October 30 - 1975 - Juan Carlos I Takes Power in Spain
King Juan Carlos I did not take the throne of Spain from his father, grandfather, or any other relative, but instead from El Caudillo, Francisco Franco. Franco had ruled Spain from 1939, when his conservative side won the Spanish Civil War over an alliance of Republicans, Anarchists, and Communists. Franco's Spain was a repressive, authoritarian regime which sent political opponents to forced labor camps, and ruled through the military and Franco's own authority, although he claimed he was acting as a regent for the Kingdom of Spain. As he reached old age, Franco began pondering his succession and was facing various protest movements, which led him to look at the Royal Family. SIgnificantly, he chose as his successor, Juan Carlos de Borbon, grandson of the last King Alfonso XIII and possibly the third best claimant to the throne. Nonetheless, he seemed most pliant to Francoist policies. Once Franco passed away, though, King Juan Carlos I actually allowed Spain to become a Republic once again.