Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Happy St. Paddy's Day, Y'All

"There are two kinds of people in the world," the saying goes. “The Irish and those who wish they were." On Thursday, March 17, 2016, all of us at TWU (and those who wish they were) will be celebrating the wearing of the green--so Happy St. Paddy's Day, y'all. In the spirit of shamrocks, bagpipes, and a whole lot o' green, a quick search using TWUniversal (the one-stop search engine provided by the TWU Libraries for the discovery and delivery of local and remote resources) yielded the following interesting bits o' Paddy's Day trivia.

Why is the Chicago River dyed green for St. Patrick's Day--and is the dye really green? It's an annual ritual that dates back over 50 years--and no. The tradition's origins are of some dispute (depending on the source, either former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, local plumbers (, or leprechauns deserve the credit) but one thing is certain: it's a revered part of the city's annual St. Patrick's Day festivities. The dye itself is orange; when combined with water it turns yellow and then a bright emerald color. "This spectacular transformation," notes the committee responsible, "ranks right up there with the parting of the sea by Moses and the Pyramids of Egypt" ( Side note: This fine bit o' hyperbole is an example of the Irish mode of speaking known as blarney.

Good to know. Image courtesy of Dublin Airport.
Bacon and Cabbage, Anyone? Millions of people sit down on St. Paddy's Day to an authentic Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage--but only half of this meal is in fact Irish. Cabbage has historically been a staple of the Irish diet--but it was traditionally eaten with Irish bacon, not corned beef. Irish immigrants in America couldn't afford the bacon so they substituted corned beef--a cheaper alternative they learned about from immigrants of other national origin (

The First O' Many New York City hosted the first St. Patrick's Day parade, which featured Irish soldiers in the English military, on March 17, 1762 (PR Newswire, March 6, 2007).

That's A Wee Bit Ironic Green is often considered unlucky in Ireland (Knight Ridder/Tribune, March 11, 2008).

Not This Year. Not Last Year. Not Ever. Saying St. Patty's Day is like nails on a chalkboard to our fine Irish friends--so let's not. The message right is from Dublin Airport, and they should know (@DublinAirport). 

We're Gonna Need More Green Beer In 2006 the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that 34.5 million Americans claim Irish ancestry--a number almost nine times the population (at 4.1 million) of Ireland itself (The Wischlist Blog, March 13, 2010).

St. Patrick's Day celebrations started last weekend, but for those in the Dallas area the 37th Anniversary Dallas St. Patrick's Parade & Festival takes place on Saturday, March 19, 2016.

The Chicago River is dyed green every year (with ecofriendly vegetable dye). After doing this for more than 50 years, Chicagoans have this process down.

From the TWU Libraries, a safe and happy St. Patrick's Day to all--and that's no blarney.
~Reprinted from Check It Out: The TWU Libraries Blog. Happy St. Patrick's Day by Sandy O'Cochran. March 16, 2015.

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