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In April 1861, Irish Volunteers from greater Boston Enlisted in the 9th Massachusetts Regiment to Help Preserve the Union

Photo courtesy of Harvard Libraries Within days of President Abraham Lincoln's April 15, 1861 proclamation seeking 75,000 volunteers to join the Union Army, Irishman Thomas Cass of Boston's North End immediately began recruiting Irish immigrants to form the Massachusetts 9th regiment. The volunteers came largely from Boston and the nearby towns of Salem, Milford, Marlboro and Stoughton. A total of 1,727 men enlisted. The Irish volunteers encamped on Long Island in Boston Harbor through May to train and organize. On June 11, 1861, the Ninth Massachusetts Regiment was mustered into service. The 9th Regiment enjoyed an emotional send-off on June 25, 1861 , when the troops made their way from Long Island to Long Wharf in Boston, then marched to Boston Common, where Governor John Andrew welcomed them and thanked the two commanders, Colonel Cass and Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Guiney.   9th Regiment Flag, photo courtesy of Mass State House  Governor Andrew presented them with flags
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Landmarks in Boston and Cambridge Honor Politician Thomas 'Tip' O’Neill of North Cambridge

Courtesy of Boston College Photo Archives Legendary politician Thomas P. Tip O’Neill was born in North Cambridge on December 9, 1912, the son of Thomas Philip O'Neill, Sr. and Rose Ann Tolan. His grandfather had emigrated in the 1840s during the Irish Famine.   Tip rose to become one of the most powerful political figures in 20th century America, delving into domestic issues as well as international ones, especially regarding Northern Ireland.  O’Neill based his entire career on the mantra, ‘All Politics is Local,’ a phrase that bespoke the need for politicians to communicate directly with constituents and to serve the people rather than oneself.  He entered the Massachusetts state Legislature in 1936 and in 1952 was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, winning the seat held by John F. Kennedy. He became the 47th Speaker of the House in 1977 and held the post until 1987 when he retired.  In the 1970s through the 1990s, O'Neill was also heavily engaged in the Norther

British Shipped Starving Irish Families to Boston During the 1880s as part of an 'Assisted Emigration' Scheme

On April 15, 1883, the Nestorian steamship, operated by the Allan Line, landed at Boston Harbor, carrying more then 650 Irish paupers from the west of Ireland  who had been evicted from their small farms during that time.  Their arrival was part of an 'assisted emigration' scheme initiated by a Quaker as a way of helping the Irish.  It was then funded by the British Government as a way of dealing  with issues of poverty and starvation in the Connacht province of Ireland.  English Quaker James Huck Tuke  had witnessed first hand the effects of the 1879 Irish famine, which had largely affected the west.  Tuck's notion was to send entire families together, so as to avoid separation and further trauma, and to focus on small farmers whose livelihood had been altered by the famine and insufficient government response.  They had been evicted from their farms by landlords when they couldn't pay their fees as a result of the famine.  The efforts of the Tuck Emigrant Society were

Quincy Sculptor John Horrigan Carved the Famous Titanic Memorial in DC

  Photos by Michael Quinlin The  Titanic Memorial  in Washington, DC, an iconic depiction of one of the major maritime tragedies of the 20th century, was carved in Quincy, Massachusetts by local sculptor John Horrigan, who used a 20-ton slab of granite to complete the masterpiece. The pedestal, designed by Henry Bacon, used granite from the quarries in Waverly, RI.   Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney submitted the winning design.  She also designed the Daughters of the American Revolution Memorial and the Pan-American Union Fountain and later founded the Whitney Museum in New York.  Described as weighing six tons and measuring 14 feet high and 13 feet wide, the statue was placed atop a pedestal with inscriptions that read on the front: Pedestal, front TO THE BRAVE MEN  WHO PERISHED  IN THE WRECK OF THE TITANIC APRIL 15, 1912 THEY GAVE THEIR  LIVES THAT WOMEN  AND CHILDREN  MIGHT BE SAVED ERECTED BY THE WOMEN OF AMERICA Pedestal, back TO THE YOUNG AND THE OLD THE RICH AND THE POOR THE IGNORAN

New Yorker John J. McDermott Won the first Boston Marathon in 1897

The very first Boston Marathon was held on April 19, 1897, inspired by the first modern Olympic Games held the previous year in Athens, Greece. The race was organized by Boston Athletic Association 's John Graham, who has also coached the Boston Olympians and had been inspired by the Olympic marathon race in Athens, which had been won by a Greek sheepherder. The initial field in 1897 Boston consisted of fifteen runners, of whom ten would finish the race, according The Boston Globe, while the Louisville Courier Journal later reported that there were "30 starters, and 23 finished the race." Thomas E. Burke , who won first place in the 100 and 440 yard races at the Athens Olympics in 1896, was the official starter of the race. "At 12:15, Tom Burke scrapped his foot across the narrow street in front of Metcalf's Mill and called the contestants numbers," reported The Boston Globe. John J. McDermott of the Pastime Athletic Club of New York won the first Boston

Irish Rebel John Boyle O'Reilly Helped Establish the Boston Athletic Association in 1887

The famous  Boston Athletic Association  (BAA) was founded in the late19th century by an unlikely coalition of leading Boston Brahmins and a famous Irish rebel,  John Boyle O’Reilly  (1844-90).   The BAA was created at a time when amateur sports were increasingly popular across the United States.  There were many collegiate teams in greater Boston and numerous small associations, but the need for a major athletic association was acutely felt by local sportsmen and competitors.    It was O'Reilly in January 1887, who suggested that interested parties meet to discuss the idea of "forming an athletic club in Boston," wrote  The Boston Globe  in a March 9, 1912 story on BAA's 25th anniversary.  That initial meeting generated excitement and resolve to create an athletic organization, modeled on the popular New York Athletic Club, according to reports.   On March 16, a general meeting was held at the Cadet Armory. A governing committee of 18 people was presented, as well as

Meet Irishman Charles Logue, the Man who Built Fenway Park

Charles E. Logue, courtesy of Logue Family  Meet Charles E. Logue (1858-1919), the man who build Fenway Park in 1913 as well as other iconic buildings in greater Boston.   An immigrant County Derry in Ireland, Logue emigrated to Boston in 1881 at age 23, part of a massive wave of Irish who came to Boston in the 19th century, escaping faming, landlord abuses and political oppression, while seeking economic opportunity.  He formed the Charles Logue Building Company in 1890 and was quickly recognized for his carpentry and construction skills.  Boston historian Dennis Ryan writes in his classic study, Beyond the Ballot Box,  that Logue became a major contractor in the city, building Boston College’s campus as well as churches for the Boston Archdiocese. He was part of a storied tradition of Irish builders and skilled craftsmen in the Boston area. In 1905, Mayor Patrick A. Collins appointed Logue to the Schoolhouse Committee, citing the need for a practical builder, and Mayor John “Honey Fi