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Sunday 22nd October
Argentina Facts
Argentina is the second largest country in South America (after Brazil).

Mount Aconcagua is the highest point (6,960 m) in Argentina and South America.

Salinas Chicas, located on Peninsula Valdes, is the lowest point (40 m) in Argentina and South America.

The Iguazu Waterfall, shared between Argentina and Brazil, is one of the largest waterfalls in the world.

The Argentine part of the island of Tierra del Fuego is the world's most southern National Park. The border with the Chilean portion of the island is on the eastern edge of the park.

Tierra del Fuego is separated from the rest of the country by the Strait of Magellan. The Strait is named after Ferdinand Magellan, the famous Portuguese explorer.

Some of the world's oldest known dinosaur fossils have been found in Argentina.

The first joint Argentine-US paleontological expeditions to Ischigualasto were made in the 1950s although surveys began sixty years earlier.

The remains of a plant eating dinosaur known as Argentinosaurus were discovered in 1988. It is thought that Argentinosaurus may have been one of the world's largest land animals.

In 2006 details emerged of excavations, south of Plaza Huincul, where remains of the largest known carnivorous dinosaur have been unearthed. Evidence suggests that the dinosaurs (mapusaurus roseae) lived in groups and probably hunted in packs.

The skeleton of a plant eating dinosaur, thought to have been 105 feet high long and 43 feet high, was found on the banks of Lake Barreales in Patagonia in 2007. Known as Futalognkosaurus dukei (derived from Mapuche for "giant" and "chief"), the dinosaur is a significant find.

Trees in Los Alerces National Park in the Patagonia region are said to be up to three thousand years old.

In the early sixteenth century Spanish explorers claimed a number of countries in the Americas: Hernan Cortes conquered Mexico; Francisco Pizarro invaded Peru and Pedro de Mendoza colonized Argentina.

Argentina formed part of the Spanish Vice Royalty of Rio de la Plata, established 1776.

Argentina declared independence from Spain in 1816.

Following independence migrants arrived from countries such as Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Between 1865 and 1870 Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil fought a war against neighbouring Paraguay.

In 1946 President Juan Domingo Peron was elected President of Argentina. His legendary wife, Evita, became responsible for labour relations.

At the age of thirty-three Eva Peron (Maria Eva Duarte) died of cancer (1952).

Ernesto Che Guevara, an Argentine medical doctor, philosophical writer, poet and hero of the Cuban Revolution, became an international icon in the 1960s.

Argentina came under the control of a military junta, led by General Jorge Videla, in 1976. During the years that followed many thousands of people were killed in a time known as the Dirty War.

In 1982 General Galtieri led the fight against the United Kingdom in a war over the Islas Malvinas (Falkland Islands).

Nobel Prizes in Peace have been awarded to Carlos Saavedra Lamas (1936) and Adolfo Perez Esquivel (1980).

Bernardo Houssay was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1947 and Cesar Milstein was awarded the Medicine Prize in 1984.

Luis Federico Leloir was given the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1970.

In October 2007 Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner became Argentina's second female president. Isabel Peron, Juan Peron's second wife, was the first female president of the country.

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