Page 1

Who isn’t Irish now a days?

It’s no rarity to know someone that swears they are Irish even though they couldn’t even locate Ireland on a globe. Across the country, 12 percent of Americans lay claim to Irish ancestry, which is 2nd only to German. With the nationality sometimes being associated with being able to fight, drink, and the ability to garnish kisses from strangers-it’s no surprise everyone says their Irish. With March 17th approaching, Reborn Magazine wanted to make sure everyone had the facts so they can get their story straight before the Irish holy day arrives. Irish is the most common ancestry in 54 U.S counties with over 37 million residents with roots to Ireland. It’s amazing to think that the number of American roots is more than 8 times the population of Ireland itself at 4.5 million. A totoal of 4.8 million immigrants from Ireland have been admitted to the United States for lawful permanent residence since 1820, the earliest year for which official records were taken and the United States currently has 122,000 residents who were born in Ireland. Just how did all these Irishman get here? When the Great Potato Famine hit Ireland in 1845, close to a million poor and uneducated Irish Catholics began pouring into America to escape starvation. At first, it was very difficult for the Irish to settle in America as they were despised by the locals for their religious beliefs and silly accents. As March 17th arrived, the Irish Americans in the United States took to the streets to celebrate their heritage and were portrayed in cartoons as drunk and violent monkeys (been there). Facing segregation and discrimination, the Irish soon began to realize that their large numbers empowered them politically and began to exploit it. As they organized, their voting movement, known as the “green machine” became an important swing vote for political hopefuls in the early 1900’s. In 1948, President Truman attended New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, a proud moment for the many Irish whose ancestors had to fight stereotypes and prejudice for over 100 years.

St. Patrick’s Day has been more recently known for its drunken parties and parades, but most don’t know that the partying wasn’t always a part of the iconic holiday. It was the Americans that turned this saintly holiday into a day to party with friends and family. The first St. Pats parade took place not in Ireland, but in the United States as Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City March 17, 1762. Up until 1970, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17th and then in 1995, the Irish government began a national campaign to use St. Patrick’s Day as an opportunity to drive tourism. Now, more than 100 St. Patrick’s Day Parades are breaking out across the United States. New York City, Boston, and Chicago are home to the largest celebrations. At New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, participants march up 5th Avenue from 44th St traveling 44 blocks. More than 150,000

The “Irish Potato Famine forced milllions to leave Ireland, many of which settled in the US, transforming the country and adding a number of great traditions such as St.Patricks Day. people take part in the event, which does not allow automobiles or floats. Chicago’s parade has become famous for a somewhat peculiar annual event that has become nationally known. The city shows its Irish pride by dyeing the Chicago River green! This windy city tradition started in 1962, when city pollution-control workers used a green dye to trace illegal sewage discharging into the river. City event planners thought the green dye might also provide a unique way to celebrate the holiday. Every year, 40 pounds of dye are used to make the river green for several hours on the weekend of/before March 17th. In Dearborn, we don’t dye our waterways green, but there is plenty to do around the city’s bars and restaurants.

Check out for Dearborn St. Patty’s Day 2012 Events.