#OTD in 1837 – The Broad Street Riot occurred in Boston, fueled by ethnic tensions between English-Americans and Irish-Americans.

Boston was a huge seaport, and eventually a melting pot. Irish immigration began in the late 1700s. Many Irish immigrated to Boston during The Great Hunger that occurred between 1845 and 1852 in Ireland. There was a lot of friction between English and Irish Americans, which smoldered in Boston for more than 100 years. This […]

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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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#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 […]

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#OTD in 1892 – Ellis Island becomes reception center for new immigrants. The first immigrant through the gates is Annie Moore, 17, of Co Cork.

When Ellis Island officially opened on 1 January 1892, the first passenger processed through the now world-famous immigration station was an Irish girl named Annie Moore. The 17-year-old girl was travelling with her two younger brothers, Anthony and Phillip, on the S.S. Nevada. The ship had departed from Queenstown (now Cobh, Co Cork) on 20 […]

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The Fenian Brotherhood

The Fenian Brotherhood, the Irish Republican Brotherhood’s US branch, was founded by John O’Mahony and Michael Doheny, both of whom had been “out” (participating in the Young Irelander’s rising) in 1848. Members were commonly known as “Fenians”. O’Mahony, who was a Celtic scholar, named his organisation after the Fianna, the legendary band of Irish warriors […]

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#OTD in 1845 – Abolitionist Frederick Douglass speaks to a packed house in Cork on the subject of slavery.

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass speaks to a packed house in Cork on the subject of slavery. “Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,—There is perhaps no argument more frequently resorted to by the Slaveholders in support of the slave system, than the inferiority of the slave. In the name of Christianity, I demand that people of these countries […]

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#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 1913 – Irish American, Henry Ford, institutes the first moving assembly line for the auto industry.

“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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#OTD in 1771 – Benjamin Franklin commences a visit to Ireland where he would later report he had ‘a good deal of Conversation with the Patriots; they are all on the American side of the Question’.

One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Franklin is a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence of 1776, though five years earlier he was based in London, attempting to negotiate on behalf of the American Colonies. Franklin detailed his views of Dublin and Ireland in a letter to Thomas Cushing, a […]

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US Infrastructure and the extraordinary legacy of Irish-American Immigrants

Irish people have always of course had a special relationship with America with over 10% of Americans reporting Irish ancestry. What we hear less about is the role the Irish played in building America but luckily this infographic from Claddagh Rings gives us some insight into their work in building some of America’s most celebrating […]

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