Mexican Independence Day Isn’t On May 5th

Mural of Independence by Juan O'Gorman. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)
Mural of Independence by Juan O’Gorman. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Today is Mexican Independence Day. Here are some things you may not have known about it.

As you’re hopefully aware, today is not the 5th of May. Cinco de Mayo is frequently confused for Mexican Independence Day, but it’s actually a celebration of the Mexican victory over French troops in the Battle of Puebla.

Mexican Independence Day marks the beginning of the War of Independence against the Spanish colonial government on September 16, 1810.

The war began when Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla urged his congregation to revolt against the Spanish in the central Mexican town of Dolores. The event came to be known as Grito de Dolores, or the Cry of Dolores.

Hidalgo was executed by firing squad in July 1811, and leadership was assumed by Jose Maria Morelos, another priest.

In 1821, the Treaty of Cordoba recognized Mexico’s independence. The Spanish, however, didn’t recognize the country’s independence until 1836.

The town of Dolores was renamed Dolores Hidalgo in Hidalgo’s honor following independence.

Mexico would be occupied by the French in the 1860s, and that’s when the battle that Cinco de Mayo celebrates happened.

Our question: Who was the first president of Mexico?

Today is Independence Day in Papua New Guinea, Malaysia Day, and International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.

It’s unofficially National Guacamole Day, National Play-Doh Day, and National Stay Away from Seattle Day.

It’s the birthday of musician B.B. King, who was born in 1925; magician David Copperfield, who is 60; and Amy Poehler, who turns 45. I also want to say happy birthday to my dad, who turns 63 today.

Because our topic happened before 1960, we’ll spin the wheel to pick a year at random.

This week in 1969, the top song in the U.S. was “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies.

The No. 1 movie was “The Trouble with Girls,” while the novel “The Love Machine” by Jacqueline Susann topped the New York Times Bestsellers list.




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