Cards also can be found in family scrapbook collections and other personal papers. Obviously, visual manifestations of holiday themes may occur in other types of documents and ephemera. St. Patrick’s Day—coming up soon, on March 17—constitutes one of the most enduring connections to the Irish and Irish Americans in American culture.
I’d love to show some examples of our St. Patrick’s Day cards to you—too bad we haven’t scanned any of them yet! Feel free to send us your requests and we’ll be happy to invoice you. However, our collections contain additional references to St. Patrick’s Day.
|Sheet music cover for "St. Patrick's Day Parade," from the musical, "The Military Girl."|
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center
Certain holidays, such as St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas, and Thanksgiving, inspire parades. Above is the cover of sheet music for “St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” a song from the 1912 musical play, “The Military Girl,” first produced at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Chicago. Co-star Florence Holbrook was the wife of Cecil Lean, the multi-talented writer, composer, and star of the show, and they are shown together in the center of the cover. However, they subsequently divorced and he married Cleo Empy (or Empey), known onstage as Cleo Mayfield. According to “Variety” (February 25, 1914), which pronounced Lean “one of the most ardent lovers on and off the stage,” he had met Mayfield when she was in the cast of “The Military Girl.” She took Holbrook’s place as the character “Miss Understood” during the long run of the show.
|Cover of program for anniversary dinner for The Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, 1919.|
John D. Crimmins Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
I'm on the lookout for other items in our collections which relate to Irish themes and/or St. Patrick. Meanwhile, have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Archives Center, National Museum of American History