Three American Presidents share Irish ancestry; Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, and Obama. In recent years, that fact has made the Republicans uncomfortable, but this year, as St. Patrick's Day approaches, their worst nightmare will bring their propensity for hypocrisy into play: the Republicans hate the Communists and they hate Obama so being forced into a binary choice will deliver an uncomfortable decision: racism or McCarthyism? The fact that some Republicans seem to be endorsing Putin over the American president in the Crimean Crisis speaks for itself.
Would it be ironic if some genealogists offered a theory that St. Reagan and Obama were related?
"It takes too long to retrain them!" is the punch line for an ethnic joke that might "get your Irish up," if you were offended by that sort of attempts at "humor."
Is it true that Adolph Hitler, who was a well known vegetarian, gave himself a dispensation from the usual rules by ordering corn beef and cabbage every year when Saint Patrick's Day was celebrated at Berchtesgaden?
Is it true that one of the founding members of the Black Panthers would astound his posse by producing evidence that he held dual American and Ireland citizenship because he was born as an "Army brat" son of an American Air Force officer serving at a base on the Emerald Isle?
Ernesto Guevara Lynch's son became known to the world as Che Guevara. You don't find many references to that fact when St. Patrick's Day celebrations are being held in the United States.
In the U. S. vs. Mexico war, induced by offers of higher pay than the American army paid and land grants, a group of gringos led by some Irish with military experience, fought on the side of Mexico. They were called Batallón de San Patricio (Saint Patrick's Battalion). Many of those who survived battle were hanged (30 simultaneously) for treason. Some (urban legend?) escaped and became Mexican landowners.
In the WTF file we see that on Monday many of the employees of the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory plan to be wearing green T-shirts with the word "Diego Garcia" printed on them. When asked what they symbolize; they shrug their shoulders and say: "It's a mystery."
John Wayne was a member of John Ford's "repertoire company of film makers" and many of the films featured a recurring group of actors (AKA the usual suspects") but some of his most memorable films featured Maureen O'Hara (who made many films directed by John Ford) as his costar. The best and best known would be "The Quiet Man" from 1951, in which John Wayne sang "Wild Colonial Boy."
[In "Ned Kelly," Mick Jagger sings the same song. Wouldn't it be interesting to hear what a good sound man could do making a mash up of the two versions?]
In "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Irish History and Culture," written by Sonja Massie, readers learn (page 191) that sparks flew when William Butler Yeats met James Joyce, who, upon learning that Yeats was thirty-five years old, said: "I've met you too late" and elaborated the age meant that he (Joyce) wouldn't have any influence on Yeats. Subsequently the fellow summarized Joyce by saying "Never, have I encounter so much pretension with so little to show for it."
What is it like in Ireland? According to a reliable source, "In the summer the rain is warm; in the winter, the rain is cold."
Aren't sailors on the USS O'Brien the only crew in the U. S. Navy that is permitted to wear green baseball caps rather than the regulation Navy blue gear everyone else must use?
For many years, the St. Patrick Day celebration in New York City was very popular with college students because back then the State of New York had a drinking age of 18 and was surrounded by states where it was 21. Talk about "Aye, lad there's the rub." Eventually political pressure was used to convince New York to change it's drinking age laws to 21.
Self-deprecating humor is a hallmark of Irish wit. St. Ronald Reagan told a story about knocking on a farmer's door during the Iowa primary season. The local looked at the former movie actor and sputtered: "You're . . . you're . . . you're." St. Reagan tried to offer a hint: "Do the initials R. R. help?" The fellow turned and yelled into the interior of the house: "Momma, come quick and meet Roy Rogers!"
George Berkeley has been described as being the only philosopher from Ireland. He traveled to the United States. A town "near Harvard" was going to be named after him, but an error by a court clerk changed the spelling of the town to Berkley. A city in California was also named for him. The Californians weren't content to just spell the name correctly' it was also decided to build a better University in the city a few miles East of San Francisco.