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Group of the Irish Brigade
Members of the Irish Brigade pose for a picture in 1862

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Politician Eamonn DeValera makes a dramatic plea to Irish people everywhere on St. Patrick's Day

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St. Patrick's Day
March 17

In 1862, during the Civil War, the Irish Brigade was formed. These Irish American soldiers fought for the Union in some of the bloodiest battles of the war. One historian, Phillip Thomas Tucker, said, "These Celtic soldiers were fighting most of all for their own future and an America which did not segregate, persecute, and discriminate against the Irish people and their Catholicism, Irish culture, and distinctive Celtic heritage." Irish American heritage has become an important part of American culture. In song, festivity, appearance and company, Americans of all ethnicities are celebrating St. Patrick's Day!
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CREDIT: Harrison's Landing, Va. Group of the Irish Brigade, 1862. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Reproduction Number LC-B8171-0627 DLC.
AUDIO CREDIT: DeValera, Eamonn. "St. Patrick's Day message," n.d. Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress.