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Monday, May 5, 2014


U.S. Marine Corps Band accompanies a troupe of Mariachi at the White House in honor of Cinco de Mayo
LET’S HAVE A GOOD TIME--Yes, Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday honoring heroes of the Battle of Puebla in 1862, but north of the border the day is better known simply as a great day for a party.  Here the U.S. Marine Corps band accompanies a troupe of Mariachi performing on the White House steps.
1901 Poster honoring the Siege of Puebla.
Illustration: Jose Guadalupe  Posada, 1852-1913.
Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day—the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico—which is celebrated on September 16.

In the state of Puebla, May 5 is observed to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín.  The Mexican army numbered 4,000 compared with 8,000 invading French troops.  The defeat curbed French imperial ambitions in the Americas and blunted any oppodrtunity to aide the South in the U.S. Civil War.  It is interesting to mull what might have happened if the French had won on Cindo de Mayo and in turn were able to come to the aid of Confederacy.

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