Garibaldi Brigade

On May 28, 1862, the newly formed Garibaldi Brigade (39th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment) marched out of the state of New York to defend the struggling US Government.  The bloody Civil War (1861 to 1865) between the northern and southern states was raging, and many immigrants enlisted to support the Union.  Many of the units in the Brigade were manned by immigrants who volunteered to defend their new home country, including one company of Spanish and Portuguese volunteers.

Mexican Independence Day?

Mexican Independence Day?  Not exactly.  May 5, or Cinco de Mayo, celebrates the 1862 Battle of Puebla, in which the Mexican Army defeated the French Army.  What were the French doing there?  It’s complicated.  After costly civil wars, Mexican President Benito Juárez issued a moratorium suspending all foreign debt payments for two years.  Their impatient French, British and Spanish creditors were unhappy, and decided to invade.  (Let’s hope that our Chinese creditors and bankers in Beijing do not read this.)  Although heavily outnumbered and out-armed, the determined Mexican troops were victorious. Please continue to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, and also join the Mexicans for their Independence Day Celebration on September 16. Mexican-Americans will love to host you on both occasions.