MEETING OF PRESIDENTS TAFT AND DIAZ
EL PASO, TX AND JUAREZ, MEXICO
Purpose: To cement international relations and to promote reciprocal trade between Mexico and United States.
Organization: Event said to be first of its kind in our history and preparations were elaborate. President Taft and Department of State appointed Taft-Diaz Committee of Arrangements; aided by local Committee created by El Paso's Mayor and City Council. Each President was accompanied by "brilliant staff."
Date, Site: Oct. 16, 1909; El Paso, Texas and Cuidad Juarez, Mexico.
Comment: Both cities took on carnival air for "greatest international meeting ever held in America." First greeting took place on bridge spanning Rio Grande where Presidents clasped hands in token of friendship; met formally again in main hall of El Paso Chamber of Commerce and finally in reception hall of Juarez Federal Building. El Paso was scene of Reception and State Luncheon while Juarez held second Reception, International Banquet and Ball.
Porfirio Diaz (1830-1915) served seven terms as Mexico's President from 1876 to 1911; was forced to abdicate; died in exile in Paris four years later.
Medals: Official Medals below sponsored by Committee of Arrangements and City Council; engraved and "produced" by George Larcon, San Francisco. Two major reverse varieties are known, one in English and other in Spanish. Two Gold specimens were struck, one with each Reverse, English piece presented to President Taft and Spanish piece to President Diaz. Silver and Copper medals were presented to officials and guests, with those from Mexico receiving type with Spanish reverse. Latter, having been carried out of country, have greater apparent rarity within the U.S.
Photos courtesy of John Raymond
Obv. Twin busts partly facing, within open wreath; below wreath are clasped hands; above all Libertad.
Rev. In Commemoration / of the Meeting / --of the-- / * Presidents * / Wm. H. Taft / --and-- / Porfirio Diaz / Oct. 16, 1909; below around At El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico.
HK-386 Silver. Proof. 38mm.
HK-387a Gold. Unique.
SPANISH REVERSE VARIETY
Photos courtesy of Heritage Galleries (HA.com)
Obv. Same as obverse of No. 386 [Twin busts partly facing].
Rev. In Spanish En Conmemoracion / -- *-- / De La Reunion / De Los / Sres. Presidentes / Porfirio Diaz / -- Y -- / Wm. H. Taft, / Oct. 16, 1909.; below around En Juarez, Mexico, Y El Paso, Texas.
HK-388 Copper. 38mm.
HK-388b Gold. Unique.