2019-03-13 / Front Page

The Gazetteer’s 1982 St. Patrick’s Day Trivia

The following is a list of Irish trivia that first appeared as a tribute to St. Patrick’s Day in the Western Queens Gazette in March, 1983, courtesy of The Gazetteer, a regular columnist:

Did You Know?
• The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City was held in 1762. The parade is now the largest in the United States.
• Irish soldiers serving in the British army held a St. Patrick’s Day parade in the 18th century.
• Three of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in Ireland.
• According to Celtic legend, leprechauns were cranky souls responsible for mending the shoes of other fairies.
• Kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland is believed to grant you eloquence.
• Leprechauns are little, make-believe fairies from Ireland, or are they?
• Leprechaun in Gaelic is “Lobwiran,” meaning small-bodied fellow.
• Saint Patrick was born in Bannaven Taberniae, an almost unknown place in Britain near Severn or in Pembroke.
• Ireland is 27,136 square miles of land, about one-half the size of the state of Arkansas.
• Shamrocks are a sacred symbol of the rebirth of Ireland and are considered a sign of spring.
• Saint Patrick’s real name is believed to have been Maewyn Succat.
• More than one-half of the soldiers who fought for America in the Revolutionary War had Irish ancestors.
• “Erin go Bragh” means “Ireland Forever.”
• Corned Beef began to be associated with St. Patrick’s Day at the turn of the 20th century.
• Members of the British Royal Family present shamrocks to members of the Irish Guard on St. Patrick’s Day.
• The Blarney Stone is a stone set in a wall at the Blarney Castle Tower.
• Legend has it that an old Irish woman enchanted the Blarney Stone to reward a king who saved her from drowning.
• Saint Patrick was born in 413 AD and died on March 17th, 460 AD, sparking a call years later to honor him on that day.
• The first license plates to identify registered vehicles in the United States were issued by the state of Connecticut on St. Patrick’s Day, 1937. The plates were green and white in color.
• Yearly high rainfalls account for the signature green grass in Ireland, giving it the nickname, “The Emerald Isle.”
• Saint Patrick was taken into slavery at the age of 16. After six years in slavery he returned to Ireland, where he converted the population to Catholicism.
• Saint Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland, Nigeria and engineers.

—Liz Goff

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