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Posts Tagged ‘A Wicked War: Polk’

One of the main roads into and out of Oaxaca is Federal Highway 190.  It is a section of the Pan American Highway (which runs from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia, at the southernmost tip of Argentina).  I cross the highway several times a month on my way to the Organic Market in Xochimilco or to a restaurant in Colonia Reforma — and the same thought always crosses my mind, “I can’t believe I’m walking across the Pan American Highway!”

However, the highway has another name, as runs through the city — Calzada Niños Héroes de Chapultepec.  Child heroes of Chapultepec?  Who were they?  If you visit Mexico City, your guidebook or tour guide might direct you to Chapultepec Castle (Castillo de Chapultepec) set high on a hill in the middle of the beautiful 1694 acre Bosque de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Park).  There you will discover that they were young martyrs from what is called the Mexican-American War in the USA and is known here as the Invasion of Mexico.

Monumento a las Niños Heroes,

Monument to the Child Heroes in Chapultepec Park

Penn State historian Amy S. Greenberg calls it, A Wicked War, and her book, by the same name, chronicles a war waged on the basis of a Presidential lie, against a guiltless neighbor, for the express purpose of annexing half its territory.  (Hola, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and California.)  Then Illinois congressman Abraham Lincoln opposed the war and it spawned the first U.S. anti-war movement.

To discover what your teachers may not have told you about the Invasion of Mexico and its Niños Heroes, take a look at last week’s CBS Sunday Morning segment by Mo Rocca and with Amy Greenberg.

h/t Tim Johnson

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