Visual Narratives


LIFE Magazine article, Feb. 3, 1961. "Far out on the wide Atlantic last week there steamed the ship most wanted in the world. Naval craft of five nations pursued her—on, above, and below the sea…" In the early hours of January 22, 1961, Henrique Galvão and Jorge Soutomayor commanded a group of 24 Portuguese and Spanish rebels on the hijack of the passenger liner Santa Maria to protest the dictatorships of Franco in Spain and Salazar in Portugal. Traveling amongst around 600 other passengers and 300 crew members, the armed band took control of the ship and ceased all communication. For a few days the whereabouts of the ship remained unknown. The “Dulcinea Operation”–evoking the idea of freedom (Liberdade)–had as a goal to weaken the dictatorship of Oliveira Salazar and fascism in Iberia. 

The Portuguese National Archives holds the original planning documents—some written on official printings for the Santa Maria liner—the rebels creating in preparing for the attack.

Photo Archive on the "Assault by Henrique Galvão on the Santa Maria" in the Secretariado Nacional da Informação, Cultura Popular e Turismo. A selection of these documents, presented here, is held by the Portuguese National Archives.