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20-N is a symbolic abbreviation used to denote the date of death of two of the best known and controversial figures in 20th-century Spanish history. The first date, 20 November 1936, near the end of the first year of the Spanish Civil War, marks the execution in Alicante of 33-year-old José Antonio Primo de Rivera, the founder of the nationalist party, Falange Española [Spanish Phalanx], who became extolled as a cult figure during the years of post-Civil War Estado Español [Spanish State] led by Francisco Franco. In a startling coincidence, the same day also proved to be fatal to Primo de Rivera's political opposite, 40-year-old Buenaventura Durruti, a key leader of Spain's two largest anarchist organizations, Federación Anarquista Ibérica [Iberian Anarchist Federation] and the anarcho-syndicalist trade union Confederación Nacional del Trabajo [National Confederation of Labor]. Durruti's death occurred, according to his chauffeur, in the midst of distant gunfire in Madrid.

The second date, 39 years later, is 20 November 1975, when Generalissimo Franco himself - aged 82, and having ruled Spain for close to four decades as its caudillo (Spanish for leader) - died following a lengthy illness. The date continues to be commemorated by far-right groups which mark it by organizing public demonstrations.

The Spanish general election on November 20, 2011 coincided with the 75th anniversary of de Rivera's execution.


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