If you live in Arizona, you know that many countries have flown their flags over it, including Spain, Mexico, and the United States. You know about the conquest of Spain, the revolution that freed Mexico from them, the Mexican-American War, the Gadsen Purchase. And it all seems to blur together, until one day in particular, when Mexico saved the United States.
Time-travel with me to 1861. If that date rings a bell, it's because it was the beginning of the Civil War of the United States. And what that meant to Arizona (New Mexico at the time) is that the troops were pulled out, and sent back east to fight. And that left that part of the United States very vulnerable to countries that would like to conquer it. And, surprisingly, it was France.
Since France was an ally of the United States in World War I and II, it surprised me to find that it wasn't in the 1800s. The attitude of France was still one of conquest. And they wanted Mexico, and New Mexico.
In a battle that sounds like fiction, against all odds, the Mexican army won an important battle against the French. And from that day on, it was just a matter of time for the French to leave, and never return. That day was May 5th, 1862, Cinco de Mayo.
¡Viva México! ¡Viva Los Estados Unidos!
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