This past Tuesday February 11 Illinois Governor Pat Quinn was joined by the Governor of the State of Mexico Eruviel Ávila for a unique theatrical performance at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Juárez and Lincoln have often been compared – both came from humble origins, were self-taught and fought for human rights.
They served as Presidents during the same period, during which they established a long-distance relationship. In 1861, Juárez dispatched his envoy – Matías Romero – to Springfield, Ill., to extend official greetings to President-elect Lincoln, the first such overture by a foreign nation.
That meeting is the subject of a unique theatrical reenactment at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
On January 19, 1861, Romero met with President-elect Lincoln at Lincoln’s home in Springfield. Romero delivered congratulations to Lincoln from Juárez and opened a dialogue about peace, understanding and cooperation that could be beneficial for both nations. It led to a “friendship through correspondence” between Presidents Juárez and Lincoln.
Governor Quinn has vowed to make Illinois the most welcoming state in the United States, and has often noted the friendship between Juárez and Lincoln. Last year, Governor Quinn declared March 21 as “Benito Juárez Day” across Illinois.
There are now 1.6 million people in Illinois of Mexican origin, about one in eight Illinois residents. Mexico and Illinois have had a sister state relationship since 1990.
Governor Ávila, 45, has been the Governor of the State of Mexico since 2011, succeeding Enrique Peña Nieto, now Mexico’s President. Ávila was twice elected Mayor of Ecatepec de Morelos and a deputy of the State of Mexico’s Congress.
For details about Governor Ávila’s state visit or the history of the 150 year friendship between Mexico and Illinois, visit150years.Illinois.gov.