Saturday, May 5, 2012

Happy Cinco De Mayo from Not Another New England Sports Blog!

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, where an outnumbered and poorly-trained militia halted the advance of some 8000 French troops just outside the town of Puebla, southeast of Mexico City. The French troops were garrisoned in French-occupied Veracruz and were marching towards the capital at Mexico City.

Although the Mexicans won the battle on May 5th, 1862, France's Napoleon III would eventually win the war, and with the help of 30,000 reinforcements the French were eventaully able to take Mexico City the following year and install Maximilian as ruler. Althought the Monroe Doctorine of 1823 viewed European attempts to colonize the Americas to be countered with military intervention, the United States was embroiled in the Civil War at the time. Mexico itself was still reeling from the Mexican American war of 1848 as well as a prolonged civil war of their own when France invaded in 1861. Some historians theorize that Napoleon III had planned on using Mexico as a springboard for France to re-take territory ceded to the USA in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase as the US Civil War dragged on. However, after the US Civil War, America was able to provide arms and munitions to Mexico and Maximilian was deposed and executed by forces loyal to Mexican President Benito Juarez in 1867.

Despite what many believe, Cinco de Mayo IS NOT Mexico's Independence Day- Mexico's Independence Day is observed on September 15th, the day on which preist-turned-insurrectionist Miguel Hidalgo issued the 'Grito de Dolores' [Call of Dolores]- a call to arms against the Spanish colonial government from the village of Dolores in what is now the state of Guanajuato in central Mexico back in 1810.

This lovely señorita above is actually penned by Scandinavian pin-up artist Knute O Munson. Although little was known about Munson's early life, his family emigrated to Michigan as a teenager. Muson reportedly drew his first comission to study art when a local doctor paid him to draw medical charts. He would go on to attend the Academy of Fine art in Chicago and in addition to several stand-alone pieces of artwork, would do work for clients such as the Ice Capades, Lucky Strike and Goodrich Tires. Like some of Munson's other works, the focal point is surrounded by smaller sketches

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