Cinco de Mayo

Friday, May 5 — In Spanish, today’s date is Cinco de Mayo, and celebrations will be held in many cities across the U.S., as well as Mexico. These events mark the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla in 1862, when outnumbered Mexican troops defeated the invading French forces of Napoleon III. Over the years, the celebration has evolved from one of military victory to a colorful and vibrant event, celebrating Mexican culture.

This is also National Salsa Month, appropriate in an evolving United States where sales of salsa, tortillas and tortilla chips outsell ketchup, hamburger buns and potato chips. There are some 34 million people of Mexican descent in the U.S., or about 11 percent of the total population. Some 26 million Hispanic people live in either California or Texas.

Profile America is beginning its 21st year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

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