Episode 66: Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo, 1901 poster (SMU Central University Libraries via Wikipedia)
Cinco de Mayo, 1901 poster (SMU Central University Libraries via Wikipedia)

Today is May 5th, or in Spanish: Cinco de Mayo.

Here are some things you may not know about the Mexican holiday.

First: It’s not Mexican independence day. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

Second: The French were trying to take advantage of the United States being distracted by its Civil War to establish a foothold in the Americas. While the Mexicans won the battle, they lost the war in the short term, resulting in the establishment of the French-backed Second Mexican Empire in 1864. The French withdrew their support in 1866 which led to the reestablishment of the Mexican Republic in 1867.

Third: It’s probably more popular in the United States than it is in Mexico. While it’s not officially a national holiday in either country, it is more widely celebrated north of the border. In Mexico, it’s an official holiday in the states of Puebla and Veracruz.

Our question: On what date is Mexican Independence Day celebrated?

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