Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Today, We're All Irish?
Today is March 17, St. Patrick's Day, and the day that everyone in the United States celebrates the people and traditions of the Emerald Isle. People of Irish descent are the second largest self-reported ethnic group in the United States, after German Americans. Nine of the signatories of the American Declaration of Independence were of Irish origin, among them the sole Catholic signatory, Charles Carroll of Carrollton. And, at least twenty-five Presidents have some Irish ancestral origins, including George Washington. So, American ties with the Irish have historically been and remain very strong. Today I wondered a little about why, especially since German Americans have represented the largest ethnic-origin group in the United States for almost its entire history (including before independence), Americans don't celebrate a holiday that distinguishes American German origins. I am aware that the World Wars may have had something to do with a lack of interest in promoting German pride in the States; however, I think most of that negative sentiment has died down. Oktoberfests are popular events during the fall all across America. Maybe we should put one common day aside to drink some beer and eat some German food. I'm always in favor of celebrating another holiday.
Posted by Frank Thompson at 9:17 AM