Thursday, March 17, 2016

St. Patrick's Day and the Irish Contribution to America

Since today is St. Patrick's Day, it seems only fitting to relate back to the Irish, so today I bring you fun facts of the Irish and their contributions to America.

Let's start near the beginning.  Did you know that almost half of Washington's troops in the American Revolution were Irish?  This is due to the fact that during the 1700s, the Irish were the largest immigrant groups coming to America. Another fun note- the first St. Patrick's Day in America was celebrated in 1737.

What do Thomas McClean, Charles Carroll, James Smith, Matthew Thornton, Edward Rutledge, Thomas Lynch, Jr, George Read and John Dunlap have in common?  They all signed the Declaration of Independence and were Irish-Americans.

Henry Ford's father, William Ford, was an Irish immigrant who fled to America during "the great hunger".

Twelve Irish-born men died at the Alamo, the large number of casualties within an ethnic group defending the popular mission which became a symbol of independence. In present day, the Irish flag stands within its wall to honor those lives.

The famous outlaw, Billy the Kid, was of Irish descent.  Legendary lawman, Pat Garrett, the man who shot and killed Billy the Kid, was the grandson of Irish immigrants.

Many US presidents have been of Irish heritage (this number varies anywhere from 10-22 depending on source and metrics), with John F. Kennedy, perhaps being the most famous of them.

Our country was founded on many beliefs and cultures, which adds a certain richness to our heritage. Though much of our history shows a bias against the Irish in the late 1700s-1800s, one only has to look through their accomplishment to see the incredible value they have added to America. Happy St. Patrick's Day!


  1. Wonderful look at the Irish contributions. Thank you and may all the Irish blessing be upon you. Angela/Doris

  2. Enjoyed your post! Food for thought about all the contributions the Irish have given this country!