The Irish in America


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Day Eleven of Irish American Favorites: Maureen Teahan Murray

Maureen in 1953

Maureen in 1953

Shortly before Thanksgiving last year, Mary contacted me through the blog. She wrote that her mother, Maureen, had a short Christmas story about her childhood in Milltown, County Kerry she wanted to share. I told Mary to send it along, and I would take a look. Click here to read Maureen’s first contribution to the blog, An Orange for Baby Jesus.

I immediately fell in love with Maureen’s writing and wanted to learn more about the woman behind the story. Mary filled me, telling me how Maureen and her sister Joan arrived in New York City on November 26, 1947, just in time for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I wrote about Maureen, Joan, and the parade here.

Maureen’s stories just keep getting better. She has a gift for framing her memories perfectly and telling us more than we may realize at first. I am a huge fan of the short story, and Maureen’s memoir essays are beautifully written and perfectly constructed. Catch up on Maureen’s Memories – here’s a list of her stories we have featured so far:

I am honored Maureen choses to share her memories through my blog. I think we make a good team – I explore the experiences of the Irish in America, Maureen recalls memories of Ireland with the perspective of an Irish American gained through over sixty-five years and three thousand miles.

In the coming weeks, I plan to introduce a series of posts which will trace Maureen’s immigration journey and life in America.  In the meantime, a huge “thank you” to Maureen and her daughter, Mary. They make The Irish in America a better place! I can’t wait for Maureen’s next story…


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Well now, of course they did!

When I read the headline, How the Irish Saved Thanksgiving, on IrishCentral.com, I was curious, but not surprised.  After all, what aspect of American culture and society has not been influenced, and quite often saved, by Irish immigrants and their descendants?

Everyone knows that the Kennedy clan changed the face of American politics, and it is impossible to imagine American business and industry without Henry Ford, but did you know that the co-founder of Southwest Airlines, Herb Kelleher, is of Irish descent?  Or Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza, claims a couple of Irish grandparents?  Perhaps they did not “save” the airline industry and home pizza delivery, but these two Irish Americans have had tremendous influence on how business is done in America.

While the story on IrishCentral.com was entertaining, I am not certain I agree with the premise that the Irish saved Thanksgiving.  The contributions of Irish immigrants have definitely made America a better place.  And not just for inexpensive, home-delivered pizzas…

Happy Thanksgiving!