Welcome to my eighth annual Best of the Blog. The pandemic prevented me from traveling to Ireland or doing any in-person domestic research this year, but I am grateful that so much work can be done online. Enjoy this year’s roundup. MH
I added more than 30 posts to my American Reporting of Irish Independence centenary series, up through Éamon de Valera’s December 1920 return to Ireland after 18 months in America. Highlights included:
- a 10-part post on New York Globe journalist Harry F. Guest’s 1920 reporting in Ireland;
- American journalist Dorothy Thompson’s “last interview” scoop with Irish separatist Terence MacSwiney before his Aug. 12, 1920, arrest for sedition;
- the Irish question and the 1920 U.S. presidential election; and
- several of my freelance pieces published beyond this blog and guest contributors welcomed to this space. (See below.)
Here are a few of my favorites from this year’s centenary series:
- Coincidental crossings of the ‘Celtic’, December 1920
- Irish Pittsburgh’s November to remember, 1920
- Feakle ambush & reprisals: Multiple views of an event
- Washington, D.C.’s Irish hot spots, 1919-1921
- Mary Galvin’s year of protest for Ireland, 1920
This was the most viewed story in the series this year:
Ruth Russell remembered
My wife and I gave a March 7 presentation at the Irish Railroad Workers Museum, Baltimore, about “Ruth Russell in Revolutionary Ireland,” based on my 2019 research. I also had Ruth’s name inscribed on the gravestone in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where she was buried with her sister.
I had six freelance pieces published on four websites beyond this blog. The work was collected in my previous post, From Boycott to Biden.
Journalists, historians, authors, researchers, and others are welcome to offer submissions via a new landing page and contact form. This year contributors included:
- Patrick O’Sullivan Greene, ‘Crowdfunding the Revolution’ in Ireland
- Kay Caball, The Fall of the Fitzmaurices
- Dr. Michael Doorley, Irish-American isolationism and Irish internationalism
- Dr. Catherine M. Burns, Q & A on 1920 women pickets
News & other history through the year
The pandemic was the biggest story of the year, of course, but there was other news, and more history to explore than just 1920. Below are the top story from each month, followed by a link to my regular monthly roundup.
- In January, a deal to restore Northern Ireland Assembly was announced. January roundup.
- Ireland’s national election in February produced the unexpected result of Sinn Féin out-polling two mainstream center-right parties. It took until June to form a coalition government fusing longtime rivals Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, with help from the Green Party. February roundup.
- In March, St. Patrick’s Day 2020 was disrupted by pandemic & politics. March roundup.
- Most of April was devoted to my 10-part series on American reporter Harry Guest. April roundup.
- I made my first trip to Ireland in May 2000. “The Ireland that fills my heart” was my 20th anniversary reflection. May roundup.
- In June I introduced a new occasional series about ideas for movies based on Irish history. The first installment: The Colors of Ireland. June roundup.
- 2020 was the 60th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s election to the U.S. presidency, including his historic nomination convention in July 1960. In November, Joe Biden became the second Irish-American Catholic to win the office. July roundup.
- Two posts in August drew parallels between 1920 and 2020 events in Ireland and America, one about women’s suffrage and the other about police brutality. August roundup.
- Former Fordham University Law John Feerick talked about ‘Irish roots and American promise’ during a September Zoom presentation about his new memoir. September roundup.
- Regular readers were not surprised in October that my second Irish history movie idea was about the Lartigue monorail of County Kerry. October roundup.
- In November, the Irish government launched a 5-year diaspora strategy. November roundup.
- December brought the 25th anniversary of Bill Clinton becoming the first U.S. president to visit Northern Ireland, followed by stop in the Republic of Ireland. (Roundup in our first January 2021 post.)