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Did You Know? – The Irish Impact

How much of an influence do you think the Irish have had on some of the most iconic institutions, art, business and personalities in American history? More than you might realize. The impact of Irish design, craftsmanship, talent and innovation extends much further than the island’s borders — and nowhere is that more evident than in the United States. With a long history of shared ideals, ambitions and often a common ancestry, the Irish have contributed significantly to the American experience. Test your knowledge with this quick list of some of the more obscure but nevertheless impactful Irish contributions to the U.S. — and have a great St. Patrick’s day!

  1. 23 US Presidents have ancestral connections to Ireland, including current president Joe Biden.
  2. Eight signatories of the Declaration of Independence were Irish.
  3. There are 16 Dublins in the USA
  4. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was in New York City 
  5. The White House was designed by Irishman James Hoban who won a competition in 1792, which led him to create the building.
  6. An Irish-American man established the Ford Motor Company. 
  7. The submarine was invented by John Philip Holland from Liscannor, Co. Clare.
  8. Color photography was invented by John Joly who was born near the village of Bracknagh in Co. Offaly and was an engineering graduate from Trinity College.
  9. The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the Celtic festival of Samhain.
  10.  About 40 million Americans claim Irish heritage, which is seven times more than the population of Ireland itself.
  11. The ball that drops in Times Square on New Year’s Eve is made by Ireland -founded Waterford Crystal.
  12. Bram Stoker, who wrote Dracula, is from Dublin. 
  13.  An Irishman designed the award given at the Oscars
  14. Ireland has one of the youngest populations in the world 
  15. Ireland has had two female presidents, more than most countries in the world.
  16. Hollywood, California was named after Hollywood, the small village in west Wicklow.
  17. More than 110,000 people are employed by US affiliates of Irish-owned companies in the United States


  1. EPIC Irish Emigration Museum
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