Friday, May 4, 2012

Cinco de Mayo: 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla

Battle of Puebla
Contrary to what many people believe, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day. (That holiday is September 16.) Rather, it commemorates the unlikely victory of the Mexican militia over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. This year is the 150th anniversary of the battle. With the exception of the town of Puebla, typically, the holiday is not celebrated in most areas of Mexico. However, students in Nogales, Mexico recently conducted a reenactment of the battle to commemorate this significant anniversary. Increasingly, Americans celebrate the holiday, but most revelers are unaware of the history behind the festivities.

Biblioteca Palafoxiana
In case you have the opportunity to visit Puebla, here are some travel tips. The town is known for the battle against the French and its architecture. A lesser known fact is that Puebla is the home of the Biblioteca Palafoxiana, the first library in colonial Mexico.

You can learn more about Mexican history through materials available at Gallagher Law Library. If you are interested in Mexican legal history, check out An Introduction to the History of Mexican Law. For an enlightening take on the immigration debate, take a look at Immigration Law and the U.S.-Mexico Border : ¿Sí Se Puede?.

photo credits: Cinco de Mayo Chicago,

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