Top Ten Demonstrations of Love
The inventor, the celebrity and the royal highness couldn’t resist the draw of making a grand gesture to the love of their life
- By Abigail Tucker
- Smithsonian.com, February 10, 2012
Eva Peron was dying of cervical cancer as attempted revolts shook the presidency of her husband, Juan. On October 17, 1951, the first lady appeared on the balcony of the Casa Rosada, Argentina’s equivalent of the White House. She was so weak that the president had to hold her around the waist as she stood. He gave her a medal, said she would be remembered as one of the greatest women in history and asked the crowds to be quiet so they could hear her speak.
“To Peron. . . I shall never finish paying my debt, not until I give my life in gratitude for the kindness he has always shown me,” she told the tearful audience. “Nothing that I have, nothing that I am, nothing that I think is mine; it is Peron’s.” She begged the people to be loyal to him in her absence.
On the operating table a few weeks later, she even shouted “Viva Peron!” before succumbing to anesthesia, one newspaper reported. But his presidency couldn’t survive without her: she died in 1952, and “her General” was later ousted.