Why is June 17 a holiday, what is it commemorated and since when?

Why is June 17 a holiday, what is it commemorated and since when?
Why is June 17 a holiday, what is it commemorated and since when?

This Monday, June 17, is a holiday in Argentina because commemorates the passage to immortality of General Don Martín Miguel de Güemeswho died that same day but in 1821 in combat during the War of Independence.

He caudillo and popular leader of Salta It played a fundamental role in both the civil wars and the Gaucha War to keep Argentine territory free of royalist invasions. Due to its imprint on the history, politics and culture of the country, In 2016, the National Congress passed a law that proposes remembering the day of his death as a national day..

Eight years ago, the Official Gazette announced the modification of decree 1,584/2010, which incorporates “as a national holiday and non-working day throughout the territory of the Nation on June 17 of each yearin commemoration of the passage to immortality of General Don Martín Miguel de Güemes.”

This year, June 17 falls on a Monday and is a three-day long weekend. On Thursday the 20th, Flag Day will be celebrated and Manuel Belgrano’s Passage to Immortality will be commemorated, while Friday the 21st will be a long weekend holiday for tourist purposes. In other words, this week there will only be two business days, which are Tuesday the 18th and Wednesday the 19th.

About the General

Martin Miguel Güemes was an Argentine soldier, politician and hero who fought in the North for the independence of Argentina.. He was born in Salta on February 8, 1785. His parents were Gabriel de Güemes Montero, born in Santander, Spain, and María Magdalena de Goyechea y La Corte, from Jujuy.

He studied in the same city where he grew up, and continued his higher education from home, along with his brothers, through educators paid for by his father.

At the beginning of 1799, when he was only 14 years old, he joined the 7th Company of the 3rd Battalion of the Buenos Aires Infantry Regiment as a cadet, which was based in the City of Salta. In 1806 he was sent with his regiment to Buenos Aires due to the English invasions, and acted in the defense. According to some historians on this occasion, Güemes served as Liniers’ assistant.

He also participated in the War of Independence and the Civil Wars. He was governor of Salta for six years and led the so-called Gaucha War, defending the country from royalist invasions.

His performance was important, since without his resistance, it would not have been possible to defend the north of the country after three defeats, nor would the San Martín campaigns have been possible. Under his command, the cities of Salta and Jujuy and his campaign defended the rest of Argentina without outside help.

On the night of June 6 to 7, 1821, a royalist column led by a traitor surprised Güemes in Salta, seriously wounding him and causing his painful escape to Cañada de la Horqueta, where he died ten days later. Güemes died on a cot outdoors when he was 36 years old. He is the only General who died from wounds received in combat during the independence war.

“I’m going to leave you, but I’m leaving calmly, because I know that you are behind me, that you will know how to defend the country with the courage that you have shown” were some of his last words before he died on June 17, 1821.

 
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