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1920-39 - From Pombal to Rio


26th of July 1920: Born in Pombal, in the semiarid region of the northeastern Brazilian state of Paraíba. Second of the eight children of Maurício de Medeiros Furtado, a lawyer and later judge and chief judge, and Maria Alice Monteiro, who came from a family of landowners. 
1924 Pombal suffers the “flood of the century”. Members of the Prestes Column pass near the town.
1927 The family sets up residence in the City of Paraíba, the name of the state capital at that time.
1930 João Pessoa, president of the province and candidate for the vice-presidency under Getúlio Vargas, is assassinated. His death is the fuse that sets off the Revolution of 1930.
1932 Begins his secondary school studies at the Liceu Paraibano, and at the Ginásio Pernambucano, in Recife.
1936 Gives geography and Portuguese lessons in night classes at state schools.
1939 Arrives in Rio de Janeiro, where he finds lodgings at some boarding houses in the Flamengo and Lapa neighborhoods.  

Celso com a familía (1938)

Aluno do Liceu Paraibano (1934)

Nomeação (1937)

“I come from a world that appeared to me catastrophic. Pombal is one of the roughest towns in the Sertão region. It is a dry region, of dry men. Whilst still a small boy, I used to look through the gap in my window at the arrival of the “cangaceiros” (as the region’s outlaws were known).” (Adventures of a Brazilian economist)

“In 1924, the back area of our house, where the kitchen was located, was destroyed by a flood. I was once playing ball in that same kitchen when a pan of beans tipped all over me and I was badly burned. The view of the world that I had during my childhood was one filled with difficulties and bitterness.” (Adventures of a Brazilian economist)

“When the Prestes Column passed near the town, I heard the adults saying that it was like a plague of locusts, that took the cattle from the rich to eat, and left scraps of doodled-on paper behind as payment. Few knew what those men wanted, men who were viewed as deserters from the army and were led by a captain, Luiz Carlos Prestes, who was just 26 years old.” (Adventures of a Brazilian economist)

“Governor João Pessoa was seen as something of a saint. When he was assassinated, people went out onto the streets in processions. That was on July 26th, 1930, exactly on my tenth birthday. The maids at home took me to see these civic protests, which showed the people’s pent-up resentment.” (Adventures of a Brazilian economist)



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