Cinco de Mayo, Slavery and Mexico's Influence in America

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  • Cinco de Mayo
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  • Civil War
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  • Mexico
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Ties to America

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not the celebration of Mexico's independence (Sept. 16) and it is more widely celebrated in America than in its home country. Its prominence in the states is best linked to the wave of Mexican, South and Central American immigrants to California during a period known as the Gold Rush (1848–1855). (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)