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BY Senator Baca

JANUARY 13, 1999 Senate Concurrent Resolution

No. 6--Relative to Cinco de Mayo.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST SCR 6, as introduced, Baca. Cinco de Mayo. This measure would call on all the people of California to celebrate and recognize May 5 as Cinco de Mayo. Fiscal committee: no.

WHEREAS, May 5, or Cinco De Mayo, is a date of great importance for the Mexican and Mexican American communities; and

WHEREAS, Since May 5, 1862, this date has become one of Mexico's most celebrated national holidays and is celebrated annually by almost all Mexicans and Mexican Americans, north and south of the United States-Mexican border. The Battle of Puebla was but one of the many battles that these courageous people had to win in their long and brave struggle for independence and freedom; and

WHEREAS, The French general, confident that his battle-seasoned troops were far superior to the almost amateuristic Mexican forces, probably expected little or no opposition from the Mexican army. However, on that historic day the French army, which had not tasted defeat in half a century against Europe's finest troops, suffered a disastrous loss at the hands of an outnumbered, ill-equipped, and ragged, but highly spirited and courageous Mexican force; and

WHEREAS, Napoleon III of France was not only planning to build an empire for himself in Mexico, but was actually looking ahead to then aiding the Southern states in their fight against the North in the American Civil War in order to procure the South's cotton, which was much needed by France; and

WHEREAS, After three bloody assaults upon Puebla in which over a thousand gallant Frenchmen lost their lives, the once handsomely uniformed French troops were finally defeated and driven back by the outnumbered Mexican troops. The courageous and heroic spirit that General Zaragoza and his men displayed during this historic battle can never be forgotten. The battle of Cinco de Mayo in which many brave Mexicans willingly gave their lives for the cause of justice and freedom was instrumental in keeping Mexico from falling under European domination at that time; and

WHEREAS, Cinco de Mayo is not only the commemoration of the rout of the French troops at the town of Puebla in Mexico, but also a celebration of the virtues of individual courage and patriotism of all Mexicans and Mexican Americans who have fought for freedom and independence against foreign aggressors; and

WHEREAS, Cinco de Mayo reminds us that the foundation of our nation is built by people from many nations and diverse cultures who are willing to fight and die for freedom; and

WHEREAS, Cinco de Mayo also reminds us of the close ties, spiritual as well as economic, that bind the people of Mexico and the people of the United States, and especially California, the home of millions of Mexicans and Mexican Americans; and

WHEREAS, In the larger sense, Cinco de Mayo symbolizes the right of a free people to self-determination just as Benito Juarez once said, "El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz" (The respect of other people's rights is peace); now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the Legislature of the State of California hereby calls on all the people of California to join in celebrating Cinco de Mayo as a day to honor the valiant spirit of the brave Mexicans who defended the town of Puebla and the Mexican Americans of today who have fought and died for the freedom of the United States of America; and be it further Resolved, That the Legislature recognizes May 5 as Cinco de Mayo.