Hope You Had a Happy St. Patrick’s Day

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I should have posted this yesterday but, as my father-in-law would have said, were he still alive, “I’m a day late and a dollar short.”

I hope everyone enjoyed St. Patrick’s Day. In Richmond, the St. Patrick’s parade is next Saturday, so to all those in Richmond, have a good St. Patrick’s Day next Saturday!

A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. Roughly another 3.5 million (or about another 1.2% of Americans) identified more specifically with Scotch-Irish ancestry. The Irish diaspora population in the United States is roughly six times the modern population of Ireland. [Wiki]

Some Irish came to the United States in the 1700’s, others came during the Great Famine of 1845-1852 (with 1847 being the worst year). The Irish-Catholics were treated deplorably by the Protestant British. Their lands were stolen and British disregard for the Irish contributed to their deplorable conditions during the famine.

A million starved during the potato famine (caused by the potato blight) and a million more emigrated. Those who had a few dollars were able to come to the United States.

The Irish poor relied too heavily on the one crop and it became their base food. Once the potato blight hit, they had nothing much to eat.

If you want to read a good story about the potato famine in Ireland, read Paddy’s Lament. It’s an eye opener.

Ireland lost a third of their population. The remaining people in Ireland resented those who left but resented the British more. It led to a feeling of nationalism and eventually independence for the Republic of Ireland. Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera were the great leaders of their time.

Click the link to read about the rebellion which largely began with the Easter Rising.

For more than a hundred years, the Irish were often looked down upon in the United States. That changed in time and it changed irrevocably with the election of John F. Kennedy, though there were many great Irish-Americans before him.

Now everyone is Irish one day a year!

The Irish have a love of life, partying, and literature.

St. Patrick converted the pagans of Ireland and he is their patron saint.

One of my ancestors is John McCormack, a famous tenor. When Caruso was called the Golden Tongue, John McCormack was known as the Silver Tongue.

Some of my McCormack ancestors were called the black Irish because they were dark and it was believed they were descended from the Moors.

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