English Army – 1st St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

March 17: TODAY in Irish History (by IrishmanSpeaks) Twitter Icon

1762: The first St. Patrick’s Day parade is held in New York city by Irish soldiers in the English army! Yup, you read it right.

For the love of being Irish

Image of St. Patrick (by Mark Anderson) in For the Love of Being Irish

Following is what author Conor Cunneen writes about St. Patrick in For the Love of Being Irish an A-Z of Ireland featuring history and humor vial limericks and prose.

“He’s our patron saint
Which is really quite quaint
He brought us the faith
Made us holy and great
But Irish? St Patrick? He ain’t!

St. Patrick’s first visit to Ireland did not exactly evoke images of “Ireland of the Welcomes.” Captured by marauding Irish warriors, the Welsh or Scottish born 16 year old spent about 6 years in Ireland as a slave. After his escape, precipitated by a voice from God telling him to leave, he became a priest. He then returned to Ireland bringing the Catholic faith and legend has it drove the snakes out of Ireland!
Another legend has it that St. Patrick used the shamrock to illustrate the mystery of the Holy Trinity and how three could be one. Today the shamrock is probably the fastest way for the stranger to appreciate an Irish association. You will find the shamrock adorning Aer Lingus planes, Glasgow Celtic jerseys and the windows of Irish pubs from Maine to Madrid.”

1820: Civil war Union General Patrick Edward Connor is born in County Kerry. Honorably discharged from the army following the Mexican war, he again volunteered during the civil war and was appointed Colonel of the Third California Infantry.

irish civil war generals

General Patrick Edward Connor

Following the civil war, Connor settled in Utah.

1920: The War of Independence takes a new more violent turn as the IRA kill two Royal Irish Constabulary officers as they leave St. Patrick’s Day church ceremonies  in Toomevara, Co. Tipperary

1928: This Pathe News clip shows St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin

1956: Senator John F Kennedy speaking at the Irish Fellowship Club in Chicago indulged in just a little blarney!

“It is also fitting that we remember at this time three requests granted St. Patrick by the Angel of the Lord, in order to bring happiness and hope to the Irish: first, that the weather should always be fair on his special day to allow the faithful to attend the services of the church; secondly, that every Thursday and every Saturday twelve souls of the Irish people should be freed from the pains of Hell; and third, that no outlander should ever rule over Ireland.

I have not heard a weather report from the Emerald Isle tonight, but I am certain that no rain fell – officially. Who pays any heed to a little Irish mist? And I have no doubt that twelve Irishmen have been freed from the nether regions this very Saturday. In fact, the toastmaster tells me he thinks he saw several of them here tonight – Governor Stevenson, I understand, was trying last week to get several dozen released in time for the New Hampshire primary. But certainly we need no report to tell us that tonight no outlander rules over Eire; and the Irish people are celebrating this day in peace and in liberty.”

JFK image in For the Love of Being Irish

Image of JFK (by Mark Anderson) in For the Love of Being Irish

The wannabe President also provided some commentary on international policy in quite a wide ranging speech. For full speech see JFK Library. 

Kennedy quoted from a poem by John Boyle O’Reilly.

“”The world is large, when two weary leagues
two loving hearts divide;
But the world is small, when your enemy
is loose on the other side.”

He repeated the exact same quotation when he spoke to the Irish Parliament June 28 1963 immediately after his Ich Bin Ein Berliner speech

1978: U2 wins talent show in Limerick. The prize includes studio time for record demo. U2 released their first album Boy iin October 1980.

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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For the Love of Being Irish written by Chicago based Corkman Conor Cunneen and illustrated by Mark Anderson which is an A-Z of all things Irish. This is a book that contains History, Horror, Humor, Passion, Pathos and Lyrical Limericks that will have you giving thanks (or wishing you were) For the Love of Being Irish

Watch For the Love of Being Irish author Conor Cunneen – IrishmanSpeaks on his Youtube channel IrishmanSpeaks. Laugh and Learn.


This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humoristIrishmanSpeaks – 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 IrishmanSpeaksto Laugh and Learn. Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History

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