Saturday, May 05, 2007

Cinco de Mayo

In Spanish, cinco de Mayo means "fifth of May," and is celebrated throughout the United States and in some parts of Mexico.

On May 5, 1862, some 4,000 Mexican troops were victorious over a French army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico. In the United States, the "Batalla de Puebla" came to be known as Cinco de Mayo and is often incorrectly thought of as Mexican Independence Day.

Actually, Mexico won its independence from Spain on September 16, 1810 - nearly 50 years earlier!

So why is Cinco de Mayo so important in the history of Mexico? According to the RiverDeep Web site...

  • It marked the beginning of the end of European occupation in the Americas.

  • It filled the Mexicans with pride and paved the way for nationwide reforms.

  • It symbolized the right of the people to defend themselves against a powerful, foreign invader.

Shown above is a seldom seen pair of Cinco De Mayo stamps issued by Mexico in 1962.

Shown here is the first Cinco De Mayo stamp issued by the United States in 1998. It was re-issued in 1999 with a 33-cents face value.

For more on Cinco de Mayo, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM