How St. Patrick's Day Works

Famous Irish Americans

President Kennedy is just one of many famous Irish Americans­.
President Kennedy is just one of many famous Irish Americans­.

­Along with other immigrants, the Irish have been coming to America for centuries. Rich and poor, Protestant and Roman Catholic, fortune seekers and refugees, they have all sought a new beginning here and many of them have gone on to strengthen the structure of our country, including:

  • John and Ethel Barrymore: Distinguished stage and screen performers
  • Charles Carroll: Named Maryland's attorney general in 1688; grandson signed the Declaration of Independence
  • Henry Ford: Established Ford Motor Company
  • Judy Garland: Entertainer and singer, Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz"
  • Patrick J. Hurley: Secretary of War under President Hoover
  • John F. Kennedy: First Irish-American Catholic to be elected U.S. President
  • Archibald Mellon: Patriarch of Mellon family, prominent in industry, finance, education and art patronage
  • Augustus Saint Gaudens: 19th-century sculptor

For more on famous Irish Americans, visit the American Irish Historical Society or The Irish Voice newspaper.

Now that you know all about Saint Patrick, the day named in his honor, and the legends associated with the celebration, go out and enjoy St. Patrick's Day -- and don't forget to wear your green!

For more information on St. Patrick's Day and related topics, check out the links below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

More Great Links