First Posted: May 04, 2012 04:45 PM EDT

The 5 de Mayo in Mexico (Photo : Flickr / Creative Commons)

'Cinco de Mayo' celebrations did not originate in Mexican territory but in U.S. territory assures a May 4, report from the Huffpost.

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The date on which the Battle of Puebla of 1862 is commemorated--when the French army was defeated by Mexican troops--was mainly held for Mexicans living in the U.S. when it first originated.

Dr. Hayes-Bautista, of University of California Los Angeles, made great discoveries while doing research for a project named "the Latino paradox" in which the professor sought to answer to the paradox of why Latinos are less prone to certain diseases and live 5 years longer than non-Hispanic whites despite their adverse conditions such as having low incomes poor access to education and health services.

"I asked myself what was the health of Latinos during the gold rush and the Civil War. And from there, it took off. I had nowhere to get the data. There were no birth certificates until 1880, or death certificates until 1896. "

To obtain data, Hayes-Bautista had to recur to archaic sources such as newspapers in Spanish from the mid-nineteenth century.

The discovery was based on studies conducted through newspapers that were written at that time to inform people about the major events that were going on. The Latino newspapers, then, focused on national and international events.

Dr. Hayes-Bautista realized that the news regarding the French intervention in Mexico was very closely followed to which he commented, "The news of victory over French troops took place each year during the Civil War and that is the origin of why we celebrate Cinco de Mayo."

"Latinos were in the U.S. and supported Lincoln, freedom and democracy. The French invaded Mexico to overtake democracy and to impose cooperation with the Confederation. When Mexicans heard the news of victory at the Battle of Puebla, in Mexico, they were so glad that they started celebrating it," continued Hayes-Bautista.

"So in conclusion, 'Cinco de Mayo' is not a Mexican tradition but a celebration that originated in America," said the Director of the Center for Latino Health and Culture studies at the University of California Los Angeles.

The Latinos Post asked natives on both sides of the border, Mexico and the United States, about their thoughts on the results of the investigation. They responded with the following:

"It is the first time I hear such a thing. I think a Mexican professor in Mexico would say the opposite," said Teresa Negrete, from Mexico City. 

On the American side, Jorge Cristobal Reyes of Texas, said, "This event gives all Mexicans, whether on one side or the other, a reason to rejoice and feel pride for what happened."

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