March 21 is a national holiday in Mexico celebrating Benito Juarez Day. Benito Juarez was born on March 21, 1806 and died July 18, 1872. His full name was Benito Pablo Juarez Garcia and he was a lawyer and politician from Oaxaca. He served 5 terms as President of Mexico from 1858 to 1872. He is known for being the first Mexican leader who did not have a military background and was also the first full-blooded indigenous national ever to serve at President of Mexico and to lead a country in the Western Hemisphere. During his reign he resisted French occupation, overthrew the Empire and restored the Republic. He is also known for his liberal efforts to modernize the country.
Today he is remembered as a progressive reformer dedicated to democracy and equal rights. His time as President is known as La Reforma (the reform), and “constituted a liberal political and social revolution”. His photo is on the 20 pesos bank note.
Mexican banks, state and federal offices and local offices will be closed today.