PERU: Character Day

With due solemnity Peru's highest notables, scholars, soldiers, officials and athletes marched into Lima's great Alameda Descalzos last fortnight to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Character Day. to receive medals and decorations "for distinguished character." As national holidays go, Character Day is unique. The hero it celebrates is still alive, still a hero.

Twenty years ago dapper, whiskered Augusto B. Leguia was President of Peru. A band of rebels, irked at his administration, entered the presidential palace by stealth and kidnaped him. Slim-waisted, short-legged, he...

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