four-day state visit with American President Jimmy Carter. Welcoming the dictator, Carter declared, “Our goals are also the same, to have a just system of economics and politics, to let the people of the world share in growth, in peace, in personal freedom…We believe in enhancing human rights. We believe that we should enhance, as independent nations, the freedom of our own people.” His words proved ironic eleven years later when Ceausescu was tried in mock court and killed for crimes against his people.
Corrupt dictators, cruel commissars and optimistic presidents come and go but for many there is still only one King – rock and roll’s legendary Elvis Presley. Sharing a German immigrant ancestor which made them sixth cousins once removed, Elvis and Carter first met in 1973, when the former visited the latter’s home town of Plains, Georgia during his gubernatorial incumbency. Carter was an unabashed Elvis fan, later remarking, “His music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense, and he was a symbol to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness, and good humor of his country.” On New Year’s Day, three weeks before his inauguration as President, Carter phoned Elvis, wishing him health and success in 1977. Eight months later, Elvis was dead.
- Giant Evita portrait unveiled in Argentina (news.smh.com.au)
- Michael Cerveris to Join ‘Evita’ on Broadway (abcnews.go.com)
- A Preview Of Ricky Martin As Che In ‘Evita’ (huffingtonpost.com)