Episode 23:St. Valentine’s Day, President’s Day
iIrish: Songs, Stories & Shenanigans, Podcast23: St. Valentine’s Day, President’s Day
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Hello Everyone! Welcome back to iIrish; Songs, Stories & Shenanigans. Happy Valentine’s Day (Sunday) and President’s Day (Monday). Now wouldn’t that be ironic, for the Impeachment trial were to wrap up on President’s Day? We have a great show for you today, including talking about those two U.S. holidays, and their deep Irish connections.
Just for a minute, we’re going to move From the Present to acknowledge the Past, and then roll forward:
So, Let’s take a look at On This Day in Irish History:
12 February 1989 - In one of the most controversial incidents of the recent “Troubles,” the Catholic solicitor, Pat Finucane, was murdered by gunmen in his own house in north Belfast.
13 February 1820 – the death of Leonard McNally, defense barrister, composer and one of the first members of the United Irishman. On his death, it was discovered that he had been accepting government money to betray the United Irishmen while acting as their barrister.
18 February 1979 - Leo Varadkar, current Tanaiste (TAW-nuhsh-tyuh), and former Taoiseach, was born in Dublin.
19 February 1624 - Death of Sir Arthur Chichester, chief instigator of the Plantation of Ulster.
19 February 1919 - A local IRA unit, led by Seamus Robinson, Dan Breen and Sean Traecy, ambushed and killed RI Constables MacDonnell and O’Connell at Soloheadlbeg, Co. Tipperary, marking the beginning of the Anglo-Irish War.
Moving to the present: What’s the News, What’s the News? What’s the news today?
Rugby score : Wales 21 Ireland 16
St. Valentines Day The holiday has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, which is held in mid-February. The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day. It came to be celebrated as a day of romance from about the 14th century.
Although there were several Christian martyrs named Valentine, the day may have taken its name from a priest who was martyred about 270 CE by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus. According to legend, the priest signed a letter “from your Valentine” to his jailer’s daughter, whom he had befriended and, by some accounts, healed from blindness. Other accounts hold that it was St. Valentine of Terni, a bishop, for whom the holiday was named, though it is possible the two saints were actually one person. Another common legend states that St. Valentine defied the emperor’s orders that soldiers could not marry; he believed it made them fiercer.
St. Valentine didn’t agree, and secretly married couples. It is for this reason that his feast day is associated with love. Formal messages, or valentines, appeared in the 1500s, and by the late 1700s, commercially printed cards were being used. The first commercial valentines in the United States were printed in the mid-1800s. Valentines commonly depict Cupid, the Roman god of love, along with hearts, traditionally the seat of emotion. Because it was thought that the avian mating season begins in mid-February, birds also became a symbol of the day. Traditional gifts include candy and flowers, particularly red roses, which is a symbol of beauty and love.
People call on St. Valentine to watch over the lives of lovers, of course, but also for interventions regarding beekeeping and epilepsy, as well as the plague, fainting and traveling. He’s also the patron saint of engaged couples and happy marriages.
The flower-adorned skull of St. Valentine is on display in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. In the early 1800s, the excavation of a catacomb near Rome yielded skeletal remains and other relics now associated with St. Valentine. As is customary, these bits and pieces of the late saint’s body have subsequently been distributed to reliquaries around the world. You will find other bits of St. Valentine’s skeleton on display in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland, England and France.
No record exists of romantic celebrations on Valentine’s Day prior to a poem Chaucer wrote around 1375. In his work “Parliament of Foules,” he links a tradition of courtly love with the celebration of St. Valentine’s feast day–an association that didn’t exist until after his poem received widespread attention. The poem refers to February 14 as the day birds (and humans) come together to find a mate. When Chaucer wrote, “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate”
Did you know that there are 23 American Presidents of Irish Descent? Joe Biden is just the most recent. That’s 23 out of 46 Presidents are of Irish descent! Grover Cleveland served 2 separate terms, spaced by 4 years. Presidents' Day is a federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February; That is this coming Monday. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, the holiday became popularly known as Presidents' Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. While several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other figures, Presidents' Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents, past and present.
The story of Presidents' Day date begins in 1800. Following the death of George Washington in 1799, his February 22 birthday became a perennial day of remembrance. At the time, Washington was venerated as the most important figure in American history, and events like the 1832 centennial of his birth and the start of construction of the Washington Monument in 1848 were cause for national celebration While Washington’s Birthday was an unofficial observance for most of the 1800s, it was not until the late 1870s that it became a federal holiday. Senator Stephen Wallace Dorsey of Arkansas was the first to propose the measure, and in 1879 President Rutherford B. Hayes signed it into law The holiday initially only applied to the District of Columbia, but in 1885 it was expanded to the whole country. At the time, Washington’s Birthday joined four other nationally recognized federal bank holidays—Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving—and was the first to celebrate the life of an individual American. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, signed into law in 1983, was the second. For the record, here they are: Andrew Jackson 7th President 1829–37:
James Knox Polk 11th President, 1845–49:
James Buchanan 15th President, 1857–61
Andrew Johnson 17th President, 1865–69
Ulysses S. Grant 18th President, 1869–77
Chester A. Arthur 21st President, 1881–85
Grover Cleveland 22nd and 24th President, 1885–89 and 1893–97
Benjamin Harrison 23rd President, 1889–93
William McKinley 25th President, 1897–1901
Theodore Roosevelt 26th President, 1901–09
William Howard Taft 27th President 1909–13
Woodrow Wilson 28th President, 1913–21
Warren G. Harding 29th President 1921–23
Harry S. Truman 33rd President 1945–53
John F. Kennedy 35th President 1961–63
Richard Nixon 37th President, 1969–74
Jimmy Carter 39th President 1977–1981
Ronald Reagan 40th President 1981–89
George H. W. Bush 41st President 1989–93
Bill Clinton 42nd President 1993–2001
George W. Bush 43rd President 2001–09
Barack Obama 44th President 2009–2016 Joseph R. Biden 46th President
Our February issue, tho COVID reduced, is still full of info, columns, entertainment and things to do. You will find so much - including a great column by Bob Carney on the Festival of Imbolg, with discussion on the origins of Keening, the first community of nuns in Ireland, St. Brigid of Kildare, and the origins of the Brigid’s Cross; The White House; Magical Confections; Pandemonium in Ireland; Speak Irish monthly lesson The Father of Irish Monasticism St Edna of Aran; Safe Home wishes;; and Celebrating 75 years of the LAOH. Plus, there is humor, opinion, Kid’s Craic and Coloring contest, profiles and history, food recipes, book and music reviews and monthly Irish Crossword Puzzle. February’s puzzle subject is Towns in Clare, Limerick and Kerry. The crosswords are a great way to learn or refresh your Irish knowledge, history and folklore, and all past issues, with the crossword inside, are available on OhioIANews.com.
A few other highlights in this issue: we have our Irish Photography Cover Contest; Kids Coloring Contest; and our podcast Listener Contest, News for the GAA; a few Opinion pieces and the Irish movers, shakers and music makers that enrich our days.
Speaking of the New Kid’s Craic Colors of Ireland Contest, here is the info:
2 Age Divisions: Ages 7, 8, 9 Ages 10, 11 & 12
Each Age Group winner receives a Gift Card to Kamm’s Corner Ice Cream, or the OhioIANews Advertiser of their choice!
Official Rules and Regs are:
· One entry per child
· One winner in each age group
· Participant must color page without assistance
· Participant may use crayons, markers, or paint
· Use your imagination! The coloring page is printable from: www.OhioIANews.com as well.
Previous winners will be featured in the March Issue
Entry and entry info (Name, age, city and Parents Name and Phone Number) may be dropped off to PJ McIntyre’s or the OhioIANews, or scanned and emailed to email@example.com by the end of the month.
Finally, the new book is out; sales, reviews and reactions have been so much fun to read, and to interact with readers.
Celebrating St. Patrick's DayHistory, Traditions, and ActivitiesA Holiday Book for Kidsby John O'Brien, Jr.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with this fun introduction for kids ages 6 to 9
St. Patrick’s Day is about more than just shamrocks and leprechauns! This engaging nonfiction book for kids explains the history, traditions, and customs of St. Patrick’s Day―and includes interactive activities that encourage kids to celebrate at home or in their communities.
This standout among Saint Patrick’s Day books for kids includes:
Celebratory traditions, A variety of activities, Fun facts, illustrations and more
From games like Parade Bingo and a Green Scavenger Hunt to recipes and things to do - kids can explore hands-on ways to get festive.
When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day books for kids, this is the one that will get your child excited to learn and celebrate. We are having great fun with it, receiving pics of parent, grandparents, babysitters, and siblings reading the book to a younger one. They will be part of a giant collage we are creating, to celebrate the holiday a little differently in a much different year.
Order yours: https://amzn.to/2KycmAX or look for Celebrating St. Patrick's Day
By John O'Brien, Jr on Amazon.
And Now we have reached the Ask me Anything Segment of our Show. Questions we’ve received via email, FB & Twitter … We have gotten great reactions to this quarters question so far. It ends at the end of the month, so jump in while you can. So, who and/or what is the quintessential Irish man or woman? What do they look like, act like? What makes them the sexiest man or woman alive, a hero, and/or a human we admire? Send us your answers to jobrien@OhioIANews.com – best answer wins a gift card to the OhioIANews advertiser of your choice.
Did you read something in an issue, and want to read it again, or want to keep in the loop on things that came in after we went to print? All of our issues are archived online and are interactive – so if you click on an ad, you go directly to the advertiser’s website (the plate goes out, but it always comes back).
PLEASE Support them, tell them you saw their ad in the OhioIANews, and buy a gift, a gift card or merch, to get them thru this new COVID19 wave. We need them long after this season has passed. No Regrets. Anticipation for the return of live music is palpable. I’m heading from here to listen to Opus 216, the phenomenal Cleveland based jazz group… We always have so many milestones to celebrate: We all have the fierce desperate thirst for conversation with friends. I miss mine so dearly. I enjoy talking with them on the phone, and Zoom has made it even better – replacing Facetime, but, the hugs and connections are much less. There has never been a time where I have wanted to dance more, to hug friends and have a pint over great music and past memories more, and, to simply let loose and forget the troubles. The last part isn’t available yet, the others are under construction, or containment. Books, Music, the arts, can transport you, let you visit lands you have never been to, or illuminate stories. Yet, today’s issues still are a call to action. So many heroes are taking steps, living a life of action.
Well mah peeps, we are also videotaping this podcast, as we always do, so you can check out this, and all our videos and podcasts online as well. We will add it to our libraries and YouTube channel. All podcasts past and present can be downloaded from iTunes, WHKRadio/local Podcasts and OhioIANews.com. Subscribe and listen to them whenever you wish. They shall live, in infamy!
If you are like me, and like to hold what you read, the complete list of all 367 distribution points, organized by Zip Code, is on the OhioIANews website. We have added over 100 new distribution points since we returned to print, post COVID, in September.
We have contracted for 85 more distribution points in Marc’s, Giant Eagle, CVS and Drug Mart, when the time to expand is safe. We are in 6 states, and before we are done, we will be in 8 more. Yes, that does equal 14, one for every year we have been in print.
Every month I beg and beg our readers and organizations from throughout Ohio and the surrounding states to send us their events. Rarely do they. I won’t give up. The invitation stands; send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no charge to have them listed in the OhioIANews.
The Columbus area is growing, inch by inch and row by row, with the addition of Columbus Irish Columnist Molly Truex, and her Columbus Irish column, and new advertisers from the area have jumped onboard the OhioIANewsExpress, but we want to feature all of Ohio, and the surrounding states too. Let us know what’s the craic in vibrant Irish America, so we can share it with our audiences.
Do you want a story told? Do you need a speaker? Our Irish Opportunity Corridor runs from The Northcoast, to The Southcoast, Cleveland to Clearwater. Contact us with your story, event or speaker needs and we’ll be of service.
If you know of a writer who lives in the Greater Cincinnati, Pittsburgh or Detroit area, please send them on to us to chat with; for those areas are our next expansion targets.
What new name would YOU choose for the OhioIANews, when we expand, to cover Cleveland to Clearwater? Irish Cleveland to Irish Clearwater ICtoIC.
We release a new podcast every 2nd Friday at 5 pm, alternating weeks with our two times a month eBulletin that goes out to over 12,000 opted-in subscribers, every 2nd Monday at 3:10 p.m.
I hope you will subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or whatever podcast platform you love, and sign up for the eBulletin too, on either our web or Facebook page.
There are many more songs and stories; I hope we will write new ones - of joy, of unification. Here, and across the pond. We are closer to a One Ireland than we have been in more than 800 years. Let’s do the same for America.
We’ll save those songs and stories for next time, when we release Podcast24 on Friday February 26th.
Who else would you like to see and hear and guest on this iIrish Songs, Stories & Shenanigans Podcast?
Be sure to send in your questions, comments and ideas for our Ask Me Anything Segment; we’ll read them here next time; with the best answers we can provide! email@example.com.
If you are interested in investing or advertising on this podcast, the eBulletin, in the print edition, website or Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, contact me, John O’Brien, Jr, seek us online or give us a call.
Whelp, We’ve done what we can for this week.Tomorrow is another day, and another chance to write the future, we want to live in.
As always, I end with a bit of the Irish:Nuair a stadann an ceol, stadann an rince(When the music stops, so does the dance)Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside of us.Don’t let it happen to you.Grace us with your music. Now More than ever, wider audiences need to dance to all the beauty around us.
Thank you listening, and for allowing me to share my stories with you. Please share yours with me. We want to hear from you on any topic.
Stay safe and sane. Happy Valentines Day; Happy Presidents Day. I hope to see you soon.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.