1951: Getúlio Vargas Takes Office

On January 31, 1951, Getúlio Vargas, who had ruled as a dictator from 1930-1945, took office in Rio de Janeiro as the popularly-elected president of Brazil. In this, the earliest recording offered by the Arquivo Sonoro, we hear Vargas’s distinctive gaúcho accent from his home state of Rio Grande do Sul, which was quite different from today’s Brazilian Portuguese. In particular, his pronunciation shows the influence of the Spanish of neighboring Uruguay, with its rolled Rs and the clear pronunciation of the L at the end of “Brasil.”