Karpeles Manuscript Library

Saint Evita!

*** The Evita Exhibit ***

The Karpeles Manuscript Library

Santa Barbara, California:
October 1, 2001-January 1,2002

Tacoma, Washington:
January 1, 2002-March 31,2002

Duluth, Minnesota:
April 1,2002-June 30,2002

Charleston So. Carolina:
July 1, 2002-Sept. 30, 2002

Jacksonville, Forida:
October 1, 2002-January 1,2003

Buffalo, New York:
January 1, 2003-March 31, 2003

Newburgh, New York:
April 1, 2003-June 30, 2003

Go to
for the locations of each
Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

Evita was the second wife of Argentine President Juan Per�n. During her husband's first term as President (1946-52), she became a powerful though unofficial political leader, revered by the lower economic classes.
Eva Duarte had an undistinguished career as a stage and radio actress. Then she met Colonel Juan Per�n.
Evita engineered Juan's rise to the presidency, cleverly amassing all their labor leader and political suporters at a critical time (and place!) to establish Per�n in power. Juan married Eva Duarte a few days later.
She participated in her husband's 1945-46 presidential campaign, winning the adulation of the masses, whom she addressed as los descamisados. (Spanish for: "the shirtless ones")
Evita acted as de facto Minister of Health and Labor, awarding generous wage increases to the unions, who responded with political support for Per�n. After cutting off government subsidies to the traditional Sociedad de Beneficencia, thereby making more enemies among the traditional elite, she replaced it with her own Eva Per�n Foundation, which was supported by "voluntary" union and business contributions and national lottery funds.
These resources were used to establish thousands of hospitals, schools, homes for the aged, orphanages, and other charitable institutions. Evita was largely responsible for the passage of the Women's Suffrage Law and for the formation of the Peronista Feminist Party in 1949. She also introduced compulsory religious education into all Argentine schools. In 1951, although she knew herself to be dying of cancer, she obtained the nomination for Vice President, but the army forced her to withdraw her candidacy.
After her death, Evita remained a formidable influence in Argentine politics. Her working-class followers tried unsuccessfully to have her canonized, and her enemies, in an effort to exorcise her as a national symbol of Peronism, stole her body (in 1955, after Juan Per�n was overthrown) and secreted it in Italy for 16 years. In 1971 the military government, bowing to Peronist demands, turned over her remains to her exiled widower in Madrid. After Juan Per�n died in office in 1974, his third wife, Isabel Per�n, hoping to gain favor among the populace, repatriated the remains and installed them next to the deceased leader in a crypt in the presidential palace. Two years later a new military junta hostile to Peronism removed the bodies; Evita's remains were finally interred in the Duarte family crypt.

The Documents

1. Juan Per�n's Request for Permission to Marry Evita
2. A Love Letter of Evita to Juan Per�n prior to their marriage where she practices writing "Eva Per�n"
3. Background Check on Evita given to The Minister of War while she was Juan Per�n's Mistress
4. Evita's Actions in Taking Charge when Per�n is Arrested
5. Evita's Civil Personnel Registration in the Nat. Administration
6. Juan Per�n's Pension Registration naming Evita as his Wife
7. Evita's Registration of her Fingerprints
8. Evita Signs her Dental Records
9. Evita's Draft Manuscript of The Objectives of The "Eva Per�n Foundation"
10. Evita's Project Proposals for the "Eva Per�n Foundation"
11. Evita's Draft to the Women of Argentina on Women's Civil Rights
12. Evita's Strong Political attack for Housewife's Civil Rights
13. Evita's Draft Address to the First National Assembly of Women
14. Evita's Address to the First Assembly of the Per�nista Feminist Party
15. Evita's Letter to Juan Per�n's Mother; Juana Per�n
16. Evita Draft Notebook Recording Responses to Questions Requested by her Associates in preparation
for writing her book"La Razon de Mi Vida" ("My Mission in Life")
17. Original Draft of Evita's Autobiography "La Razon de mi Vida ("My Mission in Life")
18. Letter of Evita's Mother, Juana Ibarguren de Duarte Wishing Evita Happiness on her Trip to Europe
19. Letter of Evita to Juan Per�n Before her Operation
20. Letter of Evita to Juan Per�n while on her Death Bed