tejero2j.jpg (31023 bytes) On February 2, 1981 Spain had been a democracy for little over 2 years.  It had been a little over 6 years since Spain had ended 37 years as a military dictatorship.  On February 2, 1981, Spain's Parliament, the Cortes' Congress of Deputies was in full session with over 300 members in attendance.  
On February 2, 1981, Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Tejero Molina and 200 members of the Civil Guard burst into the chambers and took the members hostage!
tejano.jpg (3633 bytes) This was not the action of one madman.   In Valencia the Commander of the military put tanks onto the streets.   Later it was found that Tejero had also plotted with other officers in the military including 3 generals. 
These individuals were trying to ignite a national uprising against the government which they considered to be too liberal.
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S.M. el Rey se dirige, por televisión, a los españoles la noche del 23 de febrero de 1981
(The King addresses by televion the Spanish people on the night of February 23, 1981)
On this night the King by television addressed the people of Spain.  He left no doubt that while he was King that he supported democracy.  The next morning Tejero surrendered and the military in Valencia returned to their barracks.  Up to that time many of the Spanish people had been unsure of Juan Carlos.  They thought that since Juan Carlos had been appointed by the former military dictator that he did not really support a  democracy in Spain.   However, Juan Carlos' actions that night
showed his leadership and that he was truly committed to Spain being a democracy.On February 27th, over 1 million people marched in Madrid in support of the King and democracy. 

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