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Could Cinco de Mayo Become an Official US Holiday?

This monument of General Ignacio Zaragoza is to the south of Goliad, one of the oldest towns in Texas. Zaragoza was the hero of the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

As time goes by, the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo seems to be turning more into a Texas celebration. Sure, Texas used to be Mexico — and that's in part why there's a shared tradition. But some wonder if the tradition could become exclusive to Texas.

Hernan Jaso likes to claim Texas should have some exclusivity to Cinco de Mayo because, "General Ignacio Zaragoza was born in what is now Goliad, Texas."

Jaso lives in Goliad. He loves the city's history — so much so that he is a member of the General Zaragoza Society of Goliad.

General Zaragoza was the hero of the Battle of Puebla — the battle where the outnumbered Mexican Army defeated French forces on May 5, 1862, and the reason for the holiday.

Texas Legislators agreed with Jaso on Goliad's historical significance. So, in 1999, the state legislature declared the town the "only official venue for Cinco de Mayo."

But Jaso and the General Zaragoza Society of Goliad would like to see the town get more recognition — as a federally recognized U.S. holiday.

"We, as an organization, are attempting to gain national distinction by the United States Congress," Jaso says.

If he succeeds, that could mean that Cinco de Mayo, the day commemorating Mexico's expulsion of French troops, could become an official U.S. holiday. 

Texas Standard reporter Joy Diaz has amassed a lengthy and highly recognized body of work in public media reporting. Prior to joining Texas Standard, Joy was a reporter with Austin NPR station KUT on and off since 2005. There, she covered city news and politics, education, healthcare and immigration.