Since 1991, United States presidents have proclaimed March Irish-American Heritage Month in honor of the contributions made by Irish immigrants and their descendants to the growth and development of the United States. The heritage month conveniently coincides with St. Patrick's Day, the Irish national holiday.
To celebrate Irish-American Heritage Month and to learn more about this important immigrant group, consider exploring over 300 years of Irish-American history in Boston by walking the Boston Irish Heritage Trail. The Boston Public Library is one of the 20 stops on the 3-mile route with collections and statues of Irish interest, including a bust of Boston's first Irish mayor, Hugh O'Brien. Or consider checking out a title from the Boston Pubic Library's recommended reading list on the Boston Irish, listed below.
Booklist: The Boston Irish in Fact, Fiction & Film
The Irish presence in Boston dates back to the 18th century. As one of Boston's most prominent immigrant groups, they have contributed significantly to the political, social, cultural, and economic life of the city. Use this guide to explore their unique history.
Boston historian O'Connor explains how the Irish came to dominate local politics, tracing the growth of the city's Irish political machine from the time of Hugh O'Brien, the first Irish-born mayor of Boston, to more recent leaders such as Raymond Flynn.
Michael Patrick MacDonald's compelling memoir of growing up in Southie's Old Colony housing project in the 1970's and 80's.
An award-winning account of school integration in Boston from the vantage points of three families, one black and two white.
From the 1940s to the mid-1960s the huge dance halls that dotted Boston's Dudley Square were vital centers of social and cultural life for both Irish Americans and recent Irish immigrants.
The life and times of James Michael Curley, one of Boston's most colorful mayors. He was immensely popular with working-class Irish Americans and served four terms in office.