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How To Talk About Cinco De Mayo Without Sounding Like A Gringo

No, it isn't Mexican Independence Day.

Before you go and make a fool of yourself by trying to do a tequila power hour, why don’t you learn a little anti-colonial history?

Let’s start from the beginning. You see, back in the 1860s, Mexico was kind of in a tough spot.

The three-year civil war had left the Republican government’s finances in shambles.

But the worst part was that Mexico owed a ton of money to Spain, England, and France.

Anyway, the colonial powers made a deal and sent a bunch of ships to Mexico.

Juarez was a savvy negotiator.

And so the British and the Spanish said, “Aight."

But the French were like, “We ain't going nowhere.”

Soon it became apparent that the French weren’t in it for the money.

As if having America as a neighbor wasn't bad enough for Mexico already.

So the French invaded the country with a big, powerful army.

They went straight for the big prize and marched toward Mexico City.

But Mexico's army hadn't fled. It was hatching a plan.

This fancy dude led the Mexican army:

On the morning of May 5, 1862, the French army charged toward the city.

The battle raged for a whole day.

View this video on YouTube

Here's a scene from a really terrible movie about the battle that came out in 2013, to give you an idea of how horrible it was.

And then, the unthinkable happened.

Can you imagine that?

Anyway, it was awesome.

But, of course, as almost always happens, Mexico lost in the end.

They gave power to this guy: Maximilian Von Hapsburg.

The hapless fellow only lasted for three years.

In any case, now you know what happened on Cinco de Mayo, 1862.