Remembering The Tooth-Puller

Much of Spanish South America lionizes Simon Bolivar, and his birthday is a national holiday in Ecuador, his native Venezuela and Bolivia, which is named for him. The French take Bastille Day to commemorate major figures of their late 18th and early 19th century history, including Napoleon and Lafayette, though both are remembered more ambivalently. And in Brazil, many people will take a day off from work on April 21 to head to the beaches and perhaps devote a moment to the memory of the man known as Tiradentes, “the tooth-puller.”