Today In History – Irish America Irish America Magazine Thu, 18 Apr 2019 19:22:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 82361074 August 1 Mon, 01 Aug 2011 03:00:31 +0000 Read more..]]> 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 continue to celebrate the festival by having bonfires and dancing while gathered with families and friends, much like the U.S.’s 4th of July.

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July 25 Mon, 25 Jul 2011 03:00:24 +0000 Read more..]]> 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 fittingly located.

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May 23, 2011 Mon, 23 May 2011 03:01:35 +0000 Read more..]]> 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 Hayes pub. Obama also gave a speech in College Green, Dublin to a crowd of 25,000, and planted a tree in Phoenix Park.

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May 17, 2011 Tue, 17 May 2011 03:00:40 +0000 Read more..]]> 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 is dedicated to all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish Freedom, dined with President Mary McAleese and even visited the Guinness Brewery where she declined a sip of the black stuff.

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February 6, 2011 Sun, 06 Feb 2011 05:00:26 +0000 Read more..]]> Gary Moore, world renowned guitarist most well known for his career with Thin Lizzy, died on this day in Spain. Moore was born in Belfast on April 5th, 1952. As a young boy listening to Elvis Presley and The Beatles, he quickly became interested in music. His ear for the blues developed in the mid-60s after seeing Hendrix in concert. It was not long before other guitarists noticed his talent, and as a teenager he was mentored by Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green. He toured briefly with Thin Lizzy and joined the band as a full member playing on the ‘Black Rose’ album in 1978. In later years, Moore worked as a solo guitarist and produced several solo albums.

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February 4, 2011 Fri, 04 Feb 2011 05:00:19 +0000 Read more..]]> First Minister of Northern Ireland, Peter Robinson stated that February 4 of 2011 marked a ‘new era’ in Belfast’s history after Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall paid the first ever Royal visit to a Catholic Church in Northern Ireland. The Prince of Wales went to see the £3.5 million restoration project at St. Malachy’s Church and met with churchgoers and representatives from parish groups, including the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and St. Malachy’s Primary School. Just fifteen years ago, this visit would have been near impossible.

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June 15, 2010 Tue, 15 Jun 2010 03:00:04 +0000 Read more..]]> Just before the publication of the Saville Report, the inquiry into Derry’s 1972 Bloody Sunday, British Prime Minister David Cameron makes a speech at Westminster Abbey in which he says that the event was “unjustified and unjustifiable.” Cameron also apologizes on behalf of the British government. On this same day, thousands of people gather at the memorial and march to Guildhall, where Cameron’s speech is televised.

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January 22, 2010 Fri, 22 Jan 2010 00:00:25 +0000 Read more..]]> On the night of January 22nd, 2010 Irish-American comedian Conan O’Brien hosted the legendary Tonight Show for the last time. His departure followed fierce negotiations with network NBC’s move to push she Tonight Show’s long-held start time of 11:35 p.m. to 12:05 a.m. to create an earlier slot for a half-hour show with O’Brien’s predecessor Jay Leno. After talks and outcry from O’Brien’s many fans, NBC struck a deal with the comedian, which reportedly granted him $30 million in exchange for leaving the show. On March 1st, 2010 Leno resumed the role of host. O’Brien, who was born to an Irish Catholic family outside of Boston in 1963 and had had a long career in comedy, now hosts Conan, his own late-night show, on TBS.

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December 4, 2009 Fri, 04 Dec 2009 05:00:36 +0000 Read more..]]> Liam Clancy of The Clancy Brothers passed away on this day in 2009 at the age of 74. Liam was the youngest and last surviving member of the famous folk group. Liam’s membership in the group was essential. He was considered their best singer. Bob Dylan once called him the greatest ballad singer ever. Liam and The Clancy Brothers were very famous in both Ireland, the U.K. and the U.S., selling out Carnegie Hall and Royal Albert Hall.

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August 25, 2009 Tue, 25 Aug 2009 03:00:14 +0000 Read more..]]> Senator Ted Kennedy passed away at the age of 77 on August 25th of 2009. The youngest brother of President John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, Ted Kennedy became one of America’s longest-serving senators. He was a leader of the Democratic party. In March of 2009, Kennedy was granted an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II for his efforts in the Northern Ireland peace process. Ted Kennedy is buried at Virginia’s Arlington National Cemetery near both of his brothers.

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