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Friday, April 4, 2014

Mayor Curley and Ex-Mayor Fitzgerald Attend Opening Day at Fenway Park, 1914



As the Boston Red Sox faced off the Washington Senators at Fenway Park on April 14, 1914, another battle was going on in the stands between newly-elected Mayor James Michael Curley and his rival, former Mayor John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald.

""Twenty-four thousand, two hundred and seventy-one persons went to Fenway Park yesterday afternoon to see Mayor Curley throw out the first ball....It was an enthusiastic crowd...eager to cheer and ready to use every excuse to the fullest extent," wrote The Boston Globe.  

"The first old-time roar of delight came promptly on the handling of (Senator) Eddie Foster's attempt (to steal base).  One minute later John F. Fitzgerald came in and the real thunders broke loose.  Mr. Fitzgerald looked pleased with the world and sat down modestly in a box near the Red Sox dugout."

Mayor from 1910-13, Fitzgerald had thrown out the ball when Fenway Park first opened in 1912, and again in 1913.  Fitzgerald opted not to run for reelection in 1914 when Curley threatened to reveal Fitzgerald's "well-known dalliance with a blond cigarette girl named 'Toodles' Ryan, who worked at the Ferncroft Inn," according to author Thomas H. O'Connor.

The Senators defeated the Red Sox 3-0 that day.


For more about Boston's Irish heritage, visit IrishHeritageTrail.com.


 


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Boston Irish Heritage Trail - Guided Tour at 2pm on Sunday, March 16, at Boston Common


Take a guided tour of Boston's Irish Heritage Trail on Sunday, March 16 at 2:00 p.m.. The tour begins at the Boston Common Visitor Information Center  and winds its way through 300 years of the city's illustrious Irish history.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students, military and seniors, and free for children under 12.  You can purchase your ticket at the visitor center the day of the tour.  Find more details of the tour here.

The Irish Heritage Trail was created by the Boston Irish Tourism Association, a group formed in 2000 to promote the Irish history, heritage and culture of Massachusetts. 



Saturday, March 15, 2014

Boston Irish Heritage Trail guided tours at Boston Common Visitor Center this Weekend


Guided tours of Boston's Irish Heritage Trail are taking place on Saturday, March 15, Sunday, March 16 and Monday, March 17, 2014, beginning at the Boston Common Visitor Information Center at 2:00 p.m.  Also, there is an additional tour at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, March 17.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students, military and seniors, and free for children under 12.  You can purchase your ticket at the visitor center the day of the tour.  Find more details of the tour here.

The Irish Heritage Trail was created by the Boston Irish Tourism Association, a group formed in 2000 to promote the Irish history, heritage and culture of Massachusetts. 


Monday, March 10, 2014

Going Green: Boston’s Top 10 Irish Sites to Visit this St. Patrick's Day


John Boyle O'Reilly Memorial 
© Boston Irish Tourism Association 


Author Michael Quinlin has explored the rich history of Boston's Irish community in his book, Irish Boston: A Lively Look at Boston’s Colorful Irish Past, published by Globe Pequot Press

Garnering material of famous people and places in his book, here is his list of top ten Irish sites in Boston to check out this St. Patrick’s Day, or any time of year.  All of these sites and more are listed on Boston’s Irish Heritage Trail, a walking map of 20 sites Quinlin created as a companion to his research for Irish Boston. 

Quinlin is co-founder of Boston Irish Tourism Association  and is a frequent contributor to Irish America Magazine and the Irish Echo newspaper.

For year round details on Irish cultural activities in Massachusetts and New England, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.
 


 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mass Historical Society has exhibit on the Shaw Memorial designed by Irish-born sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens


The Massachusetts Historical Society has an exhibit called, "Tell it with Pride: the 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Shaw Memorial," through May 23, 2014.  The exhibit is free and open to the public.

The exhibit, organized by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC,  conveys the magisterial monument to the nation's first Black military regiment, led by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, as created by famed sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. 

The monument took fourteen years to complete, because of disagreement among patrons regarding how the piece should look.  Plus, the perfectionist artist approached the project in a painstaking manner, seeking out forty black men in New York to use as models, from which he chose 16 to appear on the final memorial.  The memorial was unveiled in 1897 at a ceremony attended by Booker T. Washington, philosopher William James, and the families of the soldiers.  It is located at the site where Civil War regiments mustered before going off to war. 

Saint-Gaudens was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1848, the son of a French cobbler and his wife, Mary McGuinness.  Fleeing the Irish Famine, the family arrived in Boston in September 1848, but finding no work, moved to New York after six months, according to the book, Irish Boston.  

The Shaw Memorial is located on Boston's Irish Heritage Trail, a walking trail of 20 sites in downtown Boston and the Back Bay that convey 300 years of Irish presence in Boston. 

For more about civil war memorials made by Irish-American sculptors, read this story in Irish America Magazine.

For more about Boston's Irish history, visit IrishHeritageTrail.com









Lawrence Irish Heritage Month Hosting Lecture on Rev. James T. O'Reilly on Sunday, March 9



Teddie Gallagher of Villanova University is giving a lecture entitled "The Life & Times of Rev. James T. O'Reilly, OSA" at the Lawrence Heritage State Park on Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture is sponsored by the White Fund and is part of Irish Heritage Month in the City of Lawrence, organized by Ancient Order of Hibernians and Ladies AOH, Division Eight.  The Lawrence AOH chapter is named to honor Reverend O'Reilly, who was an Augustinian (OSA)  priest.

According to the Lawrence History Center, "O'Reilly was perhaps the most influential church leader in the history of Lawrence." In addition to presiding over the Irish congregation at St. Mary's Church, he also "helped create Catholic churches for Greeks, Syrians, Portuguese and Lithuanians."  He organized a "God and Country" parade in 1912 that drew over 100,000 people. 

Here is a schedule of Irish Heritage Month activities in Lawrence this March. 

Find year round information on Irish cultural events in Massachusetts at IrishMassachusetts.com.