Digital History: Let’s celebrate Cinco de Mayo with fun facts and digital documents

cinco de mayo culture dancer

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Did you know that Cinco de Mayo is not actually Mexico’s Independence Day? If not, you’re not alone. In fact, Mexico’s Independence Day is September 16th, and this is just one of many common misconceptions about May 5th. So, what exactly are we celebrating today, then?

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s unexpected victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862. Today in the US, it is a celebration of Mexican culture that took root in cities with large Mexican-American populations and then went on to spread exponentially in popularity. In recent years, Cinco de Mayo has been officially declared a day to observe and celebrate Mexican heritage in the United States.

Here is a round-up of our favorite fun and interesting facts about Cinco de Mayo:

  • Cinco de Mayo is not nearly as popular in Mexico, and largely ignored
  • There is a reenactment of the Battle of Puebla every year in San Diego
  • Americans consume over 80 million avocados on Cinco de Mayo
  • Over 30 million US residents are of Mexican descent
  • There is a yearly Cinco de Mayo Chihuahua Festival in Arizona (complete with the crowning of King and Queen Chihuahua)

In the name of 19th century underdogs, green super foods, and miniature canines, let’s put on our sombreros and get festive by taking a peek into Cinco de Mayo history. Can you think of a better way to do this than with digital documents? We certainly can’t.

digital cinco de mayo document from the official gazette of mexico regarding french presence in mexico around the time of the battle of the pueblaA digitized image from the official gazette of Mexico, regarding the French presence there at the time of the Battle of Puebla (1862).
cinco de mayo poster from 1901A Cinco de Mayo poster from 1901. In English, it reads, “May 5th, 1862 and the siege of Puebla.”
Ignacio Zaragoza, a Mexican army general who is best known for the Battle of the Puebla victoryIgnazio Zaragoza, a Mexican army general who is best known for the Battle of Puebla victory.


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