Archive for March 12th, 2012

March 12,

“Boycott” enters the language. Pat Taffe. Irish Medal of Honor Winner.

March 12: TODAY in Irish History (by IrishmanSpeaks) Twitter Icon

1832: The man who gave the English language the word “boycott” is born Charles Cunningham Boycott in England. Boycott was an English landlord who was ostracized by his Irish neighbors and laborers after he attempted to evict a number of his tenants for non-payment of rent. The “boycott” was substantially instigated by Charles Stuart Parnell who on September 19 1880 a few days prior to the (non) action against Boycott had suggested in a speech that unfit landlords should be shunned: “shun him in the streets of the town, you must shun him in the shop, you must shun him in the fairgreen and in the marketplace, and even in the place of worship, by leaving him alone, by putting him in a moral Coventry, by isolating him from the rest of his country as if he were the leper of old, you must show your detestation of the crime he has committed”.

Boycott and his family were forced to bring in their own harvest (protected by a large police force) while being watched and jeered by tenants and local Irish. The boycott garnered national attention when the Captain wrote a letter to the London Times as to his situation.

1904: Thomas Corcoran recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Siege of Vicksburg dies. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery New York.

Irish medal of honor winners

Corcoran’s citation reads:

“Served on board the U.S.S. Cincinnati during the attack on the Vicksburg batteries and at the time of her sinking. Engaging the enemy in a fierce battle, the Cincinnati, amidst an incessant fire of shot and shell, continued to fire her guns to the last, though so penetrated by shellfire that her fate was sealed. Serving bravely during this action, Corcoran was conspicuously cool under the fire of the enemy, never ceasing to fight until this proud ship went down, “her colors nailed to the mast.”[

 1930:Birth of legendary Irish jockey Pat Taffe. He is most famour for partnering Arkle, probably the greatest steeplechase horse ever to victory in three Cheltenham Gold Cups between 1964 and 1966, the King George VI Chase, two Hennessy Gold Cups, an Irish Grand National and a Whitbread Gold Cup. In a relatively drab Ireland of the 60s, Taffe and Arkle became rock stars, even having a chart topping song, sung by Dominic Behan called after the wonder horse. 



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