April 27, mantanzas mule day. Now this is what you call a half-ass battle.

A poor mule was apparently the sole casualty of a battle during the Spanish-American War.

 

So his (or her?) sacrifice is remembered as mantanzas mule day.

On April 27, 1898, American naval forces bombarded the village of Matanzas in Cuba.

American newspapers ran sensational headlines:

American Guns Boom Liberty to Spanish Ears

Spanish Forts Fall Before Us

Demolished Matanzas in eighteen minutes

Cuban General Governor Blanco set the record straight in a cable to Madrid.

The only Spanish casualty was a mule.

One journalist beganĀ using the phrase “mantanzas mule” as shorthand forĀ a doubtful fact.

As the story goes, the mantanzas mule was buried with full military honors.

A band was playing and (s)he had hundreds of mourners.

Some people claim it was all just made up, intended to humiliate the Americans.