Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War in the 1860’s. (IT’S NOT MEXICO’S INDEPENDENCE DAY)
In 1861, Benito Juárez was elected president of Mexico. The country was in financial distress and was forced to default on debt payments to France, Great Britain, and Spain. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew their forces. France, however, decided to use the opportunity to carve an empire out of Mexican territory.
So, 6,000 French troops set out to attack Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in east-central Mexico. Juárez rounded up a small force of 2,000 loyal men—many of them either indigenous Mexicans or of mixed ancestry—and sent them to Puebla. When the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers. Fewer than 100 Mexicans had been killed in the clash. Continue reading “Fiesta Like There’s No Mañana”