History & Related Events

History & Related Archives

Robert Emmet Day Remembrance • Sep 17

Emmet

“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


Eugene O’Neill Festival, Danville • September 2017

The 18th Annual Eugene O’Neill Festival takes place in Danville, CA, from September 1-30, and celebrates the Nobel-winning writer with events around town, and at the National Historic Site of Tao House – where O’Neill wrote his most celebrated plays.

This year celebrates the great tradition of Irish storytelling with powerful and playful productions of Eugene O’Neill’s A Touch of the Poet and John Millington Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World.

On September 7, the grand tradition of Irish story-telling and music will be proven in “Ballads and Blarney: An Evening of Traditional Irish Music and Song.” The evening features the UICC’s storyteller Donagh McKeown, and singer Erin Ruth Thompson with Cormac Gannon (on guitar and uileann pipes), Kenny Somerville (banjo and mandolin), and John Caulfield (fiddle and mandolin).

Other events include a historic tour, hikes, and an evening of Irish storytelling with the all with strong Irish roots.  

“Both plays feature characters who swear by a fantastic story of heroic deeds only to have their stories catch up with them,” says Eric Fraisher Hayes, the O’Neill Foundation’s director of artistic programs. “Their reckonings are both comical and tragic, displaying the resilience of the Irish people.” for more information visit The Eugene O’Neill Foundation website


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.

Preservation and Discovery

Bay Area Irish Oral History • Ongoing

OHA

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.


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.


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