Cinco de Mayo
For several days, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans commemorate memorate the defeat of the French by General Ignacio Zaragoza at the Battle of Pueblo in 1862. His defense of the city dealt a major blow to Napoleon III’s attempt to establish a permanent French colony in Central America, which eventually led to the expulsion of the French from Mexico.
In California, Cinco de Mayo is still celebrated and serves to perpetuate Mexican nationalism in a foreign land. All of the pageant’s activities, speeches, songs, and events are played out in Spanish, usually beneath the American flag that is flown alongside the Mexican flag.