Union General Patrick Henry Jones. Boston Mayor James Curley. Bobby Kennedy at Today in Irish History

November 20: TODAY in Irish History:

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Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.

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1830: Union General Patrick Henry Jones

Union General Patrick Henry Jones

Union General Patrick Henry Jones 1830-1900

Patrick Henry Jones who attained the rank of Brigadier General in the Union army during the civil war is born in County Westmeath. Jones emigrated with his family in 1840.

Jones was involved in the Chattanooga and Knoxville campaigns and was one of 12 Irish born to achieve the rank of general in the civil war.

After the civil war, he resume his law practice and was appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant as postmaster of New York City in 1869.

READ: Patrick Henry Jones

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1874: Boston Mayor James Michael Curley

Boston Mayor James Michael Curley

James Michael Curley 1870-1958

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James Curley’s father emigrated from Ireland at age of fourteen. Curley first won the mayoralty in 1914, succeeding his arch-rival John “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald. (Fitzgerald was the maternal grandfather of John F Kennedy.) Born to an Irish immigrant and petty criminal father, Curley was no saint himself. Over a lengthy career, he served two jail terms, the latter being for corruption in 1947 while in his final term as mayor. Curley spent five months in jail before his sentence was controversially commuted by President Truman, who finally pardoned him in 1950. On his release from prison, Curley returned to the mayoral role until 1950.

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At TrumanLibrary.org an oral history interview by Robert Fuchs with Federal Agent Harold G. Washington provides a fascinating glimpse into the shenanigans of Curley.

ROBINSON: He (Jim Curley) had this Engineer’s Group. Anybody that came down from Jim’s bailiwick would just go over to the Engineer’s Group, and they’d redesign your project or do a lot of shuffling of papers, and charge you a fee for it; and then they’d present it to the War Department and you’d get your contract.

FUCHS: What was the Engineer’s Group?

ROBINSON: It was a shakedown. Do you want it in plain, unvarnished language, that’s all it was.

FUCHS: Where were they headquartered?

ROBINSON: Back of the Mayflower Hotel.

FUCHS: Who were they supposed to be?

ROBINSON: Oh, they had a bunch of high-sounding names, but it was basically Jim Curley, and he was convicted of it. Did time in Danbury Reformatory, or prison, there at Danbury, and I don’t think he was out when they re-elected him Mayor,

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As his consistent election victories suggest, Curley was a master politician and media player who was exceptionally popular with his constituents. As the following graphic shows, he liked to convey a “Man of the People” image.

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James m curley election poster

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1917:The first great tank battle in history takes place at Cambrai when 476 British tanks launch a surprise attack on the German front. The Royal Irish Fusiliers played a prominent support role in this battle.

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Royal Irish Inniskilling at Cambrai

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1925: Birth of Bobby Kennedy

Bobby Kennedy

Bobby Kennedy III 1925-1968

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The younger and devoted brother of Jack Kennedy, Bobby was the trusted aide, counselor and Attorney General to the President. Bobby entered the political arena as an arrogant, acerbic young gun who worked with Senator Joe McCarthy for a period. As a youthful Attorney General (a role for which he was not initially well qualified), he was an invaluable, aggressive support to JFK while in the White House.

Following JFK’s assassination, Bobby Kennedy stayed in government under Lyndon Johnson, a man he despised as uncouth and unsuitable to follow his brother. The emotions were mutual. Kennedy resigned the AG office to run for Senator for New York in late 1964 – an election he won with ironically, strong support from Johnson.

In his latter years, he matured into a well-respected, mature and thoughtful politician who had  a realistic chance of winning the presidency in 1968 had he not been assassinated in California.

Kennedy’s greatest moment may have been when he announced the assassination of Martin Luther King to an audience, news that he had only heard minutes previously. It is a beautiful, poignant speech.

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Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish

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This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn.

Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)

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