Strange truths

Only in Cinco De Mayo, will you learn…

  • As the French soldiers looked up at the convent, something appeared in the window that they never expected. They were being “mooned!”
     
  • It was a windy evening as the women lighted their cooking fires at a Mexican army camp. A few sparks flew into the barn where 32 tons of explosives were stored. 15-hundred lives were lost but the French had not yet fired a shot.
     
  • A signed treaty that would guarantee Mexico a U.S. bailout loan and send 3 invading armies back to Europe was on its way to Washington. It looked as though the mule carrying it was about to roll over in the stream. Learn what happened to the document on its way to the U.S. Senate.
    Palacio Municipal Veracruz
  • A nationally-famous ballet company from Paris was stopped along the highway. To save their lives and continue to Mexico City – said the bandidos – they would have to give a nude performance.
     
  • Just as the French navy was unloading 700 horses at the Port of Veracruz, a type of hurricane known in those parts as a “norte” struck. What happened next is legendary.
     
  • The French Foreign Legion vowed never to surrender. 64 of them were surrounded by 1,200 Mexicans. It was a hot day, and their canteens had been filled with wine, not water. It’s still the worst defeat in Legion history.
     
  • Three dancing girls at Manuel González’ Wine Bar in Veracruz were tired of being groped by drunken French soldiers. They decided to poison the wine one night, and the overwhelmed commander ordered enemas for the whole company as the troops returned to camp.
     
  • A thousand Confederate soldiers – out of work as the American Civil War ended – buried their flag in the Rio Grande and headed into Mexico to offer their services. Before they reached the border, they got into a shoot-out with a gang that was trying to rob the Texas State Treasury in Austin.
     
  • Should he abdicate or shouldn’t he? The French were withdrawing their troops, and Emperor Maximilian was troubled over whether to give up the throne of Mexico. He gathered his advisers and put the question to them: they would decide while he took the day off to go butterfly hunting!
     
  • Mexican underground leaders were meeting in a small village when lookouts spotted French contre-guérillas galloping toward the town. A merchant and his wife seized machetes and chopped the horses’ tethers from the railing – just in time. Page 138.
     
  • A Vermont farm girl ran away to become a bareback rider in the circus. Watching a recruiting parade in Washington, she met and married a prince from Westphalia who had become an officer in the Union army. This same “princess” and her husband later wound up in Mexico – fighting for Emperor Maximilian – and she found herself on her knees with her arms wrapped around the legs of Mexico’s president, pleading for the emperor’s life and that of her husband. Brief appearances on Pages 18, 73, 107, 137, 149 and 174, with her “grand finale” in Chapter 34 on Pages 227 through 235.
     
  • Cinco de Mayo is not just about the Battle of Puebla! Historians refer to this period as “The French Intervention.” This book is aimed at various college disciplines such as Latin American Studies, History, Bilingual Education, Spanish, teachers at all levels who deal with significant hispanic populations, and the adult-level history market in general.

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