Profile America — Saturday, March 17th. This is a day to check your closet and make sure you wear something green because it's St. Patrick's Day, said to be the only national holiday observed outside its native land. The observance honors Bishop Patrick, born in England, who brought Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century, using a shamrock to illustrate divinity. The day has been marked in America since it was a colony. New York City's huge 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. Profile America is produced by the U.S. Census Bureau: Measuring America—People, Places, and Our Economy.
Sources: Chase's Calendar of Events 2012, p. 150 U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features, CB12-FF.03
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