Sure it’s Cinco de Mayo, but…

Do you know what else May 5th is?

Monument to Civil War dead, Monument Square, Portland. Mourners lay wreaths on Memorial Day, 1981.

It’s the day of the very first train robbery in the United States, in North Bend Ohio, in 1885.

It’s the day that the first known observance of what would become our modern Memorial Day holiday took place in 1866, in Waterloo, New York. (Read more about Memorial Day celebrations in this Maine Memory exhibit on the holiday’s origins.)

It’s the day, in 1920, that Sacco and Vanzetti were arrested.

It’s the day that Alan Shepard became the first American to travel in outer space, in 1961. (Read about Maine and the Space Age in this Maine Memory exhibit.)

It’s the day, in 1987, that the Iran-Contra hearings began on television.

It’s the day Cy Young, of the Boston Americans, threw the first perfect game of modern baseball, against the Philadelphia Athletics–in 1904. (Here’s the box score for that game for all you statistics freaks.)

And a lot more, of course. But we’ll leave it at that.

And if you want to know more about the origins of Cinco de Mayo–celebrated more in this country than in Mexico, as it turns out–this National Geographic feature is a good place to start.

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