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SUNDAY, MARCH 17: ST. PATRICK'S DAYProfile America — Sunday, March 17th. This is a day when people of all ethnicities are cheerfully encouraged to wear something green. It is
St. Patrick's Day, a rare national holiday observed outside its native land. The day honors Bishop Patrick, born in
England, who brought Christianity to
Ireland in the fifth century, using a shamrock to illustrate divinity. The celebration here goes back to colonial times.
New York City's parade has taken place every year since 1762. The greatest number of Irish immigrants arrived in the U.S. in the middle of the 19th century, when the home country was reeling from the potato famine. Now, nearly 35 million Americans claim Irish descent, more than seven times the population of
Ireland itself. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features, CB13-FF.03
Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotions of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on a monthly CD or on the Internet at
http://www.census.gov (look for "Multimedia Gallery" by the "Newsroom" button).
SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau