"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse
A day to celebrate the independence of Mexico from Spain and the defeat of Napolean's invading French Army (and drink a bunch of Corona while you're at it). Some tidbits:
In the spring of 1862, after receiving word that French forces were marching on Mexico City, President Benito Juarez (a native Zapotec Indian) sent troops to head them off. It was on May 5th, in the little town of Puebla, that a small, ragged, untrained, and under-equipped army led by General Ignacio Zaragoza met and defeated the invading French, a well-armed, professional army led by Napoleon III. Though the battle was only a temporary setback for Napoleon, it proved to be the catalyst which provided the Mexicans with confidence enough to persevere and ultimately triumph over the French in 1867. The French defeat must have surprised Napoleon III, the ruler of France, who was attempting to annex Mexico by taking advantage of the destruction and bankruptcy that existed there. Mexico's condition at that time was the result of the War of Reform (1858-1860), an internal political, economic, and religious struggle. At the end of this civil war, Mexico owed more than $80,000,000 to foreigners. France invaded Mexico, using debt collection as an excuse. Napoleon III's true motivation, however, was total control of Mexico and its potential wealth.
In addition to its importance in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is significant to all Americans because it marks the last time that any foreign power has acted the aggressor on North American soil.
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