Oddity of the Week: God Bless Ireland

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Happy St Patrick's Day!

St Patrick's Day in America, 1872

A mother pinning a four-leaf clover on her son's suit.

This picture was printed in Philadelphia in 1872, and made by a man named John Reid. The caption says, 'Commemorative of Ir[e]land's [sic] unswerving fidelity to her ancient religion and the devotion of her exiled children to the sacred principles of her freedom and redemption as a nation.' A lovely sentiment for a sentimental time.

This picture shows us four things:

  1. Celebrating St Patrick's Day in the US in 1872 wasn't about green beer.
  2. There were a lot of Irish people in the US, so St Pat's was a big holiday, even then.
  3. Women in 1872 had good reason to hate the fashion industry.
  4. Little boys probably did, too.

Wherever around the world you celebrate St Patrick's Day, and however you choose to do it, whether you lift a pint (or twenty) or go to church, start an argument or sing a song, we wish you the best.

Erin go bragh!

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Dmitri Gheorgheni

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