Tragedies, Nazis and gold medals: events that shook Mar del Plata throughout its history

Tragedies, Nazis and gold medals: events that shook Mar del Plata throughout its history

Mar del Plata railway.jpg

Mar del Plata train station.

General Archive of the Argentine Nation

1938 – The suicide of Alfonsina Storni

Around 1:30 in the morning on October 25, 1938, the poet Alfonsina Storni left the room of the pension where she was staying in the La Perla neighborhood, walked 500 meters along the former San Juan street until she reached the coast. , and threw himself into the sea from an iron and concrete breakwater located in front of the old spa of the Argentine Women’s Club.

His body was found in the morning by two workers, and the news of his suicide caused great commotion locally and nationally.

“Something is wrong in a nation, when, instead of singing it, the poets leave voluntarily, with a gesture of bitterness and disdain,” wrote the socialist senator Alfredo Palacios to say goodbye to his dead friend, an emblem of Argentine and advanced literature. in the fight for women’s rights.

A stone monument located in front of the spa that bears the name “Alfonsina” remembers her time in the city and her tragic end.

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“Alfonsina Storni” Monument.



In the winter of 1945, after Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allies in World War II, two Third Reich navy submarines surfaced off the city’s coast.

The first of them was U-530, which did so on July 10, and surrendered to the Argentine Navy with 54 crew members on board, commanded by frigate lieutenant Otto Wermuth. The second submarine was U-977, under the command of Heinz Schaeffer, with a crew of 31 sailors, which surrendered on August 17.

The appearance of both vessels had an international impact, and since then fueled all kinds of theories about the presence of Nazis in the region.

1946 – The Santa Rosa Tragedy

On August 29, 1946, a strong storm broke out off the coast of Buenos Aires during the Santa Rosa storm, and five fishing boats were shipwrecked, leaving 31 sailors dead.

The sunken ships were the Pumará, the Palma Madre, the Happy Day, El Halcón and El Quo Vadis, battered by winds of almost 100 kilometers per hour and waves more than five meters high. In addition, dozens of small boats that managed to return to the port of Mar del Plata or reach safety in other locations were damaged.

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Submarine of the Third Reich navy.

Submarine of the Third Reich navy.


1978 – Mar del Plata, headquarters of the Soccer World Cup

Between June 1 and June 25, 1978, the city was one of the six venues for the FIFA World Cup, a tournament in which the Argentine team, led by César Luis Menotti, won its first title as champion. of the world. For the competition, the José María Minella stadium was specially built, which since then hosted the main summer tournaments for decades.

During the World Cup, six matches of the first phase were played at Minella, with the participation of the teams of France, Brazil, Italy, Hungary, Austria and Sweden. Among them, the match in which France defeated Hungary 3 to 1 stood out, in which the French team had to play with jerseys from the local club Kimberley, to improvise a solution to a problem that arose due to the similarity of the jerseys of both teams.

1988 – Monzón and the crime of Alicia Muñiz

On February 14, 1988, the former world boxing champion in the middleweight category Carlos Monzón beat his partner, the Uruguayan actress and model Alicia Muñiz, until he was unconscious, in a home in the La Florida neighborhood, in the northern end of the city. city. He then threw her half-naked off the upstairs balcony and her wife died after she fell, and Monzón, drunk, jumped behind her to simulate an accident.

The incident shocked the country in the middle of the summer season and, as the investigation showed that it had been a crime and not an accidental death, it gained space in newspapers around the world.

Monzón was sentenced to 11 years in prison for “simple homicide”, and was imprisoned in the Batán prisons – where he was visited by figures such as Alain Delon -, Junín, and Las Flores, in the province of Santa Fe.

On February 5, 1995, in a temporary exit 14 months after obtaining freedom, he died during an accident with his car on a Santa Fe route.

Carlos Monzón and Alicia Muñiz.jpg

Carlos Monzón and Alicia Muñiz.

Carlos Monzón and Alicia Muñiz.

1988 – The death of Alberto Olmedo

That same summer, but on March 5, the country woke up to the news of the death of the Rosario capocomic Alberto Olmedo in Mar del Plata.

Olmedo, 54, died after falling from the balcony of the 11th floor of the Maral 39 building, located in front of Varese Beach.

His play “El Negro no puede” then exploded every performance on the theatrical billboards in the Mar del Plata summer, and his death produced such an impact that the local newspapers sold out historical print runs the next day with details about the event.

1991 – The Big Snow

On August 1, 1991, the city woke up completely painted white, due to the largest snowfall on record. The afternoon of the previous day, the fall of some fine flakes had fueled forecasts about the possibility of a greater snowfall, and those forecasts were confirmed minutes after midnight.

The snow fell until late in the morning and altered the city’s routine, which put much of its activities on hold so that residents could enjoy the atypical phenomenon.

Since then, the memory of the snowfall every year awakens the expectation that it will occur again, especially every time the temperature approaches zero degrees or snowfall is recorded in the region.

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Alberto Olmedo.


1995 – XII Pan American Games

Between March 12 and 26, 1995, Mar del Plata hosted the XII Pan American Games, which brought together more than 5,000 athletes from 42 nations.

In addition to attracting thousands of spectators from all over the country and the region, many Mar del Plata residents were involved in different ways in the organization and execution of the games, including thousands of young people who participated as volunteers and paraded in their uniforms throughout the city. in those days.

At the sporting level, Argentina had one of its best performances in this type of competition, and placed fourth in the medal table, with 159 medals, 40 of them gold, behind the United States, Cuba and Canada.

Among the winners, the under-23 soccer team stood out, led by Daniel Passarella, who won the gold medal thanks to players such as Marcelo Gallardo, Roberto Ayala, Ariel Ortega and Hernán Crespo, by beating Mexico on penalties in the final. . The men’s volleyball and basketball teams, and the Lionesses of Vanina Oneto and Magdalena Aicega, also won gold, in all three cases by beating the United States.

XII Pan American Games mar del plata.jpg

XII Pan American Games.

XII Pan American Games.

The Marplatense

2005 – Summit of the Americas and No to the FTAA

On November 4 and 5, 2005, the city was the epicenter of regional politics, during the celebration of the IV Summit of the Americas, which brought together more than 40 presidents and heads of state, including those of the United States, George W. Bush; Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, and the host, Néstor Kirchner.

The meeting, which during those days transformed Mar del Plata into a semi-armored city, had as its axis the discussion on the signing of a Free Trade Agreement for the Americas (FTAA), promoted by the United States, which was strongly rejected by part of the leaders of the conosur.

During both days there were demonstrations to repudiate the summit and Bush’s presence, and in parallel with the summit program, the so-called “Countersummit” took place, which brought together left-wing militants and activists from across the region.

The “Countersummit” was attended by figures such as Diego Maradona and Manu Chao, and had its central event at the José María Minella Stadium, where Chávez launched his famous epitaph to the American trade plan: “Let’s say it. FTAA, FTAA, “Fuck it! FTAA, FTAA, fuck it.”

Summit of the Americas mar del plata.jpg

Néstor Kirchner, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Hugo Chávez.

Néstor Kirchner, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Hugo Chávez.


2017 – Sinking of the submarine ARA San Juan

On November 15, 2017, the submarine ARA San Juan lost contact with the Argentine Navy after reporting the beginning of a fire in a battery sector, due to the entry of water during a storm, while participating in an illegal fishing control operation in the South Atlantic.

The disappearance of the TR-1700 class ship, with 44 crew members on board, shocked the city and the country, and mobilized an international search operation that lasted a year and had close support from navies. from 20 countries.

Two days after the first anniversary of the loss of contact, the remains of the vessel were found by the Norwegian ship Seabed Constructor, belonging to Ocean Infinity, an American firm specialized in underwater rescues and explorations, contracted to carry out the search with capable devices. to operate at depths of up to 6,000 meters.

The submarine was found about 900 meters deep, completely deformed and imploded, 460 kilometers east of the coast of Chubut.

Source: Ambito

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