Monday, March 17, 2008

Green Bagels and Other Such Irish Things

Today my company provided green bagels to our staff. Since this office houses more than 400 people, there were a LOT of green bagels floating around the office.

This made me think about St. Patrick's day and how on this day, somehow we are all a little bit Irish, and proud of it.

So here's a little history lesson about our Irish ancestors:


  1. Though life in Ireland was cruel, emigrating to America was not a joyful was referred to as the American Wake for these people knew they would never see Ireland again.

  2. Homes and jobs were scarce for the Irish immigrants. Ads for employment often were followed by "NO IRISH NEED APPLY."

  3. Solidarity was their strength, they helped each other survive city life. They prayed and drank together.

  4. A common expression heard among the railroad workers was "an Irishman was buried under every tie."

  5. The Irish were unique among immigrants. They fiercely loved America but never gave up their allegiance to Ireland...and they kept their hatred of the English.

  6. Twice Irish immigrants tried to invade Canada, believing that they could trade Canadian land for Ireland's freedom from England.

  7. During the Civil War they were fierce warriors, forming among other groups, the famous Irish Brigade.

  8. World War I brought the Irish respect by American society; their fierce conduct in many military operations allowed them to break from Ireland's nationalism and depend on themselves and their new home for success.

  9. World War II furthered this success by providing the Irish soldiers with an opportunity to seek education at the expense of the country they defended.

  10. Today, St.Patrick day parades replaced violent confrontations. The Irish not only won acceptance for their day, but persuaded everyone else to become Irish at least for St.Patrick's Day.

So enjoy your green bagels, corned beef and cabbage (which according to my Irish friends is decidedly NOT Irish), Irish soda bread, and of course, green beer, and think about how the Irish joined our melting pot and became "more American than the Americans."


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

The Irish (and Italians) in America are a very interesting chapter in proving that race is a social, rather than biological construct.

Smirking Cat said...

I have some Irish family history (as well as Slovak) and actually loved hearing about my ancestors coming here and getting started. I wish my family was closer so I would know more personal stories.

Ian Lidster said...

I was riding on a tour bus a number of years ago and we were driving along Galway Bay and somebody asked the driver (who had a wonderful tenor) to sing 'Galway Bay.'He said he would, but added that the song wasn't real Irish but what they called 'Bing Crosby Irish.'He did a wonderful job, regardless.