Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2014

New Moving Picture Called "Ireland a Nation" Opens to Enthusiastic Crowds in Boston on October 19, 1914

Barry O'Brien as Robert Emmet   Ireland a Nation , described in The Boston Globe as  "The stirring story of Ireland's fight for freedom as a Nation since 1800" and told "in graphic motion pictures from the Old Land," made its debut at Boston's National Theatre on October 19, 1914. The black & white, silent film came in five reels, and starred Irish actor Barry O'Brien as Robert Emmet, along with other Irish actors and actresses of the day.   The film was written, directed and produced by WalterMacNamara , and issued in the USA on September 22, 1914.    Here is a full synopsis of Ireland a Nation on Trinity College's Irish Film and TV Research Online project.  "Large audiences, in which were included many prominent Irish-Americans of the city, enthusiastically greeted the pictures," the   Globe wrote.   Prior to the filming, the Emerald Quartet provided live music, and "moving pictures of Cardinal O'C

Chicago Uilleann Piper Charles Mack Performed "Come Back to Erin" at B.F. Keith's Theatre

The week of October 12, 1914 Chicago-born uilleann piper Charles Mack played at B.F. Keith’s Vaudeville Theatre in Boston with his musical revue, “Come Back to Erin. ”  He was joined by his co-star and wife Etta Bastedo, who was from Worcester , Massachusetts . Reviewing the show, The Boston Globe wrote that Etta “won favor in Celtic songs,” while Charles “contributed pleasing selections on a kind of bagpipe.” In an earlier 1912 review, the Globe said that Mack and company “give a fresh and wholesome sketch that combines pathos and Celtic humor most appealingly.” Mack was the son of Michael Charles McNurney, who emigrated from Ireland to Chicago in 1850.  McNurney and Sargeant James Early were pupils of uilleann piper James Quinn in Chicago .  Musicologist  Francis O’Neill, in his book Irish Minstrels and Musicians , described McNurney as “a wealthy horseshoer and alderman, who was himself an enthusiastic dilettante on the pipes.” McNurney's son Char

The Boston Celtics - Green Uniforms, Shamrocks and Lucky the Leprechaun

Many people wonder why the  Boston Celtics  wear shamrocks on their green uniforms and have a giant leprechaun smoking a pipe as their team logo. And why the team mascot is a guy named Lucky who looks like he stepped out of a box of Lucky Charms? According to the Boston Celtic’s official web site, the name came about in 1946 when owner Walter Brown started the team. He and his public relations guy, Howie McHugh, were throwing out potential nicknames, including the Whirlwinds, Unicorns and Olympics. It was Brown who had the epiphany, saying, “Wait, I’ve got it – the Celtics. The name has a great basketball tradition from the old Original Celtics in New York (1920s). And Boston is full of Irishman. We’ll put them in green uniforms and call them the Boston Celtics.” Red Auerbach , the now legendary coach of the early Celtics, then commissioned his brother Zang, a graphic designer in the newspaper business, to come up with the famous Celtics logo in the early 1950s. The logo ma

First Aer Lingus Flight from Boston to Ireland Took Place on October 5, 1958

Ireland's airlines, Aer Lingus , launched its Boston to Shannon air service on Sunday, October 5, 1958, ushering in a new era of travel between New England and Ireland. A 2003 story in the Boston Business Journal by Michael Quinlin reports the following: "The inaugural flight that bright fall day was an Irish affair start to finish.  "Business leaders, journalists and travel agents with Irish names tagged along, prompting journalist Brendan Malin to peg Boston as "the American Dublin." Even Logan International Airport was named for Irish-American Edward J. Logan, a judge and general from South Boston whose father, Lawrence, had come from County Galway. "Aer Lingus' entry into the Boston market carried a symbolic significance. TWA and Pan Am were already flying the Boston-Ireland route, but the arrival of Ireland's national airlines captured the imagination of the city's large Irish-American population, which accounted for nearly a

Irish AOH Commemorate the Brig St. John Calamity in Cohasset on October 5

A tragedy off the coast of Massachusetts that occurred 165 years ago this month is being remembered on  Sunday, October 5, 2014, by the  Ancient Order of Hibernians, Plymouth Div. 9 , The event commemorates the Brig  St. John , which  sank off the coast of Cohasset on October 6, 1849, while transporting 104 passengers and sixteen sailors from Galway to Boston.  The brig  encountered a nor'easter that pushed the boat south, forcing it to try to anchor near Minot Light.  Sunday's event begins at 1:00 p.m. with a Mass at  St. Anthony’s Church , 129 South Main Street in Cohasset.   Irish singer  Máirín  ÚiChéide is the soloist, and the  Boston Police Gaelic Column are performing prior to  the Mass and at the wreath laying ceremony  After the mass and reception in the church hall, participants will walk over to the  Cohasset Central Cemetery  for a brief wreath-laying ceremony at the foot of the large Celtic Cross.  The 20 foot Cross was erected in the cemetery 100 y