Commonwealth of Massachusetts A Proclamation His Excellency Governor Deval L. Patrick
Whereas The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has the unique distinction of being the most Irish-American state in the United States of America, with approximately 24% of all residents claiming Irish ancestry; and
Whereas The Irish-American community of Massachusetts has a distinguished tradition of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day dating back to March 17, 1737, when the Charitable Irish Society of Boston, formed to assist fellow citizens in need, held the first Irish commemoration in the thirteen colonies; and
Whereas During the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s and 1850s, thousands of Irish found refuge on our shores, quickly becoming part of the fabric of Massachusetts as police officers and firefighters, soldiers, tradesmen, mill workers, teachers and scholars, and public servants; and
Whereas Many Irish and Irish Americans, such as artist John Singleton Copley, musician Patrick S. Gilmore, astronaut Christa Corrigan McAuliffe, Senator Edward Kennedy and President John F. Kennedy, have made outstanding contributions to our Commonwealth and nation; and
Whereas Throughout the month, Irish groups across the Commonwealth are organizing parades, concerts, dances, literary readings and other special events designed to celebrate Irish heritage, history and culture; and
Whereas Massachusetts is proud to host the 2013 World Irish Dancing Championships, being held at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston on March 23-31, and to welcome over 7,000 dancers from around the world who are competing,
Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick,Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim March 2013, to be
IRISH HERITAGE MONTH
And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this seventh day of March, in the year thousand and thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-sixth.
By His Excellency
Deval L. Patrick Governor of the Commonwealth
William Francis Galvin Secretary of the Commonwealth