My wife and I went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner last night, and they already had signs posted for the upcoming Cinco de Mayo celebration.  It reminded me that, for the longest time, I thought what a lot of people think: that Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence Day.  But that's actually not true.

In fact, Mexican Independence Day is September 16th.

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "Fifth of May") didn't even originate in Mexico.  Rather, it was first celebrated in the American West.

Celebration of the Cinco de Mayo is not a Mexican holiday—it is an American Civil War holiday, created spontaneously by Mexicans and Latinos living in California who supported the fragile cause of defending freedom and democracy during the first years of that bloody war between the states.

[via Eastern Group Publications.]

So there's your history lesson for today.  The more you know... :)