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March 21, 2013

Governor Quinn Proclaims March 21 as “Benito Juárez Day” in Illinois

CHICAGO – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn proclaimed today as “Benito Juarez Day” in honor of the birthday of one of Mexico’s greatest leaders. In his proclamation, the governor noted the often-made comparison between Juarez and Abraham Lincoln, who were both “humble men from humble origins who led their nations during wartime.” He also noted Juarez's "passion for human rights, commitment to constitutional law and vision of modern democracy."

The text of the governor’s proclamation is below, and a copy is below.

WHEREAS, Benito Juárez was born on March 21, 1806, in Oaxaca, Mexico, to Zapotec parents, was educated by a Franciscan friar, and attended law school; and,

WHEREAS, Benito Juárez was elected city council member, judge and Governor, before going into exile in New Orleans in 1853; and,

WHEREAS, Upon his triumphant return to Mexico, Benito Juárez served as Chief Justice of Mexico’s Supreme Court before serving five terms as President; and,

WHEREAS, Benito Juárez transformed Mexico’s government with his passion for human rights, commitment to constitutional law and vision of modern democracy; and,

WHEREAS, Benito Juárez is often compared to Abraham Lincoln, as they were both humble men from humble origins who led their nations during wartime; and,

WHEREAS, Benito Juárez’s words echo through the centuries: “Entre los individuos, como entre las nacionales, el respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz”, or “Among individuals as among nations, when there is respect, there is peace”; and,

WHEREAS, the State of Illinois is reminded of Benito Juárez’s legacy by the Benito Juárez Community Academy in Chicago, the statue of Benito Juárez on Chicago’s Plaza of the Americas (a gift from Mexico’s President in 1977), a sculpture of Benito Juárez in the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, and the Benito Juárez Baseball League, one of Chicago's oldest community baseball leagues; and,

WHEREAS, Illinois visitors to Mexico City are invited to visit the monuments to both Benito Juárez and Abraham Lincoln; and,

THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois, do Hereby Proclaim today, March 21, 2013, as “Benito Juárez Day” throughout Illinois in honor of his contributions to the People of this State, the People of Mexico and all the People of the World.

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