#OTD in 1863 – Large numbers of Irish immigrants are involved in Draft Riots in New York City.

On the morning of 13th July 1863, thousands of mostly Irish-immigrant workers in Manhattan erupted in what’s still the deadliest rioting in American history. Mobs rampaged through most of the week in a fury of savage murder, arson and looting. They hung African-American men from lampposts and dragged their mutilated bodies through the streets. They […]

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#OTD in 1867 – Thomas Francis Meagher, born in Co Waterford, (“Meagher of the Sword”), Young Irelander leader, Irish nationalist and American politician, drowns.

“I now bid farewell to the country of my birth – of my passions – of my death; a country whose misfortunes have invoked my sympathies – whose factions I sought to quell – whose intelligence I prompted to a lofty aim – whose freedom has been my fatal dream.” –Thomas Francis Meagher Born in […]

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Gang Rule – When armies of thugs openly terrorised New York City

They called themselves by such names as the Roach Guards, the Dead Rabbits, the Shirt Tails, the Plug Uglies and in the 1840s and 1850s, the sidewalks of New York City were their unchallenged domain. The police were powerless as the huge street gangs, each claiming a spot of urban turf, took whatever they wanted […]

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#OTD in 1920 – A group of Irish-American women protest against the United States for not getting involved in the Irish War of Independence with England.

While there was sympathy for the Irish, it was not the most pressing at the time as England was involved in WWI with Germany trying to get the U.S. involved (however, the U.S. had desperately tried to stay neutral, but ties to Britain, propaganda, and finally the sinking of The Lusitania finally got them involved […]

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#OTD in 1863 – American Civil War: Thomas Francis Meagher on Battle of Chancellorsville.

Report of Brig. Gen. Thomas Francis Meagher, U. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade APRIL 27-MAY 6, 1863 –– The Chancellorsville Campaign BANKS’ FORD, NEAR FALMOUTH, VA. April 28, 1863––1.30 p.m. Maj. JOHN HANCOCK, Assistant Adjutant-General, Hancock’s Division. MAJOR: I have the honour to inform the major-general commanding the division that, in accordance with instructions received […]

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#OTD in 1994 – Birth of actress, Saoirse Ronan in the Bronx, New York.

Saoirse Una Ronan was born in The Bronx, New York, to Irish parents, Monica Ronan née Brennan and actor, Paul Ronan. When Saoirse was three, the family moved back to Dublin. Saoirse grew up in Dublin and briefly in Co Carlow before moving back to Dublin with her parents. Saoirse made her first TV appearance with a […]

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#OTD in 1861 – The American Civil War began; 150,000 Irishmen would serve with the Union forces, and 40,000 with the Confederacy.

The American Civil War began, a war that would not only pit American against American but also Irish against Irish. An estimated 150,000 Irish fought on the Union side while about 40,000 fought for the confederacy. While the majority fought with the Union, many Irish had a strong antipathy to a northern culture which they […]

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#OTD in 1847 – The American relief ship, USS Jamestown, landed supplies in Cork for An Gorta Mór victims.

More than a century ago, James Coleman published a short article, ‘Voyage of the “Jamestown”’, in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, in which he recounted the arrival of the US warship Jamestown in Cork Harbour on Monday 12 April 1847. The vessel had departed from the Charlestown Navy Yard, Massachusetts, two […]

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#OTD in 1947 – Death of Henry Ford, automobile production pioneer and son of Irish immigrants.

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” –Henry Ford Henry Ford’s father, William Ford, was born in Co Cork and was one of many to emigrate from Ireland due to poverty and hunger (An Gorta Mór). Ford visited Ireland in 1912, 65 […]

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