Sponsored by Univision, Channel 34 KMEX Los Angeles

“Those who are unaware of history are destined to repeat it.” – George Santayana (1863-1952)

The California History Project is sponsored by Univision, Chanel 34 KMEX Los Angeles and presented in partnership with the UCLA Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture to document the many contributions made by Latinos to the rich history of California.

Many people think Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that was brought to the United States by Mexican immigrants in the early 20th century, but it is not. It is not even celebrated in Mexico. It was created and first celebrated by Latinos living in California, in 1862. At that time, the Civil War was ravaging the U.S., and the French had just invaded Mexico with the goal of overthrowing the democratically elected government of President Juárez and replacing it with a monarchy. The majority of Latinos in the U.S. believed in the values of freedom, democracy and therefore supported the Union in the Civil War and President Juárez’s government in Mexico.  Since 1862 Latinos have been part of the Civil Rights Movement. Learning about the origins and real history of the 155-year-old holiday which originally was a grassroots celebration by Latinos in the U.S. of civil rights for people of all races and ethnic heritages, connects us together as a society. A permanent exhibit with teacher educational kits was installed in 2016 at LA Plaza De Cultural y Arte Museum in downtown Los Angeles.

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Photos from a Past Cinco De Mayo Celebration

Northglenn Middle School from Denver Colorado Celebrating 2017 Cinco De Mayo