Spanish “Knight of the Grand Cross” Neck Badge
A Spanish Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic breast star and neck badge awarded to Americo de Deus Rodrigues Tomás, President of Portugal, with the original case and documents.
Américo de Deus Rodrigues Tomás, (1894-1987) was a Portuguese admiral and politician. Rear Admiral Américo Tomás became minister of Navy in 1944. He was elected president of the Portuguese Republic in 1958, and re-elected in 1965 and 1972. During this time, Portugal was ruled by the authoritarian regime of António de Oliveira Salazar and the president of the republic had only a figurative role. The pompous style with which he was referred to by the compliant state media (The Most Excellent Lord, the President of the Portuguese Republic, Rear-Admiral Américo de Deus Thomaz), as contrasted by the virtual powerlessness of his office under Salazar, made him a target of frequent jokes. Just once Tomás used his presidential prerogative: to dismiss Salazar when he became incapacitated by a severe stroke in September, 1968. Tomás appointed Marcello Caetano to replace Salazar as prime minister. He took a much more active role in the government after Caetano took power, and became the rallying point for hard-liners who thought that even Caetano’s cosmetic reforms went too far. When in April 25, 1974, the “Carnation Revolution” deposed Caetano, Tomás was also overthrown and sent to exile in Brazil until 1980, when he returned to Portugal.
Colonialism / Diaspora
This collection features objects related to human colonization and displacement.