Posts tagged ‘Ellis Island closes’

November 12,

Today in Irish History: Wolfe Tone, Ellis Island

TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by For the Love of Being Irish) November 12

1798: Due to be executed today, Irish nationalist Wolfe Tone attempts suicide by cutting his throat. Critically wounded he dies 7 days later on November 19th.

Theobald Wolfe Tone

Theobald Wolfe Tone

1847: Letter published in the Cork Examiner re The Famine:

SIR– On Friday last, the day for distributing a scanty ration, a large body of those who have been looked upon as “able-bodied,” but who are now in reality infirm from hunger, assembled around the issue-shop, in the vain hope that a few “crumbs” might remain for them. Their hope was vain. Even some of those who were legally entitled to relief, did not get it; owing to the parsimonious economy of the Board of Poor-law Guardians in not passing the Relieving Officer’s estimate for the current fortnight.

On the relieving officer announcing to them that he had no more meat for the present, no one can describe their consternation. They were struck dumb for a moment. Soon after they burst forth into a cry which continued for several minutes; when, as if by common instinct, they proceeded to the residence of their parish priest, the Rev. Mr. Tuomy. There again they renewed their wailings with redoubled earnestness. These unusual sounds at such a late hour in the night (between 7 and 8 o’clock), at first startled the rev. gentleman. But on a moment’s reflection he judged the cause and proceeded forthwith to the door. There he saw numbers of his parishioners of all ages assembled, with the tears rolling down their emaciated cheeks, asking for bread. He could not be otherwise than deeply affected, and he divided amongst them his last shilling.

1954: Ellis Island closes. From 1892 to 1954, and estimated two million Irish immigrants entered the United States through the portal of Ellis Island, a small island in New York Harbor. The first official immigrant was 15 year old Annie Moore, accompanied by her two brothers from County Cork.

Ellis Island

Ellis Island 1892

1934: Birth of Irish author John McGahern in County Leitrim. Although maybe not as well known as other Irish authors, the Guardian newspaper suggested in his obituary that McGahern was arguably the most important Irish novelist since Samuel Beckett. His most famous novel The Dark was banned for a period of time by Irish censorship authorities.

1958: Four time Boston Mayor James M Curley dies. Curley’s father emigrated from Ireland at age of fourteen.

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