It’s amazing what is not available on video for use in the classroom.
Texas kids have to study the “Grito de Dolores” in the 7th grade – the “Cry from Dolores” in one translation, or the “Cry of Pain” in another (puns in Spanish! Do kids get it?). Father Miguel Hidalgo y Castillo made the speech on September 16, 1810, upon the news that Spanish authorities had learned of his conspiracy to revolt for independence. The revolution had been planned for December 8, but Hidalgo decided it had to start early.
This date is celebrated in Mexico as Independence Day. Traditionally the President of Mexico issues an update on the Grito, after the original bell that Father Hidalgo used is rung, near midnight.
Hidalgo himself was captured by the Spanish in 1811, and executed.
It’s a great story. It’s a good speech, what little we have of it (Hidalgo used no text, and we work from remembered versions).
Why isn’t there a good 10- to 15-minute video on the thing for classroom use? Get a good actor to do the speech, it could be a hit. Where is the video when we need it?
Statue of Father Hidalgo in Dolores, Mexico.
Update for 2008: Glimmerings of hope on the video front: Amateur videos on YouTube provide some of the sense of what goes on in modern celebrations.
And, see this re-enactment from Monterrey: