Death of George Bernard Shaw – Kennedy on End Cuban Blockade

November 2: TODAY in Irish History:

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File:George Bernard Shaw 1936.jpg

George Bernard Shaw

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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1921: Treaty Negotiations Continue

Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith from the Irish delegation meet with Lord Birkenhead, Lloyd George and Chamberlain from the British team as part of Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations.

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1950: Death of George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw

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Born in Dublin in 1856, Shaw is the only person to received both a Nobel Prize in Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938), for his contributions to literature and for his work on the film Pygmalion (adaptation of his play of the same name), respectively.

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Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller in Pygmalion
Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion

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An ardent socialist, Shaw wanted to refuse his Nobel Prize outright because he had no desire for public honours, but accepted it at his wife’s behest: she considered it a tribute to Ireland. Somewhat ironically, the Nobel Prize site states “At the banquet, Mr. Shaw’s thanks were presented by the British Ambassador, Sir Arthur Grant Duff, who expressed particular appreciation of the fact that the Prize given to Mr. Shaw would be used to strengthen the cultural relations between Sweden and Great Britain.”

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READ: George Bernard Shaw Nobel Prize Award Ceremony Speech

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One of Shaw’s lesser known works is O’Flaherty VC – A  Recruiting Pamphlet, written partly to raise funds for a struggling Abbey Theatre, but also to encourage recruitment. Ostensibly based on the exploits of Irish VC winner Lance Corporal Michael John O’Leary, it suggests that many Irish opted for war for an “unmentionable” reason: “No one will ever know how many men joined the army in 1914 and 1915 to escape from tyrants and taskmasters, termagants and shrews, none of whom are any the less irksome when they happen by ill-luck to be also our fathers, our mothers, our wives and our children. Even at their amiablest, a holiday from them may be a tempting change for all parties.”

Because of its content and tone, The Abbey Theater fearing audience reaction (probably wisely) did not present the play during the war.

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Download: Free ebook O’Flaherty VC – A Recruiting Pamphlet

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Shaw’s works and quotes are a ripe source for speechmakers. President Kennedy quoted Shaw regularly including when he spoke to Dail Eireann (Irish parliament) in 1963

As with many great artists, Shaw often proved to be  a thorn in the side of the establishment. One of his play’s Mrs Warren’s Profession ran into censorship difficulties on both sides of the Atlantic

Other Shaw works include:

Arms and the Man

Pymalion (My Fair Lady movie)

John Bull’s Other Island

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1962:

My fellow citizens:

I want to take this opportunity to report on the conclusions which this Government has reached on the basis of yesterday’s aerial photographs which will be made available tomorrow, as well as other indications, namely, that the Soviet missile bases in Cuba are being dismantled, their missiles and related equipment are being crated, and the fixed installations at these sites are being destroyed.

The United States intends to follow closely the completion of this work through a variety of means, including aerial surveillance, until such time as an equally satisfactory international means of verification is effected.

While the quarantine remains in effect, we are hopeful that adequate procedures can be developed for international inspection of Cuba-bound cargoes. The International Committee of the Red Cross, in our view, would be an appropriate agent in this matter.

The continuation of these measures in air and sea, until the threat to peace posed by these offensive weapons is gone, is in keeping with our pledge to secure their withdrawal or elimination from this hemisphere. It is in keeping with the resolution of the OAS, and it is in keeping with the exchange of letters with Chairman Khrushchev of October 27th and 28th.

Progress is now being made towards the restoration of peace in the Caribbean, and it is our firm hope and purpose that this progress shall go forward. We will continue to keep the American people informed on this vital matter.
Thank you.
LISTEN to RADIO ADDRESS 

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WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

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.

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