March has been recognized as Irish American heritage Month since 1991. Every year, including last year’s proclamation by President Obama, the proclamation concludes with “ [I, the president] call upon all Americans to observe this month by celebrating the contributions of Irish American to our Nation with appropriate ceremonies and activities.” Unfortunately every year the Smithsonian Institute, a federally funded institution with the Vice President on it Board of Regents, refuses to heed the Presidents call.
The Smithsonian actively celebrates five heritage Months: Black History Month (see http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/heritage_month/bhm/index.html), Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (see http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/heritage_month/apahm/index.html), Hispanic Heritage Month (see http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/heritage_month/hhm/index.html) and American Indian Heritage Month (see http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/heritage_month/aihm/index.html). However the Smithsonian continues to deny equal and appropriate recognition to the contributions of Irish Americans to our nation.
No one questions that it is right, fitting and just to recognize by special programming all the Heritage above, but why is the same level of effort not applied to Irish American Heritage Month? Why is a heritage that has provided 9 signers of the Declaration of Independence, that has distinguished itself in defense of this country in every war, that has contributed to government, education and industry not recognized? To give one specific example, the Smithsonian during Hispanic Heritage Month paid tribute to naval hero Admiral David Glasgow Farragut’ s Hispanic heritage on his father’s side, is it not troubling and unjust that the Smithsonian ignores the Admiral’s Irish Heritage through his mother Elizabeth Shine?
Please consider contacting the Smithsonian at Fax: 202.633.5489 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them that it is time to end “No Irish Need Apply” at the Smithsonian and recognize the contributions of Irish Americans on par with the Heritages that the Smithsonian currently celebrates.