07 October-Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe was a writer, poet and literary critic who was a native of the United States of America. He is most famous for his short stories and poems of mystery and horror. Writings by Poe, including ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ and ‘The Raven’ are regarded as literary classics.

Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston on January 19th 1809. When he was a year old his mother died and his father abandoned the family. Poe was raised by a family in Virginia, where he attended University before enlisting the American army. During his time in the army his first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems, was published.

In 1831 Poe left the army to become a full-time writer. He worked as a literary critic for various journals in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. In 1839 he published ‘Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque’. However the publication of his poem, ‘The Raven’ in 1845 made Poe a household name. His stories and poems continue to be popular in America and around the world.

Edgar Allan Poe, writer, poet and literary critic, died aged 40 in Baltimore, Maryland in the year 1849 On This Day.





22 August-First Air Raid

The first air raid in history was carried out by Austria against Venice. The air raid, which occurred in 1849, used up to 200 pilotless balloons carrying bombs. Venice had been under siege but had refused to surrender. The bombs caused little damage but the siege ended two days later.

Venice had been independent for over 1,000 years. It was conquered by Napoleon in 1797 who later ceded it to Austria. In 1848 Venice declared itself a republic. Austria laid siege to Venice the following year. Though the siege caused starvation and hardship the Austrians failed to take the city. However Venice did surrender two days after the air raid.

The first air raid in history took place when Austria launched pilotless balloons carrying bombs against Venice in the year 1849 On This Day.


20 June-James Clarence Mangan

James Clarence Mangan was a poet who was a native of Dublin. He is considered to be one of the greatest poets of the nineteenth century. He is best known for poems such as ‘My Dark Rosaleen’ and ‘Woman of Three Cows’. His gravestone in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin proclaims him to be ‘Ireland’s National Poet’.

James Clarence Mangan was born in Fishamble Street Dublin on May 1st 1803. He was educated locally and studied at least three foreign languages including, German, French and Spanish. During his lifetime he worked in various jobs including as a clerk in a law office, with Ordnance Survey of Ireland and in the Library of Trinity College Dublin. His first publications, which were translations from German appeared in 1830. Most of his later works were published in the ‘Nation’ newspaper. He died of cholera in Mercer’s Hospital Dublin in 1849.

James Clarence Mangan author of poems such as ‘Dark Rosaleen’ and ‘Woman of Three Cows’, died of cholera in Mercer’s Hospital, Dublin in the year 1849 On This Day.

Memorial bust of Mangan in St. Stephen’s Green, sculpted by Oliver Sheppard

Image taken from page 6 of ‘James Clarence Mangan; his selected poems

19 May-CYMS

The CYMS (Catholic Young Men’s Society) was founded by Richard O’Brien. He was a Roman Catholic priest who was a native of Co Tipperary, Ireland. The CYMS became an international organisation. It was founded to ‘foster the spiritual, intellectual, social and physical welfare of its members’. A branch of the CYMS was established in Carlow town in 1886.

Richard Baptist O’Brien was born in Carrick-on-Suir on September 20th 1809. His father died when he was an infant. He moved with his mother to Limerick where he grew up. He was educated at Knockbeg College Carlow and later studied for the priesthood at Maynooth College. He was ordained in 1839.

Following his ordination O’Brien served as president of Saint Mary’s College, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada until 1845. He returned to Ireland where he served as Professor at All Hallows College Dublin before being appointed as a Curate in Limerick City. During his time in Limerick he founded the CYMS in 1849.

O’Brien was a supporter of Daniel O’Connell and supported the movement for the repeal of the Act of Union. He served as spiritual director and as director general of the CYMS for several years. He also drafted rules and a constitution for the society which were approved by Pope Pius IX. Fr O’Brien was appointed Dean of Limerick in 1865. He also served as Parish Priest of Newcastle West where he died at the age of 76 on February 10th 1885.

The CYMS (Catholic Young Men’s Society) was founded in the year 1849 On This Day.





17 March-Patrick Cudahy

Patrick Cudahy, industrialist and philanthropist, was a native of Co Kilkenny, Ireland. He revolutionised the meat packing industry in the United States. He was the founder of the City of Cudahy which is now a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Today the meatpacking business founded Patrick Cudahy is a division of Smithfield Foods.

Patrick Cudahy was born in Callan Co Kilkenny in March 1849. Three months after his birth his family moved to America and settled in Milwaukee Wisconsin. At the age of 14 Patrick began working in the Plankinton and Armour meat packing plant. In 1874 at the age of 25 he became a superintendent in the business. He worked to transform the industry and in 1888 the owner transferred the company to Patrick Cudahy and his brother John Cudahy.

The Cudahy brothers moved the business to a new location south of Milwaukee in 1892. A town built up around the business, which became the City of Cudahy in 1906. The meat packing business expanded rapidly and by 1922 Cudahy Packing Co was among the largest of the packing houses in the United States. During his lifetime Patrick Cudahy, in an effort to promote temperance tried to limit the number of taverns in the city. He played an active role in the Milwaukee Association of Commerce, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and Friends of Irish Freedom. He died at the age of 70 on July 25th 1919. Cudahy and his wife Anna had nine children. One of their children, John Cudahy, served as Ambassador to Ireland from 1937 to 1940.

Patrick Cudahy was born in the year 1849 On This Day.

Patrick Cudahy HQ Sign

Milkaukee (WIS) Lakefront, Cudahy tower, 1909, University Club, 1926, University Club Tower, 2007