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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.

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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