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1 PESO COIN - MEXICO - JOSE MORELOS
(KM 459)

Date: A.D. 1958

Obverse: Portrait facing right - MO

Reverse: Coat of arms. Eagle with snake and cactus - ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS UN PESO 1958

This is a Silver Peso depicting Jose Morelos, a catholic priest and one of the main early leaders of Mexico's struggle for independence from Spain. He is a national hero with both a city and a state named for him.

In 1810 he joined the rebellion against Spain called for by Miguel Hidalgo. After Hidalgo was captured and executed, Morelos took over as the leader of the revolution. He skillfully fought against the Viceroy's Spanish army, and captured the cities of Oaxaca (in 1812) and Acapulco, Mexico's main Pacific seaport, the following year.

He was captured by Spanish forces and shot as a traitor at the village of San Cristóbal Ecatepec. His lieutenant Vicente Guerrero continued the fight after his death. Morelos' likeness was used on the Mexican peso from 1947 until the 1970's.

In World War II the United States liberty ship SS Jose M. Morelos was named in his honor.