April 2 - 1982 - Argentina Invades the Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands were owned by Great Britain, even though they were right off the coast of Argentina. So the military government of Leopoldo Galtieri decided that an invasion of the Falkland Islands would be a good morale boost for the country. Since a 1976 military coup d'etat, the country had been ruled by the "National Reorganization Process" which committed a series of human rights atrocities. When Galtieri took power in December of 1981, the Argentine economy was suffering, civil unrest was increasing, and Argentina was increasingly isolated internationally.. Therefore, Galtieri led an invasion of a few small islands to boost a sense of patriotism, and for a little bit, it seemed to work. Then, the British gathered a Naval task force and within 76 days, the Falklands returned to British control. This surrender then led directly to the end of Galtieri's and the military's rule of Argentina.