Sat 3/17 @ 10AM-5:30PM
When they began emigrating to the U.S. in large numbers following the Potato Famine of the late 1840s, the Irish were reviled by those who preceded them — much as every immigrant group has been through to the present day. Job postings specified “No Irish need apply.”
Now, of course, with something like 10% of the U.S. population having Irish ancestry and an Irish name being an asset on the ballot, St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of all things Irish by people who are not remotely Irish but see it as a chance to sport weird green headpieces and down Guinness.
Anyone wanting to see a more serious side of the Irish in America should stop by Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Public Square, which will be open from 10am-5:30pm on St. Patrick’s Day (go early or late to avoid the parade!)
There a temporary exhibit, on view through the end of March, looks at the Irish who served in the Civil War, with 150,000 on the Union side, and another 40,000 fighting for the Confederacy. And of the 140 Irishmen who received the Army or Navy Medal of Honor from the Union, Monument staff has identified seven as being from Ohio. Stop in and learn more about these men who picked up a gun to defend their new homeland — or rebel against it.
Admission is free.