Irish-American Heritage Month

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Irish-American Heritage Month
Barack Obama and Enda Kenny in the Oval Office 2012.jpg
President Barack Obama with Taoiseach Enda Kenny wearing shamrock in the Oval Office in March 2012.
Observed by United States
Type National, heritage, cultural, ethnic
Significance Celebration of Irish-Americans contributions
Date Month of March
Duration 1 month
Frequency annual

Irish-American Heritage Month is a special proclamation issued yearly by the United States President or Congress to honor the achievements and contributions of Irish immigrants and their descendants living in the United States. The heritage month is in March to coincide with the Irish national holiday on March 17, Saint Patrick's Day. Heritage Months are usually proclaimed to celebrate centuries of contributions by a group to a country.

Saint Patrick's Day is a religious holiday that honors the saint who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the early fifth century, but the holiday has evolved into a celebration of all things Irish. Boston and New York City both claim the world's first Saint Patrick's Day parade. In New York City, it occurred on 17 March 1762, featuring Irish soldiers serving in the British military protecting the Colonies during the French and Indian War. In 1948, President Harry S. Truman, of Scotch-Irish descent, attended the New York Saint Patrick's Day parade and gave a speech to attendees. This was a proud moment for the many Irish whose ancestors had to fight stereotypes and prejudice to find acceptance in America. The proudest moment for many people of Irish Catholic descent was in 1961 when the first Irish American Catholic President, John F. Kennedy, reviewed the parade.

In tribute to all Irish Americans, the US Congress, by Public Law 101-418, designated March 1991 as "Irish-American Heritage Month"[1] Congress again proclaimed March as Irish-American Heritage Month for 1995 and 1996.[2]

Within the authority of the Executive Branch, the President of the United States has also issued a proclamation each year since 1991.[3][4]

Each year in March, the Irish Taoiseach visits the United States for Saint Patrick's Day. A Shamrock Ceremony takes place in the morning at the White House where a crystal bowl containing shamrock, a traditional symbol of Ireland, is presented to the President in the Oval Office. This is followed by a Friends of Ireland luncheon hosted by the House Speaker in the U.S. Capitol or the Rayburn House Office Building.[5][6] The luncheon is attended by the President, Vice President, the Taoiseach, the Speaker, and other officials.[7] In the evening, a Saint Patrick's Day Reception takes place at the White House.[8]

George H.W. Bush Irish-American Heritage Month Proclamations[edit]

Proclamation 6259 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 1991 March 12, 1991

Proclamation 6408 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 1992 March 4, 1992

William J. Clinton Irish-American Heritage Month Proclamations[edit]

Proclamation 6533 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 1993 March 6, 1993

Proclamation 6656 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 1994 March 8, 1994

Proclamation 6771 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 1995 February 23, 1995

Proclamation 6868 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 1996 March 1, 1996

Proclamation 6974 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 1997 February 27, 1997

Proclamation 7070 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 1998 February 27, 1998

Proclamation 7169 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 1999 March 1, 1999

Proclamation 7279 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 2000 March 1, 2000

George W. Bush Irish-American Heritage Month Proclamations[edit]

Proclamation 7409 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 2001[9]

Proclamation 7526 - Irish-American Heritage Month 2002[10]

Proclamation 7649 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 2003[11]

Proclamation 7760 - Irish-American Month, 2004[12]

Proclamation 7873 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 2005[13]

Proclamation 7983 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 2006[14]

Proclamation 8107 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 2007[15]

Proclamation 8223 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 2008[16]

Barack Obama Irish-American Heritage Month Proclamations[edit]

Proclamation 8350 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 2009[17]

Proclamation 8479 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 2010[18]

Irish-American Heritage Month, 2011[19]

Irish-American Heritage Month, 2012[20]

Irish-American Heritage Month, 2013 (February 28, 2013)[21]

Irish-American Heritage Month, 2014 (February 28, 2014)[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ George Bush: Proclamation 6259 - Irish-American Heritage Month, 1991
  2. ^ H.J. Res. 401/Public Law 103-379 Designating the months of March 1995 and March 1996 as Irish-American Heritage Month
  3. ^ US Census Press Releases
  4. ^ The American Presidency Project
  5. ^ Speaker Boehner Addresses the Annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon Speaker of the House John Boehner, 2012-03-20.
  6. ^ Remarks at a Saint Patrick's Day Luncheon U.S. Government Printing Office, 1999-03-17. "The President spoke at approximately noon in Room H207 of the Rayburn House Office Building."
  7. ^ Remarks by the President at Friends of Ireland Luncheon -- U.S. Capitol The White House, 2012-03-20.
  8. ^ Remarks by President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Prime Minister Kenny of Ireland at St. Patrick's Day Reception The White House, 2012-03-21.
  9. ^ White House Press Release: Irish-American Heritage Month, Feb 26, 2001
  10. ^ White House Press Release: Irish-American Heritage Month, Mar 4, 2002
  11. ^ White House Press Release: Irish-American Heritage Month, Feb 28, 2003
  12. ^ White House Press Release: Irish-American Heritage Month, Mar 6, 2004
  13. ^ White House Press Release: Irish-American Heritage Month, Mar 4, 2005
  14. ^ White House Press Release: Irish-American Heritage Month, Feb 24, 2007
  15. ^ White House Press Release: Irish-American Heritage Month, Feb 26, 2007
  16. ^ White House Press Release: Irish-American Heritage Month, Feb 29, 2008
  17. ^ White House Press Release: Irish-American Heritage Month, March 2, 2009
  18. ^ White House Press Release: Irish-American Heritage Month, March 1, 2010
  19. ^ White House Press Release: Irish-American Heritage Month, March 1, 2011
  20. ^ White House Press Release: Irish-American Heritage Month, March 1, 2012
  21. ^ [1]
  22. ^ [2]