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Showing posts from September, 2018

Irish-Born US Naval Hero Commodore John Barry, Shipping out of Boston

Commodore John Barry   (March 25, 1745 – September 13, 1803) was a naval hero of the American Revolutionary War.  B orn in  Tacumshane, County Wexford in 1745, Barry emigrated to Philadelphia in 1760.  He joined the American forces at the outbreak of the war, and was the first Catholic appointed to command a vessel by the Continental Congress.  Barry's ship,  Lexington , was the first to capture a British vessel under the American flag. During much of the war, Barry commanded ships out of Boston Harbor, including the  Delaware  and the  Alliance . After the war,  President George Washington  assigned Barry to help create the United States Navy.    Barry settled in Philadelphia  and died there at age 59.  He is buried at St. Mary's Churchyard on S. Fourth Street. In 1949, Boston Mayor  James Michael Curley  spoke at the  Charitable Irish Society  annual dinner on March 17, and  vowed to build a memorial to Barry in 60 days, saying Barry had been ignored for too long. 

Boston's Maurice Tobin, U.S. Secretary of Labor under Harry S. Truman

Maurice Tobin and his wife Helen Photo Courtesy of Harry S. Truman Presidential Library This Labor Day, the Boston Irish Tourism Association pays tribute to Boston native Maurice Tobin (1901-53), who served as mayor of Boston and governor of Massachusetts before being named US Secretary of Labor by President Harry S. Truman. Born in Roxbury's Mission Hill, he was the son of immigrants from Clogheen, Tipperary. Tobin became Massachusetts' youngest state representative at age 25, and in 1937 made a surprise run for mayor against his mentor, James Michael Curley. Tobin defeated Curley in 1937 and again in 1941, serving through 1944. He then won the race for Governor of Massachusetts, and served as Governor from 1944-46. Governor Tobin advocated for the Fair Employment Practices Bill, and helped increase unemployment insurance and benefits for workers. He helped campaign for President Truman, who appointed Tobin as US Secretary of Labor from 1948 to 1953, where he c