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Overview

Irish-American Heritage Month is a month to celebrate the contributions which Irish-Americans have made to the United States.

The first recorded celebration of Irish-Americans dates back to 1762 with the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City.  The parade became an annual event (external link) which was initially organized by military units but after the War of 1812, Irish fraternal societies took over the organization.

In October 1990, Congress passed Public Law 101-418 (104 Stat. 906) establishing March 1991 as Irish-American Heritage Month.  In 1991, President George H.W. Bush issued for the first time a proclamation designating March as Irish-American Heritage Month.  In 1992, Congress passed Public Law 102-253 (106 Stat. 70) which designated March of that year as Irish-American Heritage Month.  Subsequently, Congress passed laws variously designating March 1993 and 1994 as Irish-American Heritage Month.  In October 1994, Congress passed Public Law 103-379 (108 Stat. 3510) which designated March 1995 and 1996 as Irish-American Heritage Month.  Since 1997, presidents has issued annual proclamations for the observance and celebration of Irish-American Heritage Month.   

Legislative Branch Documents

The public laws which designate March as Irish-American Heritage Month are also available in print in the United States Statutes at Large which can be found in many federal depository libraries.  The Law Library has also made the U.S. Statutes at Large available online.

Executive Branch Documents

Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders have been used by presidents to rule on substantive issues of law; to administrate the executive branch of government; and to make general announcements to the public. These general announcements which exhort the public to observe a holiday such as Thanksgiving or honor a particular group of citizens as in National Black History Month are usually issued in the form of a Presidential Proclamation. On many occasions Congress will pass a law specifically requesting the President to take certain action proclaiming the recognition of a particular group of citizens as Jewish or Hispanic Americans.

Listed below are links to examples of Presidential Proclamations for Irish-American Heritage Month along with citations to the Code of Federal Regulations or the Federal Register, the official publication for Presidential Proclamations.

In order to search for other Presidential Proclamations on the annual observances of Irish-American Heritage Month, one can browse the American Presidency Project’s Proclamations page by selecting the year and clicking on the Display button.

Presidential Proclamations as well as Presidential statements, messages and remarks on for Irish-American Heritage Month can be searched from the Government Publishing Office’s Advanced Search page in the collections for the Code of Federal Regulations, the Compilation of Presidential Documents and the Federal Register.

Web Resources

Guide to Irish-American Resource at the Library of Congress

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Last Updated: 08/15/2018