The Fighting Irish

When this year’s postponed St. Patrick’s Day parade is rescheduled, the New York Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion (the Fighting 69th Infantry Regiment), led by two Irish wolfhound mascots, will march up Fifth Avenue and mark its 169th year in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. The tradition began in New York City in 1762; when the first parade honoring the patron saint of...

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A Tale of Two Flags

Back in 1974, City Council President Paul O’Dwyer introduced a bill that would change the date on the New York’s flag and seal from 1664 to 1625. The move was an effort to set history straight and to recognize the city’s Dutch heritage on the 700th anniversary of the founding of the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The seal of the city of New York, the date on which was also...

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You’ve Got Mail:
Irish History From Stamps

℘℘℘ Over the last four decades, stamp-collecting, also known as “philately,” has been undergoing a slow but sure death. This has been mirrored by a decline in letter-writing and a similar wane in the use of cursive writing. Consequently, the hobby of stamp-collecting, so beloved by generations of schoolchildren, is mostly the preserve of people above the age of 60. Ireland’s Great...

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Running Rings Around the Empire: The 1908 Olympics

In 1908, as the world’s attention focused on the Olympic Games in London, Britain had decided again not to allow Ireland to field its own team, imperiously stating, “Ireland is not a nation.” All Irish athletes would have to compete as members of the British team. The policy had worked well for Britain in the 1906 Intercalated Olympics in Athens, where Irish athletes won most of...

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Sláinte! The Irish & the Oval

In 2020 you can safely bet that the biggest topic of news and conversation is going to be the presidential election. And until midsummer, the hottest sub-topic will be “Who will the Democrats choose for their ticket?” I have a suggestion: select someone with Irish heritage. This is not a willy-nilly witticism. The numbers back me up. More than one-third of U.S. presidents have had...

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