#OTD in 1916 – Birth of actor, Gregory Peck, in La Jolla, California.

Gregory Peck was born in La Jolla, California. One of the world’s most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s, Peck continued to play major film roles until the late 1970s. Catherine Ashe, the paternal grandmother of Gregory Peck, who emigrated to the United States in the 19th century was a relative of […]

Read More

#OTD in 1881 – Birth of Martin John Sheridan. He was ‘one of the greatest athletes [the United States] has ever known’ according to his obituary in the New York Times.

Martin John Sheridan was ‘one of the greatest athletes the United States has ever known’ according to his obituary in the New York Times. He was born in Bohola, Co Mayo, and died in St Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan, New York, the day before his 37th birthday, a very early casualty of the 1918 flu […]

Read More

#OTD in 1915 – Typhoid Mary, the first healthy carrier of the disease ever identified in the United States, is put in quarantine, where she would remain for the rest of her life.

Mary Mallon was born in 1869 in Cookstown, Co Tyrone. She emigrated from Ireland to the United States in 1884. An Irish immigrant cook, Mallon became the focus of one of the best-known episodes in the history of communicable disease when U.S. health officials identified her as a healthy carrier of the organism causing typhoid […]

Read More

#OTD in 1876 – The Molly Maguires: The murder trial of Edward Kelly, a member of the militant Irish labour group The Molly Maguires, began in Pennsylvania.

In total, twenty members of the group were found guilty of murder and executed. While the Molly’s were responsible for a large number of violent incidents, a number of those executed were likely innocent. The Dubliners were responsible for reminding us of this group with a stirring rendition of The Molly Maguires a song composed […]

Read More

#OTD in 1874 – Birth of sculptor, Jerome Connor, in Annascaul, Co Kerry.

Jerome Connor was born in Coumduff, Annascaul, Co Kerry. In 1888, he emigrated to Holyoke, Massachusetts. His father was a stonemason, which led to Connor’s jobs in New York as a sign painter, stonecutter, bronze founder and machinist. Inspired by his father’s work and his own experience, Connor used to steal his father’s chisels as a child […]

Read More

#OTD in 1899 – Creation of the Electric Boat Company by the father of the modern submarine, John Philip Holland.

Holland emigrated to the US in 1873. Holland’s first submarine submission was rejected by the Navy Secretary as ‘a fantastic scheme of a civilian landsman’. The navy eventually relented and purchased it’s first submarine from Holland’s company in 1900 for $150,000. Holland also had a strong interest in aviation writing a paper in 1891 titled […]

Read More

#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 […]

Read More

#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 […]

Read More

#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 […]

Read More

#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 […]

Read More