Ever wonder why Cinco de Mayo is such a big deal in the US? Most Mexicans are surprised when they find out how huge the date has become in the US. Just in case you ever find yourself stuck in a Cinco de Mayo conversation, we give you the Cinco facts that will make you seem like an expert:
1) Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. What is actually celebrated is the Battle of Puebla, the day when 4,000 Mexican Soldiers defeated a powerful French Army of 8,000, which took place in 1862. Only the city of Puebla actually holds festivities on this day, but the date is overlooked in the rest of the Mexican territory.
2) General Zaragoza, the man who led the Mexicans to victory was actually born in Texas.
3) Napoleon III's hate for the US made him think he could simply invade Mexico and force them to invade the US (who was in a civil war itself) from the south. The French Army's defeat stopped Napoleon III from supplying the Confederate Army and 14 months later, they lost at Gettysburg.
4) The Union Army sent weapons to the Mexican Army so they could defeat the French. The American Legion of Honor even marched in the Victory Parade in Mexico City.
5) The US and other countries around the globe use this date to celebrate Mexican pride and heritage. The first American celebration of Cinco de Mayo dates back to 1963, even the White House throws a party to celebrate 5 de Mayo.