January 17, 1860
Born in Castlerea, Co. Roscommon on this day in 1860, Douglas Hyde would become a champion of the Irish language and the first Irish President. After attending Trinity College Dublin and becoming fluent in French, Latin, German, Greek and Hebrew, Hyde went on to establish the Gaelic League with the hope of saving Irish from extinction. He became a professor of Irish at University College Dublin and after retiring was nominated in 1938 by Taoiseach Eamon de Valera to be the first Irish president. He was admired by many and served from 1938 until 1945.