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updated: 3/17/2014 7:45 AM

Illinois governor declares Benito Juarez Day

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  • Benito Juarez

      Benito Juarez

Associated Press

Gov. Pat Quinn has declared Friday as Benito Juarez Day in Illinois.

Quinn's office says in a statement that the governor is marking the 208th anniversary of the Mexican leader's birth. The state is hosting a free exhibit on Juarez at downtown Chicago's Thompson Center through Friday. The exhibit previously was at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.

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The exhibit spans Juarez's time as lawyer, chief justice of the Mexican Supreme Court and five-term president.

In 1861, Juarez sent an emissary to Springfield to meet then President-elect Abraham Lincoln.

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