In 1861, Benito Juárez stopped making interest payments to countries that Mexico owed money to. In response, France attacked Mexico to force payment of this debt. France decided that it would try to take over and occupy Mexico. France was successful at first in its invasion; however, on May 5, 1862, at the city of Puebla, Mexican forces were able to defeat an attack by the larger French army. In the Battle of Puebla, the Mexicans were led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. Although the Mexican army was victorious over the French at Puebla, the victory only delayed the French advance on Mexico City. A year later, the French occupied Mexico. The French occupying forces placed Emperor Maximilian I on the throne of Mexico in 1864.
And I was under the impression that countries were supposed to have actually won the wars they commemorate in holiday and in song. Reading the history of Mexico's Lost Cause of not paying its interest payments, I wonder whether Germany might want to officially celebrate April 9 as "Weserübung Day," marking the Third Reich's successful invasion of Norway.
A reader -- and supporter -- informing me that Cinqo de Mayo isn't much celebrated in Mexico:
Actually, from what I've read Cinqo de Mayo isn't really a Mexican Holiday, but an American one. When Mexicans move here and are told
about it, they find the whole thing pretty odd, and just chalk it up to "strange American customs" like "Political Correctness"...
I vaguely recall the whole thing began when a wave of Mexican immigrants came to the U.S. during and after the brutal Mexican Civil War of the
1920s. Supposedly, most of those immigrants (or at least their educated elements) were ideologically aligned against the Mexican government, and
therefore didn't support any of the major Mexican holidays. I'm not exactly sure how Cinqo de Mayo took their place, but maybe the general
involved had been a partisan of the other side or something. (All of this is pretty fuzzy in my mind, so don't rely on it much.)
Perhaps an analogy might be if the Loyalists who moved to Canada after the American Revolution had decided to celebrate some American victory
of the French and Indian Wars as their American national holiday, and decades later, when large numbers of American immigrants moved to Canada
they were puzzled to discover America's national patriotic holiday was something they'd never previously heard of.
Growing up in Texas, I remember celebrating "Cinqo de Mayo" at my PC private middle school. But then we also celebrated "June Teenth" and Kawanza. So, perhaps Cinqo de Mayo was like those latter two -- an artifical holiday promoted by white educrats.