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Striking Gold – Transcontinental
Railroad Turns 150

Irish contributions to American history received a special recognition this week. The 150th anniversary of connecting the First Transcontinental Railroad was commemorated in a two-day celebration in Utah May 9 and 10 at Promontory Point, the state landmark where the Golden Spike connecting the track’s east and west branches was struck on May 10, 1869. The railroad was six years in the making,...

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August 1

Officially known in the Celtic calendar as Lughnasa and the first day of Autumn, August 1st marks the celebration of the old Celtic god Lugh. Gaelic tradition holds that Lughnasa was a common time for handfastings, or trial marriages of the time. It is believed that Lugh chose August 1st as the day for a harvest festival as a way of remembering his dead foster-mother. Today, people in Ireland...

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July 25

July 25th marks the feast of St. James in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. Dubliners celebrate this day by holding an annual drinking festival, which has been a tradition since the medieval era. Likewise, Irish pilgrims who choose to honor St. James and walk the Santiago de Compostela in Spain, often leave from St. James’s Gate in Dublin, where the Guinness factory is...

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May 23, 2011

American President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle landed in Ireland on the first day of a six-day European tour. He met with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and then President Mary McAleese, before visiting relatives in the village of Moneygall, Co. Offaly, form where his great-great-great grandfather Folmouth Kearney left in 1850 at the age of 19. He drank a pint of Guinness, as did his wife, in Ollie...

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May 17, 2011

Queen Elizabeth of England visits the Republic of Ireland for the first time. She is the first British monarch to visit in 100 years, and the first since Ireland became a Republic. George V visited in 1911 when the country was still part of the British Empire. The four-day visit went well, despite minor protests. Her Majesty met with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, visited the Garden of Remembrance, which...

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