A Great Day for the Irish

Friday, March 17, 1871

Chicago celebrates St. Patrick’s Day.  The marchers lining up along Michigan Avenue stretch from Van Buren to Sixteenth Street.  Crowds of onlookers watch the parade pass, and everyone is wearing at least a touch of green.  That evening the Irish Literary Society hosts a banquet and ball at the Briggs House hotel, where the program includes music, recitations, and toasts.  In his speech, J. J. Fitzgibbon states that the highest purpose of the day is “to declare our unchanging devotion to the principle of Irish nationality.”