Over the years, US Presidents have been celebrating Cinco de Mayo at the White House with music, dancing, food, and other cultural festivities that recognize the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla in which the Mexican army beat the odds and defeated the French. Yesterday would have been Obama's "cinco" celebration, but the president nixed the partying this year, instead releasing an official statement honoring Cinco de Mayo following his trip to Mexico and Costa Rica last week. It read in part:
On Cinco de Mayo we celebrate the contributions and heritage of Mexican Americans and we recognize the strong cultural, familial, and economic ties that bind the United States and Mexico. . . . Cinco de Mayo reminds us that America's diversity is America's strength. Today, as we celebrate the contributions and history of Mexican Americans and Hispanics in America, let us celebrate the larger story of America and our unique immigrant heritage.
This change of plans could possibly be due to the sequester that has resulted in other White House events getting cut such as the Jewish American Heritage Month celebration. It's too bad culturally significant soirees at the White House are being canceled, as there have been some funny and sweet moments at these celebrations over the years. So in honor of yesterday's holiday, let's take a look back at how our recent presidents and first wives have celebrated Cinco de Mayo.