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The Ponchatoula Times
Ponchatoula , Louisiana
April 29, 2010     The Ponchatoula Times
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April 29, 2010

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,, THE PONCHATOULA TIMES, APRIL 29, 2010, PAGE A-6 Mexican FROM PAGE A-5 a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some recognition in other parts of Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities where it has be- come the second most celebrat- ed holiday of the year, and it is not Mexico's Independence Day, as many people think. Actually, Independence Day in Mexico is September 16th. The battle at Puebla in 1862 happened at a very violent and chaotic time in Mexico's history. At that time Mexico had finally freed itself from Spain by gain- ing independence in 1821 after a difficult and bloody struggle, and many internal takeovers and wars, including the 1846- 1848 Mexican-American War and the Mexican Civil War of 1858, had ruined the national economy. During this period of strug- gle Mexico was in heavy debts to several nations, including France, Spain, U.S and Eng- land, who were demanding re- payment. The U.S. debt was settled after the Mexican-Amer- ican War. At this time France was eager to expand its empire, and took advantage of the debt issue to move forward with its plans of establishing its own leadership in Mexico. Spain and England withdrew their support from Mexico when they realize France's intent of em- pire expansion. When Mexico stopped making any loan pay- ments, France took action on its own and establishes Archduke Maximilian of Austria, as ruler of Mexico. France invaded Mexico along the state of Veracruz and began to march toward Mexico City. Although American President Abraham Lincoln was sympa- thetic to Mexico's cause, and which he is honored in Mexico, the U.S. was involved in its own Civil War at the time and was unable to provide any assis- tance. Marching on toward Mexico City, the French army encoun- tered strong resistance near Puebla, at the Mexican forts of Loreto and Guadalupe. Lead by Mexican General Ignacio Zara- goza, a much smaller, poorly armed militia estimated at less than 3,000 men was able to stop and defeat a well outfitted French army of more than 6,500 soldiers, which stopped the in- vasion of the Mexican country. The victory was a glorious mo- ment for the Mexican patriots, which at the time helped to de- velop a much needed sense of national unity, and is the cause for the historical date's celebra- tion. Unfortunately, the victory was short lived. Upon hearing the bad news, Napoleon III use the defeat as an excuse to send more troops and once again in- vaded Mexico and a full year later, the French were able to depose the Mexican army, take over Mexico City and in- stall Maximillian as the ruler of Mexico. Despite the eventual French invasion of Mexico City, PLEASE SEE PAGE B-3 ..i WIP00 YARP SALE oM K