Originally a religious holiday to honor St. Patrick, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century, St. Patrick’s Day has become a celebration for all things Irish, including corned beef, beer, chrysanthemums, and shamrocks. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 34.1 million U.S. residents claimed Irish ancestry in 2012. This number was more than seven times the population of Ireland at 4.6 million people. The world’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade occurred on March 17, 1762, in New York City, featuring Irish soldiers serving in the English military. Congress proclaimed March as Irish-American Heritage Month in 1995, and the President issues a proclamation commemorating the occasion each year. Continue reading “Erin go Bragh”
Dean of Men Thomas Arkle Clark took active interest in the approximate 3,5000 students and University alumni enlisted in the military during World War I from 1917-1919. Through regular correspondence with each serviceman, he kept meticulous records of their activities and updated them on the activities of the University.
On Christmas Day in 1918, Carleton M. Tower wrote to Dean Clark from France:
This is Christmas day. But one would never suspect it by looking around here. We wear rubber boots when we walk around outside, for everywhere there is mud, “beaucoup” mud! It has rained constantly for several days, and it is cold. With the unpleasant weather and the absolute lack of any sort of amusement, this holiday threatens to be somewhat of a bore. We do our best to pretend it is not an ordinary day, but it is a difficult task.
Barring irregular mail service, Carleton Tower, along with thousands of other servicemen, received the above Christmas Greeting from Dean Clark by Christmas Day featuring Altgeld Hall, constructed in 1896-97 and used as the University Library until 1927.
Best wishes to you this winter holiday from the Student Life & Culture Archives!
According to the Nebraska State Historical Society, the history of modern greetings cards began in 1843 with the design of the first Christmas cards produced in England. Easter card exchanges began somewhat later in the 1880s.