Posts Tagged ‘Window on the Past’

Window on the Past:
The Irish Bambino

In late 1990s baseball, home runs were everywhere. The balls were allegedly juiced. The sluggers were definitely juiced. Players who had been lanky rookies would later display cartoon-sized muscles, thanks to a regimen of syringes in the posterior. Even hitters of mediocre power were expected to belt 15 home runs per season. About one centuryRead more..

Window on the Past: Stampede of a New York Cowboy

Calgary, nicknamed “Cowtown,” is home to the largest rodeo in the world, the Calgary Stampede, which annually draws millions of visitors. The first Calgary rodeo in 1912 was organized by a New Yorker with Irish roots, as Ray Cavanaugh explains. ℘℘℘ Cowboys seem like a self-assured lot. But Guy Weadick was more than self-assured; he was a boldRead more..

Window on the Past:
The Triumph of a Sad Clown

The extraordinarily gifted Emmett Kelly, who turned clowning into an art form. ℘℘℘ Though he was most certainly a clown, Emmett Kelly’s performances were wistful rather than slapstick. Instead of wearing cheerfully bright clothes and having a prominent grin painted on his face, Kelly flouted clownish convention, wearing dark-colored rags and having a face forever contorted in sadness. EvenRead more..

Window on the Past:
Manifest Destiny

Two words from one Irishman who trumpeted the world’s superpower. ℘℘℘ “Manifest destiny…” These words, placed together, command one’s attention. They sound important, almost biblical. But they didn’t come from an Old Testament patriarch or New Testament prophet. Rather, they came from the pithy pen of a 19th-century Irishman named John O’Sullivan. His ancestors wereRead more..

The One-Armed Pitcher

A one-armed Irishman with a bat… It just sounds problematic. And baseball player Hugh “One Arm” Daily was indeed a problematic guy. His predicament made it impossible for him to succeed as a hitter, but despite his handicap, he managed to have a career as a pitcher in baseball’s major leagues. Far more than aRead more..

Window on the Past:
A Savior of History

John Gilmary Shea preserved much of the existing knowledge of the beginnings of American Catholicism. ℘℘℘ Considering the Irish-American influence on U.S. Catholicism, it makes sense that someone of Irish descent – John Gilmary Shea – undertook to preserve much of the existing knowledge of the beginnings of American Catholicism. A prolific writer and doggedRead more..

Murphy’s Saw: Surgery With Irish Flair

The extraordinarily gifted John Benjamin Murphy, who turned surgery into performance art. ℘℘℘ Like other influential doctors, John Benjamin Murphy saved and improved lives with his medical advancements. But he also managed to turn surgery into a performance art. As a maestro with surgical tools, he welcomed – indeed, thrived on – the added pressureRead more..

Window on the Past

A step into the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in Manhattan is a step back in time. Housed at 97 Orchard Street, one of the first tenement buildings in New York City, the museum is the only one of its kind in the United States. It showcases the ordinary lives of four immigrant families whoRead more..