Born in 1892, in Galicia, he ascended through the ranks of the Spanish army to become a general in the the spainish army by the time he was 34 years old. He was part of a right wing coup in 1936 that led to the Spanish Civil War, during which he secured his position as leader of the Nationalists. Through a close relationship with Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, he won the Civil War and set up a totalitarian dictatorship, that would last until his death in 1975. It wouldn't have lasted, most likely, if he hadn't done three smart things in his life time: (A) staying the heck out of World War II, (B) taking a strong anti-communist stance during the Cold War, and (C) announcing that the monarchy would be reestablished after his death.

As horrible, repressive 20th century military dictators go, Franco wasn't all that bad. While he wasn't the type that you would want to celebrate, as he was known to kill intellectuals, he didn't kill near as many as Mao or Stalin.
In 1975, David Bowie announced the end of his rock and roll career, saying he didn't want to be "just another fucking rock singer". He quickly repudiated this decision in November. Therefore, he scheduled a satellite interview from Los Angeles with Russell Harty, an English talk show host, to announce his big return. He had a new album coming out, "Station to Station", as well as a six-month world tour "blitz", all of which he declared on the interview; it took place November 20, 1975.

Francisco Franco died November 20th, 1975. The Spanish government demanded the use of the satellite in order to announce the end of the Generalissimo's reign. Franco's death was the end of Western Europe's longest-standing military dicatorship, and the transfer of power to King Juan Carlos I, who would bring the country back under democratic rule. David Bowie, naturally, refused to yield the satellite time; after all, he'd paid for the whole block.

This whole debacle made an excellent metaphor for the triumph of personal priorities over politics, which would dominate how most people spent their lives following World War II. Anyway, I'd rather hear about a new album than a relic of fascism, right? Of course.

Francisco Franco, famed dictator of Spain, lay on his deathbed after 36 years of rule. One of his daughters, awaiting the inevitable, paced back and forth across the marble floor of his bedroom.

Upon hearing the footsteps, Franco regained consciousness, and weakly called out, “Who’s there?”

“It is the people of Spain, Father,” she told him. “They have come to say goodbye.”

“Why?” Franco asked. “Where are they going?”

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