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Showing posts from January, 2018

January 5, 1885, Hugh O'Brien becomes first Irish-born Mayor of Boston

On Monday, January 5, 1885,  Hugh O'Brien  was sworn-in as the city of Boston's first Irish-born Mayor, launching an era of Irish-American dominance of  Boston City Hall  that continued through the 20th century. O'Brien was born in Ireland on July 13, 1827, and emigrated with his family to Boston in 1832 when he was five years old.  He was educated in a public school in the Fort Hill neighborhood, and when he was 12 he joined the  Boston Courier  newspaper as an apprentice.  By the age of 15 he had become foreman of a printing office, before starting his own publication, the  Shipping and Commercial List .  He had a successful career as a businessman and gained the respect of city leaders as well as the Irish immigrant community that struggled to gain a foothold in Boston.  O'Brien launched his political career in 1875 on the Board of Alderman, and in 1884 ran against and defeated incumbent Boston Mayor Augustus Martin.  At that time, the term of office was one year