#OTD in Irish History – 13 December:

In the Julian calendar before the Gregorian reform, this was the shortest day and longest night, and widely celebrated as such. 1779 – The demand for the removal of restrictions on Irish free trade through out the colonies is satisfied on this day. After boycotting British goods and parading on College Green, Dublin in November, […]

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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 1814 – Birth of Sister Anthony (born Mary Ellen O’Connell) in Limerick.

A Sister of Charity of Cincinnati, she served with distinction as a nurse on the front lines of the American Civil War. Her work with the wounded and in health care in general caused her to be known as “Angel of the Battlefield” and “Florence Nightingale of America.” Her portrait hangs in the Smithsonian Institution […]

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#OTD in 1823 – Birth of Irish nationalist and American politician, Thomas Francis Meagher, in Waterford.

‘I am here to regret nothing I have already done, to retract nothing I have already said. The history of Ireland explains this crime, and justifies it.’ –Thomas Francis Meager Born the son of Waterford’s mayor, one of the few wealthy Catholic businessmen in town in 1823; Meagher benefited from a quality education (partly in […]

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#OTD in 1872 – John Mitchel returns to Ireland from America.

John Mitchel was born at Camnish, near Dungiven, Co Derry. The Irish nationalist, writer for The Nation and founder of The United Irishman newspaper openly preached rebellion against England. Convicted of treason in 1848, Mitchel was sentenced to fourteen years’ transportation in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania). In 1853, he escaped to America, where he published […]

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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 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 Irish History – 2 July:

1790 – In an election for Speaker of the Irish parliament, John Foster defeats William Brabazon Ponsonby by 145 votes to 105. 1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: Rebels defeat small force of Yeomanry at Ballraheen Hill; they move to camp at Croghan. 1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: Execution of Father John Murphy. 1800 – The […]

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