Tag Archives: Irish American history

HOLLYWOOD FILMMAKING IRISH STYLE

If you want to get ahead in Hollywood, then think like Irish filmmaker Rex Ingram who, in 1921 made a film still talked about today. This is an extract from Variety:

The magnitude of The Four Horsemen is staggering, and it is not hard to believe the statistics relative to the production. It is said to have cost approximately $800,000; director Rex Ingram had 14 assistants, each with a cameraman; more than 12,000 persons were used, and 125,000 tons of masonry and other material employed; $375,000 insurance was carried on the art works, furniture, etc, used in the picture, which was six months in the making.

Rex Ingram, Irish Director in Hollywood

soup kitchens during the Irish Famine

By 1847 soup kitchens were feeding nearly 3 million people daily, out of a population of around 8 million. The Quakers were one organisation who worked tirelessly to bring relief to many areas. Even native Americans sent food aid. The soup was made in huge vats or pots,called boilers.

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John Morrissey Irish american founder of Saratoga racecourse

What do Saratoga Racecourse in New York and the film Gangs of New York have in common? John Morrissey.

John Morrissey

John Morrissey was born in Templemore, Co. Tipperary in 1831 and his family moved to America in 1833. By the time he was 18 he was working for the Irish gangs and got a reputation as a fighter. As leader of the Dead Rabbitts he came across William Poole (Bill the Butcher) and the Bowery Boys when given the task of stopping them from rigging an election, something he achieved.

He also taught himself to read and write. During a lifetime of adventure, he was involved in the gold rush in California, fought for the heavyweight boxing title and became a state Congressman. He then set up a casino in Saratoga and then founded the famous racecourse.

John Morrissey died in 1878, aged just 47. From a small town in Ireland to becoming one of the most famous achievers in America.