America has been celebrating St. Patrick's Day with parades and revelry since early colonial days, when Boston and New York began marching through the streets to express a national unity in a strange, new land.
Along with the big parade in New York, Boston still celebrates Evacuation Day every year on St. Patrick's Day to commemorate the evacuation of the British from the city on March 17, 1776. That's when patriots drove the Red Coats out of Boston in surprise military buildup that saw the British turning tail without a shot being fired! It remains one of the greatest days for the Irish in American history.
It was only in the 19th century that a sense of community took on new poignancy - during the great exodus out of Ireland - when the Irish immigrants arrived by the millions to American shores.
Although the Irish banded together out of a longing to return home, unity was most strongly felt in hatred felt against British oppression of the poor and working class in Ireland.
Like many other immigrant groups who came before, and since, the Irish in America were quick to build a future in America and assimilated into the culture as cops and firemen, the legal and other professions.
Their influence, in fact, eventually reached all the way to the White House in 1960 when President John F. Kennedy became the first President of the United States of Irish-American heritage.
Today, Irish-American (and those who wish they were!) continue to march on St. Patrick's Day in a fun celebration of all things Irish and in ways that are uniquely American - including drinking green beer and feasting on corned beef and cabbage.
you happen across an industrious little fellow hammering
out a shoe, look closely - for he may be a leprechaun.
Step quietly, for leprechauns will avoid humans, knowing
us to be foolish and greedy....