This “holiday” falls into the category of any excuse for a party, and it’s more of an American holiday than a Mexican one. Why? Because yes, the Mexican army defeated the French army in 1862, but the French returned the next year and won. So much for that initial victory! Nobody in Mexico celebrated May 5th as a holiday at all. Then, in the late 1970s and the 1980s, notes Jose Alamillo, a professor of Chicano studies at California State University Channel Islands, “The U.S. beer companies began to look for ways to target the Spanish-speaking population.” And that’s when Cinco de Mayo became any excuse for a party–by selling American–and Mexican–beers to Hispanics living here. Below are some early ads to show you what we mean. That said, if you want to throw a Cinco de Mayo party but need help with the decor, recipes, and libations, simply go here.