Cinco de Mayo: American history as well

By Helena Rodriguez: CNJ Columnist

Welcome to Cinco de Mayo 101. For today’s history lesson — which will not include step-by-step instructions on how to make the ultimate taco; watch the Today show for that — we’ll learn actual history.

Some of you may ask, “Why is Cinco de Mayo celebrated in the U.S.?” After all, it is a Mexican holiday. But more than that, it’s also a part of U.S. history, which I will explain later.

Others of you may also ask, “Why has Cinco de Mayo become a bigger deal today in the United States than in Mexico?”

My answer to the latter question is easy and it starts with a capital B. Can you say Budweiser? Yes, we can give thanks to American beer companies like Budweiser, and let’s include Heineken now, too, for commercializing this otherwise justifiable Mexican-American and I would say, American holiday, too.

If we look beyond the beers and margaritas and the network morning show specials with segments like “Let’s celebrate Cinco de Mayo by making a pi