Welcome back to Wacky Wednesdays! After a brief hiatus, we are returning to our trek into the world of 1920’s slang. We also have a ridiculous number of things to celebrate today. First, we have Bent Cars which refers to stolen cars. There’s also Big Cheese, or Big Shot which refers to “The Boss” or someone of importance or influence. There’s Big House when referencing jail and the Big One when referencing death. Sentences might sound like “He’s in the Big House” or “He bit the Big One.” I feel gangs and mobs used these phrases more than common folk, but I could be wrong.
For our holidays today, I’m going to list them off and you can do a bit of research if you’re interested. Cinco de Mayo is of course the most well-known. Check out this post I made last year about the Battle of Gettysburg. In the third paragraph I mention Cinco de Mayo (also known as the Battle of Puebla). Remembering the Battle of Gettysburg. We also have National Astronaut Day, National Cartoonists Day, National Silence the Shame Day, National Totally Chipotle Day, and National Hoagie Day. On the first day of Wednesday in May we celebrate National Skilled Trades Day and National Interpreter Appreciation Day. And finally, a holiday that changes annually, National Bike to School Day. That’s it. That’s all of them. I need to sit down after all that.
Perhaps the most memorable battle of the Civil War was the Battle of Gettysburg. Fought on July 1-3, 1863 in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Many consider this battle the turning point of the Civil War. Prior to this battle the Confederate Army held more victories than the Union Army. General Robert E. Lee’s invasion of the North was halted at Gettysburg. This battle had the largest number of casualties during the entire war. Several films and documentaries were made about the battle with the most popular being Gettysburg (1993) starring Jeff Daniels, Martin Sheen, and Tom Berenger.
Why is it called the turning point of the war when the war continued for two more years? This was the final battle where Lee’s Army conducted strategic offensives. The following day July 4, 1863 was also the fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi. These two Union victories together are considered the turning point of the war. Some have even speculated that if Gettysburg had been a Confederate Victory, this would have ended the war. What some may not realize is the Confederate States of America believed they were preserving the country and the North was rebelling against their way of life.
One year before the Battle of Gettysburg, Mexico was defending itself from France. On May 5, 1862, the Battle of Puebla ended with Mexico defeating the French. Some believe that had the French won at the Battle of Puebla, they would have joined forces with the South during the Civil War. They might have gotten help from England as well. The victory at Puebla protected the integrity of Mexico but may have prevented the South from winning the Civil War. The Battle of Puebla is celebrated, more in the USA than Mexico, as Cinco de Mayo.
The United States is once again in a Civil War and the ideals of both sides remain the same. There are people who believe they are superior to others. And they want to destroy and hurt those other people. Let the Battle of Gettysburg and the Battle of Puebla be a reminder that prejudice, racism, hate speech, forceful control, and white supremacy will always lose. There are petitions and protests against Mexican children being locked up at the United States border. Mexico and one of the United States are fighting the other half. I think we’ll win again. Remember Gettysburg. Remember Puebla.