The Shortest Presidency in History

March 28, 2024

Pedro Lascurain2

On February 19, 1913, Pedro Lascuráin became the President of Mexico, but his new presidency was short-lived — very short-lived. He was in office for only 45 minutes, and his presidency has been the shortest in history.

Here’s why Lascuráin barely had time to realize he was president. On February 13, 1913, Mexican General Victoriano Huerta overthrew President Francisco I. Madero in a coup. Lascuráin had been a supporter of Madero and served two separate times as foreign secretary in his administration. Before Lascuráin was the foreign secretary, he was the mayor of Mexico City and even became mayor again between a break as the foreign secretary.

In addition to removing President Madero, Huerta had the vice-president and the attorney general removed. In order to give the coup some legitimacy, Huerta had Lascuráin move into the presidency since the foreign minister was next in line in succession to be president behind the vice-president and attorney general under the Mexican Constitution of 1857. Huerta then ordered Lascuráin to appoint him as interior minister, which was the next position in line to the presidency. Lascuráin was forced to resign the presidency in just under an hour which made Huerta president because his new position was the next in the line of succession. Lascuráin’s presidency then became the shortest in history. This period in Mexican history became known as La Decena Trágica or the Ten Tragic Days.

Only a few days later, Huerta ordered the killing of the former president and vice-president. Huerta even offered a position in his administration to Lascuráin, but he refused and returned to being a lawyer. He died in 1952 at the age of 96.

Sources: Buscabiografias.com, ABC, Cronica

About the author 

Daniel Ganninger - The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew, the author of the Knowledge Stew line of trivia books, and editor of Fact World and the Knowledge Stew sister site on Medium, our ad-free subscription sites. I hope you learn many new things here that add to your knowledge.

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