History & Related Events

History & Related Archives

Kate Kennedy Remembrance • June 3

Kate Kennedy Remembrance: A tribute to a 19th Century Champion for Women’s Rights and Workers’ Rights.

Sunday, June 3, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM, Cypress Lawn Cemetery

Sponsored by Irish Marvels Past and Present, the United Irish Cultural Center and the United Irish Societies.
More information email Jo Coffey at coffey.jo@gmail.com

Among the host of people who down the ages have gone largely unheralded despite their significant contributions to the advancement of social justice is Kate Kennedy, an Irish 19th century San Francisco school teacher. In 1874 her test case secured the legal precedent in the United States for equal pay for women doing the same work as men. In 1886 she was the first woman in California to run for state-wide public office–State Superintendent of Schools. And in 1890 her test case ended, once for all, the political spoils system in California: no longer could civil service workers–and that included teachers–be fired except for professional “misconduct or incompetency.” read more at FoundSF

Preservation and Discovery

Irish Lit & Hist April Speaker Events 2018

April 15
The ILHS will collaborate with Chinese Consul General Luo Linquan, who was previously posted in Dublin. He will share his experiences from Ireland and San Francisco where he is soon to complete his posting. This event will be co-sponsored with the Chinese Historical Society of America and the Irish-American Crossroads Festival.

All ILHS events are free to members; a $5 donation for guests. Events at the Irish Cultural Center are easily accessible by MUNI and there is ample parking on Sloat Boulevard. For information on any of these ILHS programs, visit www.ilhssf.org.

Irish Oral History Project • Ongoing


Irish-American Crossroads honors life histories in the Irish Oral History Archive of the San Francisco Bay Area, a project featuring generations of Irish immigrants and children of immigrants to the Bay Area.

About the Archive: Irish-American Crossroads is producing a comprehensive archive of the life stories of the Irish in the San Francisco Bay Area, representative of all generations of heritage. Dedicated to capturing the experience and contributions of men and women who emigrated from Ireland and settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, and their Irish-American contemporaries, the archive is an important collection of recordings of life stories and personal histories. Note: The current phase of interviews concentrating on Irish-born immigrants who arrived in the Bay Area up to the 1960s, and Irish Americans whose families emigrated to the Bay Area during earlier times, is wrapping up this year and giving way to the 1980s generation. Stories of those who arrived in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s are now encouraged and welcomed.

Find out more about Irish American Crossroads’ annual festival and the Irish Oral History Archive. If you are interested in participating in this project, please email Hillary Flynn.

Robert Emmet Day Remembrance • Annual Event in September


“Let no man write my epitaph: for as no man who knows my motives dare now vindicate them. Let them and me repose in obscurity and peace, and my tomb remain uninscribed, until other times, and other men, can do justice to my character; when my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then, let my epitaph be written. I have done.”    Excerpt from Robert Emmet’s Speech from the Dock

Each year the United Irish Societies of San Francisco (UIS) lays a wreath at the foot of Robert Emmet’s statue in Golden Gate Park commemorating his struggle for Irish independence and for the civil rights of disenfranchised Irish Catholics. The UIS remembers his heroism with Irish music, dance, and a recitation of his memorable Speech from Dock, which he delivered at his trial on the eve of his execution. The public is invited to attend this moving event.

One of four statues created by Jerome Connor in 1916, the figure of Robert Emmet stands outside the California Academy of Sciences building overlooking the Band Concourse in the Golden Gate Park. Donated to the Park by James D. Phelan, San Francisco mayor and son of Irish immigrants, the statue was unveiled by Eamon De Valera in July of 1919 while he was on a fundraising tour of the United States. Emmet served as an inspiration to the Irish republicans in the years leading up to 1916 uprising.

Robert Emmet Remembrance ~ 1pm @ Band Concourse, Golden Gate Park

Walking the Rising •

Irish-Americans and the 1916 Easter Rising in the Mission District

Learn about Irish-American Crossroads and Elizabeth Creely’s popular Walking the Rising walking tour.

On Sunday, April 24th, 1916, seven Irishmen declared Ireland to be an independent state, free from centuries of British rule. Two Irishmen, Daniel Harnedy and Larry De Lacey brought that struggle to the streets of the Mission district and worked tirelessly to secure Ireland’s freedom from centuries of British rule.

Elizabeth’s walk uncovers the Mission District’s revolutionary past when freedom in Ireland was envisioned in Irish-Americans homes, meeting halls, churches and places of business from Mission street to 24th street. The walking distance is about 2 miles.

Watch this space for future tour dates

Peter O’Driscoll City Guides Tours • Ongoing

tour13_1Corkonian Peter O’Driscoll joined the San Francisco City Guides team several years ago, and conducts Irish Labor History tours of the waterfront as well as leading a tour at Coit Tower where famous murals – some controversial – created by 25 of California’s leading artists of the 1930s reflect scenes of the Great Depression, landscapes, farm workers, industries, a stylish soiree, and vibrant city life. Coit tours are conducted Wednesdays at 11am and future Irish Labor History tour information is available on request via email.

More on City Guides tours.

Bay Area History – Did You Know?

Learn about Filoli’s Irish Connection

See past events of historical interest and cultural preservation…. archives