#OTD in 1862 – At the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, “Little Phil” Sheridan is one of the key officers leading Union soldiers against the Confederate forces of Braxton Bragg.

Phil Sheridan’s parents John and Mary Meenagh Sheridan had emigrated from Co Cavan. Sheridan’s diminutive stature of five feet five inches earned him the nickname “Little Phil”. In his memoirs, Sheridan writes: “My parents, John and Mary Sheridan, came to America in 1830, having been induced by the representations of my father’s uncle, Thomas Gainor, […]

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#OTD in 2017 – While on a 16 day State visit to Australia, President Michael D. Higgins visited Fremantle Prison near Perth, Australia, where 62 Irish prisoners were held for their part in the Fenian Rising of 1867.

“Most of the evidence on which the men were convicted related to meetings with me. I felt that I, more than any other man then living, ought to do my utmost for these Fenian soldiers.” —John Devoy, writing about his plan to rescue the Fremantle Six An American whaling ship brought together a crew with […]

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#OTD in 1943 – The US Navy commissions the destroyer The Sullivans.

The Sullivan brothers were raised in an Irish-Catholic family, the brothers great-grandfather had emigrated from Ireland. Early on the morning of 13 November, during the naval Battle of Guadalcanal, the SS Juneau was torpedoed and badly damaged. Late that morning, while south of San Cristobal Island withdrawing with other survivors of the 13 November action, […]

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#OTD in 1892 – Death of Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore.

Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore served as a musician and stretcher-bearer in the 24th Massachusetts Infantry during the American Civil War. His incredible post-army musical career includes penning “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”, the tune he took from an old Irish antiwar folk song, “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye”, that was published under the name Louis Lambert. […]

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#OTD in 1862 – The Irish Brigade suffered over 60% casualties at the Battle of Antietam at an area that came to be known as Bloody Lane.

At the Battle of Antietam, the Irish Brigade led its division in attacking the infamous Bloody Lane. In preparation for the deadly work ahead, Father William Corby, one of the brigade’s chaplains and future president of Notre Dame, rode down the firing line and administered a general rite of absolution to the men. Thomas Meagher […]

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#OTD in 1947 – All-Ireland Football Final played at the Polo Grounds, New York.

The 1947 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final was the sixtieth All-Ireland Final and the deciding match of the 1947 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, an inter-county Gaelic football tournament for the top teams in Ireland. For the first and only time, the final was played outside Ireland, at the Polo Grounds in New York City, to […]

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Commemoration of the mass hanging of the Saint Patrick’s Battalion

Formed and led by John Riley, was a unit of 175 to several hundred immigrants (accounts vary) and expatriates of European descent who fought as part of the Mexican Army against the United States in the Mexican–American War of 1846–8. El Batallón de San Patricio, The Saint Patrick’s Battalion, deserted to fight on the side […]

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#OTD in 1861 – The Irish Brigade fights at the First Battle of Bull Run under General Michael Corcoran from Co Sligo.

General Michael Corcoran led the 69th New York Militia, Irish Brigade, into action at the First Battle of Bull Run and was taken prisoner. Corcoran was one of the founders of the Fenian Brotherhood in America. While in jail, Corcoran wrote, “One half of my heart is Erin’s, and the other half is America’s. God […]

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#OTD in 1972 – Muhammad Ali fights Al “Blue” Lewis in Dublin and defeats him via a TKO (technical knockout) in round 11.

“Don’t count the days, make the days count.” –Muhammad Ali Twenty-four hours after arriving in Dublin, Muhammad Ali rang his publicist Harold Conrad. “Hey, Hal?” said Ali, “where are all the black people in this country?” “Ali,” replied Conrad, “there aren’t any.” On 19 July 1972, it took Muhammad Ali 11 rounds to defeat Al […]

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