Veracruz, officially known as Heroica Veracruz, is a major port city and municipality on the Gulf of Mexico in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Veracruz is Mexico’s oldest, largest, and historically most significant port since European colonization.
When Hernán Cortés arrived in Mexico in 1519, he founded a city here, which he named Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz, referring to the area’s gold and dedicated to the "True Cross", because he landed on the Christian holy day of Good Friday, the day of the Crucifixion. It was the second Spanish settlement on the mainland of the Americas but the first to receive a coat-of-arms.
The name Veracruz (originally Vera Cruz), derives from the Latin Vera Crux (True Cross). Having established the settlement of Villa Rica (Rich Village) on Good Friday 1519, Cortés dedicated the place to the True Cross as an offering.
During the colonial period, this city had the largest mercantile class and was at times wealthier than the capital of Mexico City. Its wealth attracted the raids of pirates, against which fortifications such as Fort San Juan de Ulúa were built. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Veracruz was invaded on different occasions by France and the United States; the last invasion occurred in 1914 (Tampico Affair).
Venustiano Carranza de la Garza (29 December 1859 – 21 May 1920) was one of the leaders of the Mexican Revolution. He ultimately became President of Mexico following the overthrow of the dictatorial Victoriano Huerta regime in the summer of 1914, and during his administration the current constitution of Mexico was drafted. He was assassinated near the end of his term of office at the behest of a cabal of army generals resentful at his insistence that his successor be a civilian.
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