How the Irish Saved Thanksgiving

The first Thanksgiving was actually celebrated on Feb 21, 1621 when a band of starving pilgrims at Plymouth Rock were saved at the last minute by the arrival of a ship from Dublin bearing food from Ireland.

The Boston Post, the largest circulation newspaper in the 1920s and 1930s, discovered the earlier date for the Thanksgiving ritual. It showed that the traditional date of the autumn of 1621 was actually incorrect.

According to the “Observant Citizen,” a columnist for the Boston Post, the Pilgrims in the winter of their first year were starving and faced the end of the their project to colonize the new world when “a ship arrived from overseas bearing the much needed food.”

Because of anti-Irish prejudice at the time, the “Observant Citizen” neglected to name it as an Irish ship, but it was actually The Lyon and “its provenance and that of the food was Dublin Ireland.”

It turns out, from records at the Massachusetts Historical Society, that the wife of one of the prominent Plymouth Rock brethren was the daughter of a Dublin merchant and that it was he who chartered the vessel, loaded it with food and dispatched it to Plymouth.

The “Observant Citizen,” whoever he was, never admitted the Irish connection, even though a number of Irish organizations challenged him on the issue.


President’s Message: A Cold Pint and Wee Bit O’ the Dew

As the new President of the Friendly Sons, I want thank you all for the privilege of leading such a fine group of Irishman. I also want to welcome you to a new season of Friendly Sons events and to make sure your calendar has all of our key dates.

But before we start marching into our new year, I want to take a second and look back over the past few months. We have had some great times together at the luncheon, dinner, parade and at the Songs of Freedom, which was a musical extravaganza celebrating the Easter Rising. We toasted each other and our forefathers. We thanked the brave leaders of the Easter Rising for their courage. We sang a song or two, and marched in step once or twice.

Now, looking forward, I wanted to provide you with the big dates for next year, so we all have them on our calendar. Please add these events to your calendar now, and make sure your wife or significant other has them on their calendar too, so they don’t start planning ski trips, spa weekends, etc. As soon as the specific locations and times for the other traditional events are nailed down, we will let you know.

Don’t forget you can always check the website (and your email) for the most up to date information, as well as check out pictures from our past events.

The Board of Directors and I are committed to working hard for you again this year to ensure that you always have a great time at these events. If you ever have any questions about an event, feel free to contact me, the event chairman, or any one of the board members.

Looking forward to seeing you out there for a pint and a song for a purpose!

James Ryan
President, The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick San Diego