Thursday, June 19, 2008
Emperor Maximilian of Mexico
This is a photograph of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico. During the American Civil War, when the US was tied up with problems on the home front, France decided it would be a good time to invade Mexico. They sent in troops, took over the country, and then in May of 1864, installed this guy, Maximilian, as Emperor.
Many Mexicans opposed this, as you might imagine, and a revolutionary movement was led by Benito Juarez. At the close of the Civil War, the United States began to supply Benito Juarez and his fighters with arms and other supplies. In 1867 Juarez was able to capture Maximilian. He received a fair trial, and then was executed by firing squad on this day, June 19, in the year 1867. He bribed the firing squad to not shoot him in the head. It is reported that they took the bribe, but shot him in the head anyway. His last words? . . . Viva Mexico, which seems a little odd, given the circumstances. Anyway, the Firing Squad is pictured below.