Constitution Day (Día de la Constitución) marks the anniversary of a referendum held in Spain on December 6, 1978. In this referendum, a new constitution was approved . This was an important step in Spain's transition to becoming a constitutional monarchy and democracy. As background Francisco Franco was head of state in Spain from April 1, 1939, until November 20, 1975. Spain needed a new constitution and political system after his death. General elections were held on June 15, 1977. The newly formed parliament started drew up a new constitution. The Spanish Constitution of 1978 was approved by 88 percent of the people of Spain in a referendum on December 6, 1978.