Evita: A Timeline

MAY 9, 2023

Images of Eva on the front page of La Prensa

Images of Eva on the front page of La Prensa July-August 1952, shortly after her death. Public Domain.


Eva is born on May 7, 1919, in Los Toldos, a small town in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her father, Juan Duarte, was a wealthy rancher who lived a double life with two families. Eva’s mother, Juana Ibarguren, was not married to Juan Duarte, but he recognized their five children and gave them each his last name. Juan Duarte financially supported the family until his death in 1926, which left Juana and her children in financial hardship.


The Great Depression begins, characterized by high unemployment, financial instability, and a significant reduction in global trade and industrial production.


General José Félix Uriburu leads troops into Buenos Aires and, with the support of nationalist crowds, expels President Hipólito Yrigoyen from power in an ouster known to Uriburu’s supporters as the “September Revolution.” Characterized by multiple coups, electoral fraud, and corruption, the 1930s would come to be known as Argentina’s “Infamous Decade”.

Headshot of Eva Duarte by Sivul Wilenski (c. 1943).
Official state portrait of Juan and Eva Perón (1948).

Headshot of Eva Duarte by Sivul Wilenski (c. 1943). Archivo General de la Nación. / Official state portrait of Juan and Eva Perón (1948). Numa Ayrinhac, Collection of the Bicentennial Museum.


Eva moves to Buenos Aires at the age of 15 in the pursuit of an acting career.


Argentina remains neutral as World War II breaks out. The Argentine War Ministry dispatches Juan Perón (b. 1895) to study alpine warfare in Mussolini’s Italy; he returns to Argentina in 1941.


Opposed to corruption and the conservative policies of successive presidents Roberto Marcelino Ortiz and Ramón S. Castillo, nationalist military officers (including then-Colonel Juan Perón) lead a coup d’état known as the National Revolution.

Juan Perón continues to build national influence, especially with the working classes, as he serves first as Secretary of Labor and then as Vice President and Minister of War for General and de facto president Edelmiro Julián Farrell.


The San Juan earthquake causes widespread damage and destruction, killing 10,000 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless. It is noted that Eva first met Juan at a gala for earthquake relief.


Argentina very briefly joins WWII under the Allies just before the war ends.

Alarmed by his power and influence, a rival group of officers arrange the arrest of Juan Perón on October 13. On October 17, known as the Día de la Lealtad, thousands of workers march through the streets of Buenos Aires to successfully demand Perón’s release.

Eva and Juan Perón are married in a private ceremony.

Eva, Juan, and Buenos Aires governor Domingo Alfredo Mercante read the newspaper
Seal of the Fondación Eva Perón.

Eva, Juan, and Buenos Aires governor Domingo Alfredo Mercante read the newspaper announcing Juan’s election to president in February 1946. Archivo Histórico de la Provincia de Buenos Aires. / Seal of the Fondación Eva Perón. Public Domain.


Perón runs for president and wins in a landslide victory with Eva by his side. Many of his policies focus on supporting the working class, including the nationalization of industries and expanding social welfare programs. During the first years of Perón’s presidency, Eva serves as his de facto Minister of Health and Labor.


A new law known as the “Workers’ Bill of Rights” is implemented, codifying many of the labor rights and protections that had been established under Perón’s earlier policies.

Women’s suffrage in Argentina is granted.


The Eva Perón Foundation is established, providing assistance to the poor and working class communities, including housing, education, and healthcare.

Eva Perón wears a ballgown to a gala

Eva Perón at a gala for the Fundación del Teatro Colón (1949). Archivo General de la Nación Argentina.


Eva is diagnosed with cervical cancer, yet she continues to be active in politics. Juan Perón runs for re-election and wins another term as president.


Eva Perón dies at the age of 33. Her death is widely mourned, with millions of people attending the funeral. Following the funeral, Eva’s preserved body undergoes a decades-long global odyssey, as supporters seek to protect the remains. First hidden within Argentina, then buried for a time in Milan under a false name, the body would finally be laid to rest in Buenos Aires’ Recoleta Cemetery in 1976.

Eva giving a political speech
Funeral procession of Eva Perón (1952)

Eva giving a political speech from the balcony of the Casa Rosada in 1951. Public Domain. / Funeral procession of Eva Perón (1952). Public Domain.


A military coup led by General Eduardo Lonardi removes Perón from power and forces him into exile.


Juan Perón returns from exile and wins the presidency in a landslide victory. He implements policies that attempt to improve the lives of the working and improve the country’s struggling economy.


Juan Perón dies and is succeeded by his third wife, Isabel Perón.


A military coup led by General Jorge Rafael Videla removes Isabel Perón from power and establishes a dictatorship that lasts until 1983.


After initial release as a concept album in 1976, Evita makes its stage debut in London’s West End on June 21, 1978. Opening on Broadway in 1979, the show becomes the first British musical to receive the Tony Award for Best Musical.

Created by Annabel Cho

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