Irish Born Liberator of Chile. The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Irish Medal of Honor Winner at Today in Irish History

October 26: TODAY in Irish History:

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Irish History Snippets by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks

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

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1771: John (Juan) MacKenna –Co-Liberator of Chile

Birth of John MacKenna (born McKenna) in County Monaghan.


chilean patriot Irish born Juan MacKenna

Juan MacKenna 1771-1814


MacKenna, along with first generation Chilean Irishman Bernardo O’Higgins played a pivotal role in securing Chilean independence from Spain. MacKenna left Ireland as an eleven year old for Spain to live with exiled Irish relatives. At age 16 he became a cadet  in the ‘Regiment Irlanda’ ( the Irish Brigade) in the Spanish army.

In 1796, he transferred to South America, becoming friendly with Bernardo O’Higgins. When Chile rebelled against Spanish rule, MacKenna sided with the rebels and is credited with a number of significant victories over the Spanish including a victory over superior forces at Membrillo. After a coup d’état in 1814 he was exiled to Argentina and died in a duel in Buenos Aires.

In 2010, the Irish and Chilean Postal Service jointly issued stamps celebrating MacKenna and O’Higgins


Juan MacKenna and Bernardo O'Higgins Irish Chilean connection


READ: Juan MacKenna – Co-Liberator of Chile


READ: Chile’s Irish Patriots

Monaghan Museum

In 2010, a replica of the sabre used by General Don Juan MacKenna, was donated to Monaghan County Museum by Chilean Ambassador, CeceliaMcKenna, a direct descendent of MacKenna.

The sabre is currently on display in the museum, and is a welcome addition to the collection, which already includes a bust and a portrait of the General. The original would have been used for ceremonial purposes.


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1862: John J Nolan Sergeant. Medal of Honor

John J Nolan Sergeant, Company K, 8th New Hampshire Infantry is awarded the Medal of Honor for an action that took place at Georgia Landing, La. He entered service at: Nashua, N.H. Born: 24 June 1844, Ireland.

The Citation reads: The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Sergeant John J. Nolan, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 27 October 1862, while serving with Company K, 8th New Hampshire Infantry, in action at Georgia Landing, Louisiana. Although prostrated by a cannon shot, Sergeant Nolan refused to give up the flag which he was carrying as Color Bearer of his regiment and continued to carry it at the head of the regiment throughout the engagement.


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1878: Mayo Tenants Defence Association, the precursor to the Irish Land League holds its first meeting in Castlebar, demanding The Land of Ireland for the people of Ireland.


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1932: The unsinkable Molly Brown

The unsinkable Molly Brown of Titanic fame dies.


The Unsinkable Molly Brown 1867-1932


Brown was born to Irish immigrants John and Johanna Tobin in 1867 in Hannibal Missouri (boyhood homoe of Markt Twain.) She became famous for her rescue attempts of passengers during the ill fated Titanic voyage. Man ycritics believed fact and fiction merged in Brown’s telling of the Titanic disaster, but she became extremely well known for her version of events.


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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


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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