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Showing posts from October, 2022

On October 28, 1726, Dublin Writer Jonathan Swift Published His Classic Satire, Gulliver's Travels

On October 28, 1726, Dublin Writer Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) published his classic satire novel  Gulliver's Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World .  Dean Swift was a leading clergyman, satirist, essayist and political commentator of the 18th century, and Gulliver’s Travels was his best known work. The famous book, which Swift later said he wrote "to vex the world," not entertain it, traces the fictional steps of Dr. Lemuel Gulliver, a ship surgeon who ends up in different worlds, including a Land of Lilliputians and a Land of Giants.  There is an interesting connection of the book to Milton, Massachusetts, according to a book published in 1889 called The Story of the Irish in Boston by J. B. Cullen.  According to Cullen:  "Anthony Gulliver was born in Ireland in 1619, and died in Milton in 1706,"  spawning a "large number of able and influential men and women who have been prominent in the history of church and town affairs in Milton for nearly

In October 1832, Blind Irish Harpist Matthew Wall Settles in Boston as Performer + Teacher

  Advertisement in the Boston Post, October 23, 1832   Matthew Wall, a blind harpist from Ireland who emigrated to Canada around 1830 before eventually making his way to Boston in 1832, is o ne of the first Irish musicians cited in public records to perform and teach Irish music in Boston. The Boston Evening Transcript ran a notice on, October 6, 1832 and October 12, 1832, announcing that Wall would be performing at the  State Museum, corner of Court and Howard Streets  in Downtown Boston near Scollay Square.  Wall was described as "a celebrated performer upon the Irish Harp. As this is the first instrument of its kind ever in this country, the lovers of Music will do well to avail themselves of this opportunity to witness the sweetness of its tones...This was the instrument used by the bards of olden times, and is well calculated to touch and arouse the feelings."  On October 23, 1832, the Boston Post printed an advertisement from Wall, in which he  "tenders his servi

On October 16, 1998, Ireland's President Mary McAleese Visited Boston's Irish Famine Memorial

Photo: President McAleese and Tom Flatley Receive flowers from School Childre n at Famine Memorial Ireland's President Mary McAleese visited Boston's Irish Famine Memorial on Friday, October 16, 1998, joining the memorial's Chairman  Thomas J. Flatley , local public officials and leaders from Boston's Irish-American community. A children's choir from St. Mary of the Hills grade school in Milton serenaded the attendees.  The president's visit to the memorial park was part of a 12-day visit to the United States and Canada. While in Boston, McAleese visited the staff and patrons of the Irish Pastoral Centre of Boston and the Irish Immigration Center.  She visited the Connolly House at Boston College, the new home of the college's Irish Studies program.  She  spoke at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The day she spoke at the Memorial, McAleese shared with the 200 people gathered that the Nobel Peace Prize Award had just been given to John

Siamsa, Ireland's National Folk Theatre, Performs at Boston's Shubert Theatre, October 4-9, 1976

Siamsa , an Irish cultural group from County Kerry, performed at Boston's Shubert Theatre for eight shows on October 4-9, 1976. Also known as Ireland's National Folk Theatre, Siamsa was comprised of 28 cast members, ranging in age from 11 to 68, who performed a variety of Irish dances, including a dance with milk pails.  The group also sang a variety of seasonal songs, work songs and love songs, all in Gaelic.  The show focused on the rural aspects of Irish life. Founder Fr. Pat Ahern described the show as "a very entertaining evening of songs and dances while also preserving the traditions, folklore and heritage of the people of Ireland."  The show was well received, according to the Eire Society Bulletin, which quoted glowing reviews in the Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, Boston Herald American, Quincy Patriot Ledger and The Boston Pilot .  Father Pat Ahern Globe theater reporter Kevin Kelly called the show "an absolute don't nee

John 'Honey Fitz' Fitzgerald, Grandfather of John F. Kennedy, Dies in Boston on October 2, 1950

    John ‘Honey Fitz’ Fitzgerald, mayor of Boston and grandfather of President John F. Kennedy, died on October 2, 1950 at the Hotel Bellevue in Boston after a long illness. At his bedside were his wife Josephine, two sons, John and Thomas, and their wives, along with his nurse. His daughter Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy was in Paris and was notified, according to the Boston Globe. Fitzgerald was an audacious, colorful politician whose melodious singing voice earned him the nickname Honey Fitz. Born in Boston's North End on February 11, 1863, he was the son of Irish immigrant Thomas Fitzgerald of Limerick and Mary Josephine Hannon of Acton, MA. His daughter, Rose Fitzgerald , married Joseph P. Kennedy from East Boston, spawning the Kennedy political dynasty that dominated Boston for most of the 20th century. Fitzgerald's political career happened quickly. He worked his way up from the Boston Common Council in 1892 to state senate in 1893. In the congressional primary held in Septe