May 05, 2006

A little history

Many people believe that Cinco de Mayo is the date that Mexicans celebrate their independence from mother Spain. Like most other commonly accepted "truths", this one is false. For the record, Mexico gained independence in 1821. Cinco de Mayo celebrates something else entirely. Excerpt:

France invaded at the gulf coast of Mexico along the state of Veracruz (see map) and began to march toward Mexico City, a distance today of less than 600 miles. Although American President Abraham Lincoln was sympathetic to Mexico's cause, and for which he is honored in Mexico, the U.S. was involved in its own Civil War at the time and was unable to provide any direct assistance.

Marching on toward Mexico City, the French army encountered strong resistance at the Mexican forts of Loreto and Guadalupe. Lead by Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, a small, poorly armed militia estimated at 4,500 men were able to stop and defeat a well outfitted French army of 6,500 soldiers, which stopped the invasion of the country. The victory was a glorious moment for Mexican patriots, which at the time helped to develop a needed sense of national unity, and is the cause for the historical date's celebration.

"The holiday of Cinco De Mayo, The 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862."

Add Mexicans to the seemingly endless supply of people able to defeat the French in battle. Included in this list are the Quadruple Amputee Girls Elementary School, the Paralytic School for the Blind and pretty much any local Cub Scout troop. Den mothers are prohibited because the French invariably wet themselves when confronted with opponents standing over 4 feet in height, weighing more than 50 pounds, or possessing the bodily strength of your average two-year old.

Posted by Physics Geek at May 5, 2006 11:53 AM | TrackBack StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!

it's an excuse to drink beer. What better excuse than humiliating the French? ;)

Posted by: caltechgirl at May 5, 2006 12:37 PM

Heck, I'll drink a beer when someone else humiliates the French.

Posted by: physics geek at May 7, 2006 02:31 PM