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Lincoln and Juárez honored together in Chicago

20 October 2009 No Comment

Benito JuarezWhen president Obama visited Mexico earlier this year, he made reference to the parallelisms between two icons of Mexican and American history: Benito Juárez and Abraham Lincoln.

A few months later, the lives of these two extraordinary ex-presidents are celebrated with two exhibitions at Chicago’s History Museum as part of the commemoration of Abraham Lincoln’s bicentennial.

The life of Benito Juarez (1806-1872) is legendary. Born in a small village in the Mexican southern state of Oaxaca and from very humble origins, he embarked in his pursuit to reform Mexico in the early 1840s following his ideals of the rule of law and self-government. His efforts, inspired by the principles of the European Enlightenment, were crucial in transforming Mexico into the modern republic it is today.

While Juárez was struggling to establish the basis of a modern Mexico, Lincoln also faced a critical situation that would forever change the future of his country: the Edict of Emancipation that led to the freedom for more than three million African American slaves.

The exhibition Benito Juárez and the Making of Modern Mexico has been co-curated with the National Museum of Mexican Art and depicts more than 25 national treasures from Mexico that have never been displayed in the USA before.

You can watch a slideshow of highlights from the exhibition here.

The exhibition opened on October 10 and will be on display until April 12, 2010.

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