September 14 is Battle of San Jacinto Day in Nicaragua. This is considered a major patriotic holiday due to its occurring at a key juncture in the nation’s long struggle for independence and ongoing freedom.
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The events leading up to the Battle of San Jacinto are quite complex, but the basic idea is that the American “political entrepreneur” William Walker was defeated despite outnumbering the resistance by around two to one. This defeat crippled his regime and eventually led to his being ousted from power.
In 1855, Walker sailed to Nicaragua from California to ostensibly help a Nicaraguan presidential candidate who had lost the previous election. The election outcome was disputed, actually, but very soon, Walker himself seized power instead of helping someone else do so.
On 14 September 1856, Walker’s forces attacked San Jacinto Ranch in Managua as part of an effort to supply his troops with enough food by raiding local cattle. Also, the ranch house (hacienda) was a stronghold of his opposition. Though Walker’s men numbered 300 and the Loyalists had only 160 men, Walker was defeated due to heroic efforts after four hours of intense fighting.
On Battle of San Jacinto Day, there is much presentation of the events of the battle and the background to it, in documentaries and other venues. There are also parades and cultural exhibits held throughout the country.
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