It’s a long weekend, and a time to consider a pivotal figure in Mexico’s history.
Schools and many businesses and offices are closed today to celebrate the birthday of a beloved national hero, Benito Juarez.
Benito Juarez is one of Mexico’s most important 19th-century figures.
A indigenous Zapotec from Oaxaca, Juárez was born in 1806. By 1831, Juárez was a lawyer and an active liberal politician at the city and state level. In 1846, Juárez went to Congress and supported a wave of liberal reforms designed to bolster Mexico’s efforts in the U.S.-Mexican War.
He became Mexico’s president in 1857 and defended his nation against the French-backed monarchists under Emperor Maximillian I.
Juarez died in office from a heart attack in 1872.
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