Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is coming and many people in the US like to celebrate by having a get together with plenty of guacamole and beer. That’s great! It would also be good if people knew a little bit more about what they are celebrating. If you ask around, the most frequent answer is “Mexican independence?” Nope. Actually, May 5th celebrates the Battle of Puebla. A historical episode in which the Mexican army (headed by liberal President Benito Juárez) squashed the French army’s attempts (under Napoleon III) to occupy Mexico. So there. Now you can eat guacamole to your heart’s content and also sound super-smart when asked “What are we celebrating again?”.

CINCO DE MAYO: A MEXICAN HOLIDAY ABOUT UNITY AND PRIDE BY JAMES GARCIA. DB 61994

Discusses the historical events of May 5, 1862, when Mexico defeated the powerful French at the Battle of Puebla and the growing popularity of celebrating this date. Includes suggestions for planning a Cinco de Mayo fiesta. For grades 3-6. 2003.

FIESTA!: CINCO DE MAYO BY JUNE BEHRENS. DB 36792

Cinco de Mayo is a very important holiday for Mexican-Americans. On May 5, 1862, the Mexican army defeated the French army. This victory ended the efforts of foreign powers to invade North America. The author describes the Cinco de Mayo holiday and its celebration.

MEXICO: A HISTORY by ROBERT RYAL MILLER. DB 34427

Beginning with a description of the early Indian cultures, Miller, a scholar of Mexican and Latin American history, outlines the Spanish takeover, the various rulers over the centuries, the war with the United States, the Revolution, and the birth of modern Mexico. He highlights the accompanying changes in the shape of the country and the makeup of the population.

OXFORD HISTORY OF MEXICO EDITED BY WILLIAM H. BEEZLEY & MICHAEL C. MEYER. DB 90978

A narrative history of Mexico, beginning with the empire of the Aztecs and carrying through to the early twenty-first century. Includes discussions of religion, technology, ethnicity, ecology, and the many events, institutions, and individuals that have shaped the modern nation. 2010.