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St. Patrick's Cathedral
New York City's St. Patrick's Cathedral is proof of Irish endurance

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St. Patrick's Day
March 17

Irish Americans, especially those who arrived in the U.S. in the 1840s, have had to overcome much suffering. The Great Potato Famine of 1845-49 claimed the lives of 1 million Irish back on the Isle of Erin (Ireland is also called Eire). To escape starvation, those that could immigrated to America. Most of the Irish who settled in the U.S. during this period arrived with little education and few material possessions. As a result, they encountered poverty and discrimination. Most were Catholics and also suffered because of longstanding prejudices against their religion. But Irish Americans showed their strength and courage.
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