Today, 40 years ago, the Official State Gazette (BOE) published the Constitution in Spanish, Catalan, Galician and Basque, but did it a day later when it was appropriate, to avoid the fact that the Magna Carta would coincide with the 28th. December, celebration of the Day of the Holy Innocents.
On December 27, a solemn ceremony was held in the Congress Chamber, in which King Juan Carlos sanctioned the Constitution that the Spaniards had voted overwhelmingly in the December 6 referendum.
In that joint session of the Congress and the Senate, the Kings and the Prince of Asturias were received with an ovation by deputies and senators when entering the plenary room next to the president of the Cortes, Antonio Hernández Gil; the one of the Congress, Fernando Álvarez de Miranda, and the one of the Senate, Antonio Fontán.
"Emotion surpasses even the solemnity," said Hernandez Gil in the speech that preceded the act of the sanction, in which the King stamped his signature on a copy of the Magna Carta; Then he took the floor.
The Diario de Sesiones de las Cortes reflects that the head of state warned that day that the route that awaited the Spaniards would not be "comfortable or easy", and that he invited them to "not faint" and "not give ground to discouragement" , with "the security of maintaining the necessary pulse to overcome obstacles and difficulties".
Once sanctioned by the King the fundamental norm, the next step was its publication the next day in the Official State Gazette (BOE), but that day was December 28, feast of the Holy Innocents, and nobody wanted to associate the publication of the Magna Carta to one of the habitual innocentadas on such date.
For this reason, according to the chronicles of the time, its appearance in the BOE was postponed one more day in all the official Spanish languages.
And that's how on the cover of the Official Gazette of the State / Gazette of Madrid on Friday, December 29, 1978 it was possible to read large capitalized "Spanish Constitution".
And below: "Approved by the Cortes in plenary sessions of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate held on October 31, 1978. Ratified by the Spanish people in a referendum of December 6, 1978. Passed by His Majesty the King before the Cortes on December 27, 1978 ".
In the mancheta of that copy, number 311, there was still the coat of arms of the Franco regime, with the eagle of San Juan crowned by the ribbon with the badge "Una Grande Libre" and the yoke and arrows in the lower part.
"This Constitution will enter into force on the same day of the publication of its official text in the Official State Gazette, and will also be published in the other languages of Spain," reads its final provision.
For this reason, the Constitution, whose anniversary has been commemorated throughout this year celebrates today its 40th birthday, its entry into force.