Thursday, May 5th. In Spanish, today’s date is “Cinco de Mayo,” and celebrations will be held in many cities across the U.S., as well as Mexico. The origin of the day’s observance is the Battle of Puebla in 1862, when outnumbered Mexican troops defeated the invading French forces of Napoleon III. Over the years, the celebration has evolved from one of military victory to a colorful and vibrant event celebrating Mexican culture. Appropriately, this is also National Salsa Month. There are 31.7 million people of Mexican descent in the U.S. — 10 percent of the total population. Nineteen point six million of these live in either California or Texas. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at www.census.gov.