Just for fun — we’ve got a lineup of St. Patrick’s Day-themed primary sources to bring a little shamrock spirit into your classroom this March 17th.
The Original Federal Order
On 3/16/1780 George Washington’s General Order granted Saint Patrick’s Day as a holiday to the troops.
3/17/1918 – On Saint Patrick’s Day, cartoonist Clifford Berryman showed a determined Uncle Sam rolling up his sleeves and preparing to use a large club to deal with the many German propagandist snakes slithering in the grass around him. Teddy bear is by his side wielding a smaller stick. Throughout World War I the U.S. Government was forced to divert substantial resources to counter skilled German propaganda aimed at weakening the resolve of the American people to continue the war effort. Berryman used the Saint Patrick’s Day theme of driving the snakes out of Ireland as a model for driving out the German propagandists.
3/17/1922 – Cartoonist Clifford Berryman’s familiar character Mr. DC is in great need of St. Patrick. Evil snakes representing major problems with Prohibition frighten him. Poison liquor and bootlegging were a direct result of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which prohibited the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors. In celebration of the famed St. Patrick who allegedly drove the snakes from Ireland, Mr. DC could use some of St. Patrick’s secrets to rid the District of Columbia of its problems.
3/17/1924 – On St. Patrick’s Day, Cartoonist Clifford Berryman highlighted the main issue of the day – congressional investigations of scandal and bribery in both the executive and legislative branches over oil leases and other issues. He showed a man representing Congress being squeezed by “investigation” serpents, preventing other legislative activities from moving forward.
- 3/17/1919 – Crowds and St. Patrick’s parade on Fifth Avenue. Irish population of New York turned out the greet Sons of Erin in their annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.
- 3/19/2006 – Citizens cheer U.S. Navy Sailors stationed on the Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser, USS Philippine Sea, as they march in Boston’s 105th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.
- 3/15/2008 – Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade along Constitution Avenue, Washington D.C., where Secretary [of Interior] Dirk Kepthorne participated in the U.S. Park Police motorcycle procession.
- 3/3/2013 –The streets of Belmar [NJ] were crowded with people coming to participate in the 40th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the first after Hurricane Sandy’s devastation to the borough last October.
- 3/9/2013 – Revelers jammed a local restaurant’s parking lot where food and drink were served to those watching the Ocean County St. Patrick’s Day parade in Seaside Heights [NJ].
Food in the Military
- 3/17/1921 – Program from the 1921 Battery D Reunion Banquet
- 3/17/2004 – U.S. Army and Multinational Division soldiers enjoy a St. Patrick’s Day dinner at Camp Babylon, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Presidents and their families
- President Franklin Roosevelt, 1941: Personal file, Ireland
- President Truman
- President Kennedy, 3/17/1964 – Address by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Lackawanna County, Scranton, Pennsylvania.
- President Johnson, 3/17/1965 – Traditional St. Patrick’s Day visit
- President Nixon
- 3/17/1973 – President Nixon meeting with Irish Ambassador Warnock
- 3/16/1974 – Pat Nixon Celebrating Her St. Patrick’s Day Birthday on Air Force One
- Mrs. Nixon’s Press Office Files
- President Ford
- 3/17/1975 – President Gerald R. Ford’s Daily Diary, March 17, 1975 (Shamrocks)
- 3/17/1975 – Talking points, motorcade stop in South Bend, Indiana
- 3/17/1976 – Memorandum of conversation: Ford, Kissinger, Irish Prime Minister Liam Cosgrove, Foreign Minister Garret Fitzgerald
- 3/17/1976 – Remarks upon Proposing a Toast to Prime Minister Cosgrave of Ireland at a State Dinner in Commemoration of St. Patrick’s Day
- President Carter, 3/17/1980 – Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter at the St. Patrick’s Day Party
- President Reagan, 3/17/1988 – President Reagan walking back to the Oval Office after a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon at the United States Capitol
- President George H.W. Bush, 3/17/1992 – President and Mrs. Bush participate in the presentation of shamrocks in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.