Erin-go-Blah: The Shamrock Isle at the Panama Pacific International Exposition and the end of the Irish Village.
On March 28, 1914, a story appeared in the Monitor, the newspaper and “official organ” of the San Francisco archdiocese, which alerted subscribers to the groundbreaking that month of the only Irish-themed concession, the Shamrock Isle, at the upcoming Panama Pacific International Exposition. “For the first time in the history of this county,” the editors exclaimed, “the real Ireland is to be properly represented.” This was a big commitment: there had already been three Irish Villages at two previous world’s fairs that promised the same thing. The real Ireland, at that moment, was skirmishing with itself over labor issues and against England in pursuit of independence. It wasn’t clear in Ireland what the “real” Ireland was—colonial dependent or contender for small nation status—and if it wasn’t clear there, how could the exposition organizers be so sure of themselves? ... Read More >