Cinco de Mayo Greetings from Mexico
May 05, 2008, 03:51 PM
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Today is Cinco de Mayo , which means "May the 5th" in Spanish. It commemorates the Battle of Puebla, a Mexican victory over the French on May 5th, 1862.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become, in recent years, a big holiday for Mexican-Americans and for politicians who wish to pander to them. It seems to be (along with Muslim observances of course) one of George W. Bush’s favorite public celebrations. It's even been suggested that the U.S. declare Cinco de Mayo an official U.S. holiday.

What’s ironic is that here in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is not a big deal. It’s basically a bank holiday, and a holiday from school. However, not in my school, which has classes today. So I have to work on Cinco de Mayo today, in Mexico .

An interesting historical detail about the 1862 Battle of Puebla is that Ignacio Zaragoza, the Mexican general in the battle, was born in Texas, during the brief (15-year) period in which Texas was part of an independent Mexico.

For more on the Battle of Puebla, you can read my Mexidata column on the topic here . Happy Cinco de Mayo !