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Posts Tagged ‘St. Patrick’s Day’

1.  During the harsh winter of 1779-1780, General George Washington realized that his troops needed a morale boost, so he gave his soldiers one day off — St. Patrick’s Day. The date already held special significance for Washington. Four years prior, on March 17, 1776, the general had his first major strategic victory when he chased the British out of Boston. (Painting of The March to Valley Forge by William Trego, 1883 (Museum of the American Revolution.)

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2.   One-third to one-half of the American troops during the Revolutionary War were Irish-Americans. One well known Irish-American, Andrew Pickens, joined another Irishmen, Francis Marion in leading the most daring group of soldiers during the war. (Oil Painting of Gen. Andrew Pickens, 1720-1817, hangs in Fort Hill in Clemson, South Carolina.)

 

3.  Eight of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were Irish-Americans.  (The original Declaration of Independence can be seen in the Rotunda of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.)

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4.  Irish-Americans fought in the Civil War, as memorialized, in part, by the Irish Brigade monuments. (The monument pictured here is located at Antietam National Park, a National Battlefield in Maryland.)

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5.  Ten U.S. presidents have claimed Irish heritage and the position of commander-in-chief. Probably the best known president of Irish heritage, John F. Kennedy, the 35th president, had great-grandparents on both sides of the family who were born in Ireland. (Portrait of John F. Kennedy (1967) by American artist Jamie Wyeth, on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.)

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Sources:

Irish Heritage Month Proclamation

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/STATUTE-117/pdf/STATUTE-117-Pg3008.pdf

Irish Soldiers in the Union Army

http://www.nps.gov/resources/story.htm?id=209

Irish Brigade Monument

http://www.nps.gov/anti/learn/historyculture/mnt-ny-irish-brig.htm

Irish in Washington’s Continental Army

http://www.history.com/news/george-washingtons-revolutionary-st-patricks-day

Easter Rising Mention

http://www.stpatsparade.org/

 

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