Boxer John L Sullivan. Sean Lemass at White House. Josef Locke on this day in Irish History

October 15: TODAY in Irish History:

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Curated by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks

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

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1858: Boxer John L. Sullivan

John L. Sullivan nicknamed The Boston Strong Boy  is born in Roxbury, Mass. to Irish  immigrant parents, Michael Sullivan from Abbeydorney, County Kerry and the former Catherine Kelly from Athlone. Sullivan was one of the last of the great bare-knuckle fighters and the first fighter to win the world title wearing gloves. Bare-knuckle fighting was a brutal sport, not least when Sullivan defeated Jake Kilrain over 75 rounds (Yes, seventy five) in 1889 to retain his title. Kilrain, who was close to death at the end of the fight was a pallbearer at Sullivan’s funeral in 1918.


boxer john l sullivan

John L. Sullivan


READ: Sports Illustrated article on Sullivan-Kilrain fight

Sullivan was enormously popular at a time when the sport was often outlawed by various states. He was finally defeated in a title fight by Gentleman Jim Corbett in 1892. A (very) hard drinker during his ring career, he later became an advocate of prohibition.


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1963: Taoiseach Sean Lemass at White House

Just months after JFK visited Ireland, Sean Lemass visits the White House. Below are remarks from both parties

Sean Lemass at White House

Sean Lemass meeting with Kennedy

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1999: Death of Josef Locke

Death of one of the great characters of Irish entertainment Josef Locke (born Joseph McLaughlin) at age of 82.

Although nearing the end of a very full life, Locke was a staple on Irish TV variety shows during the 60’s singing with an engaging enthusiasm songs such as Hear My Song, Violetta,  probably his most popular work and I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen, Dear Old Donegal, Galway Bay and The Isle of Innisfree.


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Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed 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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