Remember the Alamo

History turns to legend, and legends inevitably leave pieces of the truth behind.

Everyone who grew up in Texas, especially those like me who grew up in San Antonio, knows what happened at the Alamo 180 years ago today.

The Battle of the Alamo shaped our identity as Texans and helped to make this state, for both good and ill, what it is today. So remember the Alamo today, but also remember that history is more art than science—a human endeavor subject to our faulty memories and romanticized notions of the past.

Theodore Gentilz (Texas State Library) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Continue reading


The Real Meaning of Cinco de Mayo: A Conversation with Myself

Today is May 5, or Cinco de Mayo, a celebration of, uh, um…..

Well, honestly, more than a few people seem to have no idea what Cinco de Mayo is actually about.

I know what it’s about.

You do?

Yup. It’s about having a big-ass PAR-TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA—ow! What the hell, man!

Oh stop it, you’re fine.

Why the hell did you slap me?

It needed to happen. You’re being an idiot. You don’t really know what Cinco de Mayo is about, either, do you?

It’s like the 4th of July for Mexico, right?

I know that’s not it. Let’s hit the interwebz. [Googles.] Huh, that’s interesting.

What? Let me see!

Cinco de Mayo is, traditionally speaking, a celebration of Mexico’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.


Not pictured: The Ark of the Covenant.

Wait, French forces? What’s that about?

The French invaded Mexico in 1861 after the Mexican president, Benito Juárez, stopped making interest payments to foreign-government creditors. French Emperor Napoleon III, supported at first by Britain and Spain, claimed that the invasion was necessary to ensure free trade between Europe and Latin America.

That sounds like kind of a big deal. Wouldn’t the U.S. have gotten involved? Continue reading