#OTD in Irish History – 16 May:

587 – St Brendan the Navigator, early transatlantic voyager, dies. In the Liturgical calendar, today is St Brendan’s Feast Day. 1907 – Birth of Robert Tisdall, gold medalist in the 400 meter hurdles at the 1932 Olympics. 1916 – The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the French Third Republic sign the secret […]

Read More
Advertisements

#OTD in 1915 – The Lusitania is sunk by a German U-boat off the Old Head of Kinsale, Co Cork with the loss of more than 1,100 lives.

The passenger liner Lusitania is torpedoed and sunk ten miles off the Old Head of Kinsale, Co Cork by German U-boat U-20 under the command of Captain Walter Schweiger, resulting in the death of 1,198 of the ship’s passengers and crew. Only 761 people survived what was perceived by Britain as a flagrant breach of […]

Read More

#OTD in 1825 – Birth of Young Irelander, journalist and promoter of Canadian Federation, Thomas D’Arcy McGee, in Carlingford, Co Louth.

Thomas D’Arcy Etienne Hughes McGee was an Irish-Canadian politician, Catholic spokesman, journalist, poet, and a Father of Canadian Confederation. The young McGee was a Catholic Irishman who hated British rule in Ireland, and worked for a peasant revolution to overthrow British rule and secure Irish independence. He escaped arrest and fled to the United States […]

Read More

#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 1838 – The Sirius beat the much bigger and faster Great Western – the largest passenger ship in the world.

Sirius was a side-wheel wooden-hulled steamship built in 1837 for the London-Cork route operated by the Saint George Steam Packet Company. The next year, she opened transatlantic steam passenger service when she was chartered for two voyages by the British and American Steam Navigation Company. By arriving in New York a day ahead of the […]

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 1918 – John Devoy claims Roger Casement to blame for the 1916 Easter Rising’s failure.

New York-based John Devoy, editor of the recently suppressed Gaelic American has claimed credit for being the key individual behind the ‘German Sinn Féiner’ efforts to launch a revolt in Ireland in 1916. The claim comes in a letter, a copy of which was published last month in the USA.   The letter, discovered on the […]

Read More

#OTD in 1922 – Birth of folk singer, Patrick Clancy, in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary.

Paddy Clancy, was an Irish folk singer best known as a member of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. In addition to singing and storytelling, Clancy played the harmonica with the group, which is widely credited with popularising Irish traditional music in the United States and revitalising it in Ireland. He also started and ran […]

Read More

#OTD in 1796 – Theobald Wolf Tone, United Irish leader, arrives in France seeking assistance.

Wolfe Tone arrives at Le Havre under the assumed name of James Smith, having travelled from the United States where he had been living for a time. Tone was one of the founding fathers of the United Irishmen which with the aid of France attempted to gain independence for Ireland. He would spend 9 months […]

Read More

#OTD in 1797 – The US ($) sign is first published in an accountancy textbook – invented by Oliver Pollock.

The cause of the American Revolution was frequently short of men, commonly short of arms and other military supplies, and almost always deprived of cash. Wars–especially wars against great powers such as the United Kingdom–are expensive. Oliver Pollock, an Irish merchant based in Spanish-controlled New Orleans, helped the nascent American government fund its war efforts. […]

Read More