The Real History Of Cinco De Mayo, In Less Than A Minute

Mandatory Fun

Cinco De Mayo, the middle sibling of America's St. Patrick's Day through Independence Day party bender, is often misunderstood. Like St. Patrick's Day, the original meaning of the celebration has been lost on many in this country and has become an excuse to throw back a few (or few dozen) drinks.


Hey, there's nothing necessarily wrong with that. That's what we do well in this country. But for the sake of expanding on the cheeky videoabove, let me hit you with some actual knowledge real quick:

Cinco De Mayo, contrary to popular opinion, is not a celebration of Mexico's independence. Rather, it's a day to recognize the Mexican Army's impressive defeat of numerically and technologically superior French forces in 1862 near the southern territory of Puebla. As the French Army made its way to take the capital of Mexico City, a ragtag group of Mexican soldiers retaliated with such a brutal beating that the French hightailed it out of there faster than you can say "crêpe." 

That defeat almost singlehandedly restored national pride to a country that had been torn apart by civil war and foreign invasions for decades, and to this day it has become a staple celebration throughout the entire continent. Congratulations: Now you can go drink in peace.

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Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

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And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

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Sometimes, even the most well-meaning of tweets can come back to haunt you as a meme.

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An AH-64D Longbow Apache helicopter lands during a combined arms demonstration as part of South Carolina National Guard Air & Ground Expo 2009 at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Oct. 10, 2009. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Roberto Di Giovine)

Welcome to Confessions Of, an occaisional series where Task & Purpose's James Clark solicits hilarious, embarrassing, and revealing stories from troops and vets about their job, billet, or a tour overseas. Are you in an interesting assignment and think you might have something to share? Email james@taskandpurpose.com with your story.

"Nothing is more powerful than a young boy's wish. Except an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has machine guns and missiles. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine."

While this Patrick Stewart quote may be from an R-rated movie about a talking teddy bear, it's remarkably accurate. After all, the old warhorse has been kicking ass since it was first adopted by the U.S. Army in the 1980s. Designed to get into trouble fast and put it down even faster, the AH-64 Apache usually comes bristling with ordnance, from an M230 chain gun firing 30mm rounds to Hellfire missiles and rockets.

In the words of Tyler Merritt "it's basically a fucking flying tank."

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James Jackson, right, confers with his lawyer during a hearing in criminal court, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in New York. Jackson, a white supremacist, pled guilty Wednesday to killing a black man with a sword as part of a racist plot that prosecutors described as a hate crime. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 13. (Associated Press/Bebeto Matthews)

White supremacist James Jackson – accused of trying to start a race war by killing a homeless black man in Times Square with a sword — pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder as an act of terrorism.

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A soldier plugs his ears during a live fire mission at Yakima Training Center. Photo: Capt. Leslie Reed/U.S. Army

A Texas veteran is suing the company he says knowingly produced and sold defective earplugs which were issued to the U.S. military, leading him and many others to develop hearing problems, including tinnitus.

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