Heroic Defense of Veracruz in Mexico Date in the current year: April 21, 2016

Heroic Defense of Veracruz in Mexico On April 21, Mexicans celebrate Heroic Defense of Veracruz (Heroica Defensa de Veracruz). It is a civic holiday, which means that it is observed nationwide, but is not a paid non-working day.

The holiday commemorates the defense of the city of Veracruz against the United States occupation in 1914. The incident occurred during the Mexican Revolution and came amid strained diplomatic relations between the United States and Mexico.

On April 9, 1914, the Mexican government mistakenly arrested several American sailors in Tampico. They were released within 24 hours and the President of Mexico issued a written apology, but refused to provide a 21-gun salute. As a result, US President Woodrow Wilson ordered to occupy the port of Veracruz.

American marines landed at Veracruz on April 21. General Gustavo Maass ordered the Mexican troops to retreat, but about 50 soldiers remained behind to fight the invaders. Cadets, staff and faculty of the Veracruz National Academy and citizens of Veracruz also defended their city against the occupants.

Despite the resistance of the local population, US troops were in complete control of the city by the evening of April 22. The occupation of Veracruz ended on November 23, 1914.

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