#TodayInHistory: On Saturday, Jan. 26, 1973, made it’s debut on the front page of The New York Times (NYT), the picture winner of the World Press Photo of the Year 1973 (WPPh1973) prize.
The photo winner of the World Press Photo of the Year 1973, in the bottom, was shot on 9/11/1973, at around 9:40 am, by presidential photographer Leopoldo Víctor Vargas. It shows Chilean President Dr. Salvador Allende during his tour of inspection through the La Moneda Palace, looking for the best positions for its defense, while the Coup d’état was in progress.
For all Spanish speakers here’s a comprehensive bibliography on Leopoldo V. Vargas- his life and work.
“Leopoldo Víctor Vargas, el fotógrafo de las últimas horas de Allende en La Moneda”, por Hermes H. Benítez, en el diario digital piensaChile.com, el lunes 25 de Junio del 2012.
Since September 16th, 2015, the Chilean National Library (Biblioteca Nacional de Chile) is the custodian of the Official Portrait of Chilean President Salvador Allende (1970-1973), captured at La Moneda Palace of government, the same day that Allende took office, on November 3rd,1970. Photo by presidential photographer Leopoldo Víctor Vargas (1933-2011).
The photo, virtually disappeared since 1974, was donated to the Chilean National Library by Leopoldo Víctor Vargas’ widow, Erika Caroca Atenas, and their firstborn, Leopoldo P. Vargas (also a professional photographer), on behalf of Leopoldo Vargas and his family.
Last Monday 26th, January 2015, was the 41st anniversary of the publication, in the American newspaper The New York Times, of the picture of the only Chilean photographer winner of the prestigious prize World Press Photo of the Year 1973, awarded by the World Press Photo Foundation in the Netherlands. It is the world’s most important prize in Photojournalism. The image shows one of the last photos of Chilean President Dr. Salvador Guillermo Allende Gossens alive, wearing a helmet and rifle on his shoulder, inside the Chilean Palace of Government, La Moneda, the day of the Coup d’état, on September 11, 1973. It was taken that fateful morning at about 09:40 a.m. by Leopoldo Víctor Vargas– presidential photographer and non-commission officer (NCO) of the Chilean Air Force.  Since it’s publication in The New York Times this picture has become a truly world photo icon.
The World Press Photo of the Year 1973 depicts Chilean President, Dr. Salvador Allende, during his tour of inspection through La Moneda Palace of government, looking for the best positions for its defense, while the Coup is in progress. Allende is flanked by two members of his personal guard, known by the acronym GAP, which in Spanish stands for “Group of Personal Friends” of the President. On Allende’s far right is Héctor Daniel Urrutia Molina (a.k.a. Miguel) and to the far left side is, the tallest one, squinting, Luis Fernando Rodríguez Riquelme (a.k.a. Mauricio). Right behind the President is José Muñoz, Captain of the Carabineros Presidential Guard, and Allende’s friend Dr.Danilo Bartulín Fovich.