#OTD in 1925 – Nellie Cashman known variously as the ‘Angel of the Yukon’ and ‘Angel of the mining camp’ dies in Victoria, British Columbia aged seventy-nine.

Nellie was born in the farming village of Midleton a few miles from Queenstown (now Cobh) in Co Cork, in 1845. Her parents were Patrick and Fanny (nee Cronin) O’Kissane, a family name later anglicized to Cashman. A sister, Frances or young Fanny, was born a year or two later. The Cashman family was Catholic […]

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#OTD in 1999 – Death of boxer ‘Irish’ Jerry Quarry. He is the only fighter to have fought Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier twice.

Jerry Quarry, nicknamed ‘Irish’ or ‘The Bellflower Bomber,’ was an American heavyweight boxer. Quarry was rated by Ring Magazine as the most popular fighter in the sport, from 1968–1971, during the peak of his career, partly because he was promoted as the ‘Great White Hope.’ Quarry was a durable and smart counter-puncher/action fighter, often noted […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Éamon de Valera returns from America.

Éamon de Valera had presented himself as ‘President of Ireland’ during his trip although he was not recognised in this capacity by the US government. De Valera evoked generous financial, emotional and political good will for Ireland during his eighteen month trip. He spoke at Madison Square Garden and Fenway Park drawing audiences in some […]

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#OTD in 1920 – The American Committee for Relief in Ireland is founded in New York to provide support for those affected by the War of Independence.

The American Committee for Relief in Ireland (ACRI) was formed through the initiative of Dr. William J. Maloney and others in 1920, with the intention of giving financial assistance to civilians in Ireland who had been injured or suffered severe financial hardship due to the ongoing Irish War of Independence. Apart from the ACRI, bodies […]

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#OTD in 1845 – Frederick Douglass delivers a speech in Belfast: ‘The Cambria Riot, My Slave Experience, and My Irish Mission’.

In 1845, as Ireland was descending into the despair of the Great Hunger, Frederick Douglass arrived for a four-month lecture tour of the island. Douglass had escaped slavery in Maryland seven years earlier, and had recently published his autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. Douglass was greeted in Dublin, Belfast, […]

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#OTD in 2009 – Death of actor and folk singer, Liam Clancy, from Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary.

‘The best ballad singer I ever heard in my life’ was Bob Dylan’s verdict on Liam Clancy, who died at age 74 on this date. He was the last remaining member of the best-known of all Irish folk groups, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, who made an impression that was strong enough for them […]

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The Great Hunger Memorial – Providence, Rhode Island

A larger-than-life statue of three Irish figures sits on a round stone base, bordered by a walkway that incorporates the donor-bricks and flagstones. The walkway leads to a commemorative wall that narrates the history of the Great Hunger amid Irish immigration. The sidewalk beneath the wall incorporates an outline map depicting the coasts of America […]

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#OTD in 1688 – Goodwife ‘Goody’ Ann Glover is hanged in Boston, Massachusetts, accused of witchcraft.

The last woman to be hanged in Boston as a witch was Goodwife ‘Goody’ Ann Glover, an Irish laundress. This North End resident was wildly accused in 1688 of practicing witchcraft by the infamous Reverend Cotton Mather, pastor of the old North Church. Her Puritan accusers were caught up in a witch mania that was […]

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#OTD in 1942 – Five Sullivan brothers from Iowa die when their ship the light cruiser SS Juneau is torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.

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 1954 – Ellis Island closes.

Ellis Island, the gateway to America, shuts it doors after processing more than 12 million immigrants since opening in 1892. Today, an estimated 40 percent of all Americans can trace their roots through Ellis Island, located in New York Harbour off the New Jersey coast and named for merchant Samuel Ellis, who owned the land […]

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