(CNN Spanish) — Like every July 20, the inhabitants of Argentina and other countries in the region meet their loved ones to celebrate Friendship Day.
Although many take advantage of the occasion to meet and share a good time, not everyone knows the curious story behind this date. What makes it so amazing is that he links an Argentinean dentist with man landing on the moon.
On July 20, 1969, astronaut Buzz Aldrin famously said “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” as he set foot on the lunar surface.
This scientific achievement amazed the dentist Enrique Ernesto Febbraro, who from his studio in Lomas de Zamora, a town in the province of Buenos Aires, wrote and sent 1,000 letters to people in 100 countries.
After receiving around 700 responses, Febbraro started his own initiative to set this date as International Friendship Day.
The first official recognition came from the government of the Province of Buenos Aires, which with a decree dated February 20, 1979 made the celebration official at the local level with the motto “a city of friends is an unbeatable nation”.
Since then, the event has been adopted by the rest of the country, joined by other neighboring nations, such as Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.
Enrique Febbraro, twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and who has practiced other professions such as teaching philosophy, psychology and history, was also a founding member of the Rotary Club of Once, in the city of Buenos Aires.
The father of this event died in 2008, but left a legacy in a symbolic date that unites people from different parts of Latin America.