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152 years ago . . . In 1862!  The Mexican army scores an upset victory over the invading French army at the Battle of Puebla.  
A few important points about Cinco de Mayo, though:
1.  Even though the Mexicans held off the French that day, they didn't win their war.  About a year later, the French successfully occupied Mexico City.  They didn't leave until the U.S. strongly pressured them to leave a few years later.
2.  It's NOT Mexican Independence Day.  That's September 16th.
3.  It's NOT a federal holiday in Mexico, but just a voluntary one.  And it doesn't get huge celebrations in Mexico . . . in fact, they barely notice it.
4.  Even though it's virtually ignored in Mexico, outside of the country it's evolved into a day of BROWN PRIDE.  Which is why it gets huge celebrations in U.S. cities with large Latino populations.

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