June 19 is when Uruguayans celebrate the birthday of José Artigas, the country's national hero referred to as the “father of Uruguayan nationhood”.
This day is also known as Never Again Day (Día del nunca más).
José Gervasio Artigas was born on June 19, 1764.
At the age of 12, he left school and began to work on a farm.
Having come of age, he became a cattle smuggler, which made him a wanted man.
In 1797, Artigas began a military career because he was promised a pardon in exchange for joining the army.
Artigas supported the new ideas of the Age of Enlightenment that sparked the Spanish American wars of independence.
He took an active part in the Oriental revolution.
In 1814, Artigas organized the League of Free Peoples that proclaimed independence from the Spanish Crown the following year and began fighting for it.
In 1820, he had to withdraw to Paraguay.
Artigas died in 1850 after a long exile.
Uruguayans consider José Artigas a national hero, and his birthday was declared a public holiday.
In 2006, President Tabaré Vázquez also declared June 19 a remembrance day called Never Again Day.
This date was deliberately chosen to coincide with José Artigas' birthday.
Never Again Day is a remembrance day for the victims of the civic-military dictatorship that lasted from 1973 to 1985.