Friday, April 25, 2014

April 25, 1974


40 years ago there was a coup in Lisbon. Streets were invaded by tanks thanks to the military officers who opposed the regime (MFA-Armed Forces Movement). Soon the streets were crowded with people who joined them and all this would lead to the fall of Salazar's dictatorship, which lasted for 48 years, as well as to the withdrawal of Portugal from its African colonies, putting an end to the 13 years war.

A street flower seller gave a red carnation to a soldier and the people followed her gesture. Quickly all soldiers on the streets had flowers on their uniforms or into the muzzles of their rifles. The red flower became a symbol and that's why the April 25 Revolution is also known as the Carnation Revolution.

Censorship was abolished and the Portuguese finally knew what it was like being able to read any book or to express their thoughts without getting arrested, tortured or killed by the political police (PIDE) - a kind of Gestapo.

Unfortunatelly, a couple of decades later a buch of incompetent, greedy and corrupt wannabe politicians got into power and have led this country to the chaotic economic situation we are currently going through, making the life of the Portuguese very difficult due to so much austerity as a consequence of the 78 billion bailout, not to mention the loss of sovereignty.

Many murals have been painted to celebrate the revolution's 40th anniversary, some are much better than the one above but they are located on places I could not stop.

1974 poster

17 comments:

Kate said...

What an anniversary to celebrate. Thanks for both the photos and the history lesson!

Dina said...

Thank you for explaining this not-easy history with your own words and your own heart.

cieldequimper said...

I very, very vaguely remember this or at least I remember my parents talking about it... I feel old all of a sudden. :-) It's difficult to imagine anything else nowadays, isn't it?

VP said...

The old poster is lovely and effective, but I find the new mural phony and quite scary... I hope you you will be able to show us the better ones, sooner or later.

Sharon Anck said...

When I think of that time frame, it doesn't seem all that long ago.
That poster is very touching.

Tanya Breese said...

oh how scary that must have been...i love the story of the flower seller!

José Mendonça said...

@Tanya: Yes, it was scary! Can you imagine living under such a regime since 1926? I was only 23 years old in 1974 but my memories of those days are much alive. Sadly, I was temporarily living abroad when the revolution took place so I missed those days of joy in Portugal.

Judy said...

I remember that time. The mural is bright and colorful. The poster has a powerful impact.

Sylvia K said...

Yes, scary and touching both and what a wonderful story of the flower seller!! A very moving post for the day, Jose! Thank you for sharing! Have a great weekend! Enjoy!

RedPat said...

I have to admit to being fairly ignorant about a lot of this so thanks for the explanation, JM!. That 1974 poster is wonderful.

William Kendall said...

A complicated history, to say the least. That poster from the era's more effective.

Kay said...

Thank you for this information. In those days in the U.S. there was much preoccupation with the Vietnam war and the Nixon presidency. This must have been so exciting...and, later, disheartening.

orvokki said...

There are thoughts, deeds and memories that will never be forgotten.
Hugs

Randy said...

I love that mural and poster.

Joan Elizabeth said...

I knew 25 April was important to you guys are well but I had no idea it was so recent. Even though I was also in my 20s at the time I have no recollection of these events ... as one of your other commenters has mentioned our focus was on the Vietnam War mostly.

bailey-road.com said...

Love the story behind the Carnation Revolution.

Babzy said...

very nice poster , we have to remenber ...