Europeans first arrived in the region with the 1502 voyage of Amerigo Vespucci. The Spanish navigators Juan Díaz de Solís and Sebastian Cabot visited the territory that is now Argentina in 1516 and 1526, respectively. In 1536 they founded the small settlement of Buenos Aires, which was abandoned in 1541. Argentina Celebrates 200 Years of Independence. July 9, 2016, marks the 200th anniversary of Argentina’s declaration of independence from Spain. … On July 9, 1816, they declared the country independent under the name of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata.
From 1976-1983, a brutal military junta ruled Argentina in what was called “the Dirty War,” when some 10,000 persons were “disappeared” and human rights abuses were rampant. Many of the disappeared were believed to have been abducted by agents of the Argentine government during these years; the disappeared were often tortured and killed before their bodies were disposed of in rural areas or unmarked graves. In response, the movement called “Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo” arose, wearing signs with photos and names of their children who had vanished, standing in silent protest.