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History of Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo brings out the Rebellious in all of us! America translates this Mexican holiday commemorating the Battle of Puebla into a Fiesta. Do you know the story?

Mexico was bankrupt and owed money to Great Britain, Spain, and France. The French army was undefeated for 50 years and intended to collect the debt on behalf of the European powers when Mexican President Benito Juarez suspended payment on all foreign debt.

Six thousand soldiers and cavalry descended on Puebla, just 100 miles from Mexico City. Four thousand Mexican “rebels” defended the countryside armed with farm implements, antique rifles, and sheer guerilla force. The guerillas were simple country people: farmers and craftsmen, who followed “General” Ignacio Zaragosa and won!

Ignacio Zaragosa was and intellectual, loyal and patriotic—he motivated his followers by reminding them that they were Mexico’s first sons (and daughters!).