A History Of Saint Patrick's Day And The United States

By Alexandra Hill, WBGO News
March 15, 2013

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Green Paint marks The St. Patrick's Day Parade Route In Newark

Shamrocks, bagpipes and kilts, and of course green beer…St. Patrick’s Day will be celebrated this weekend with countless parades.

St. Patrick’s Day began as a holy day of prayer and feasting in Ireland. But in the U. S. it’s evolved into a day of parading and overindulgence. Angus Gillespie is a Professor of American Studies at Rutgers.

“The main concept for St. Patrick’s is a license to drink too much, and of course sometime this backfires. A good example was the changes that recently took place in Hoboken New Jersey which at one time was wide open for public drinking but it so upset the local merchants that there’s been sort of a crackdown.”

Even today in Ireland St. Patrick’s Day is a more subdued commemoration of the saint who is credited with spreading Christianity throughout Ireland.


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