Springsteen’s Irish Roots – Richard Nixon’s Checkers Speech at Today in Irish History

September 23: TODAY in Irish History:

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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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1949: The Boss is Born in the USA

Bruce Springsteen is born in Long Branch, New Jersey and aren’t we all blessed? The Boss’ great great grandmother hails from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.

While the Irish are sometimes slow to admit to some of our kin (See Richard Nixon below), Ireland loves The Boss. Information about a man who really knows how to get a place rockin’ (more proof he is Irish) is available via author Moira Sharkey whose book Land of Hope and Dreams chronicles the great man’s Irish concerts, the first of which took place in Slane in 1985.


Land of Hope and Dreams by Greg Lewis, Moira Sharkey

To PURCHASE: Land of Hope and Dreams


Everyone in Ireland claims to have been at the Slane concert, although the actual number attending was only about 80,000! When the giant video screen showed the River Boyne flowing gently just behind the stage where Springsteen was signing The River, it sent shivers through a beautiful warm summer evening. All those years ago, The Boss was brilliant, energetic and could play the audience like a master violinist.  And guess what? He is still brilliant, energetic and plays the audience like a master violinist.

Springsteen’s Irish influence is brilliantly evoked in one of his more recent compositions – American Land which will get those feet tapping, heart racing and giving thanks For the Love of Being Irish. The following video clip is from a Dublin concert with the Seegers Sessions Band. Buy the CD or DVD Live in Dublin. You won’t regret it.






1952: Richard Nixon’s Checkers Speech

Republican vice-presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon delivers his famous “Checkers” speech denying allegations of improper campaign financing. Nixon had Irish connections on both sides. Nixon’s maternal ancestor, Quaker Thomas Milhouse of Timahoe emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1729 probably due to religious persecution.  Nixon visited Ireland in 1970.


King Timahoe - Nixon Dog
The Nixon family with Irish Setter King Timahoe, named after his ancestor’s birthplace in Ireland.


Nixon has been criticized for his TV appearance during the first Kennedy-Nixon debate, but he is probably the first major US politician to have used TV to his benefit. At a time when his career was in the balance and his running mate, Dwight D. Eisenhower was patently not supporting him, Tricky Dick went on national television and told the truth.

This is part of Nixon’s brilliantly effective cloying speech that saved his career and allowed him to say years later “I am not a crook.” !!





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


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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