Joe Biden, the new president of the United States, is the latest in a long line of American leaders whose roots go back to Ireland.
For centuries Irish men, women and children have left their shores to experience new opportunities in countries around the world, sowing the seeds of a vast global network of Irish expatriates.
It is not surprising that many emigrated to the United States, where Irish and Scottish-Irish influences pervade the basics, customs, society, and culture.
Joe Biden, president of two families from County Mayo (west) and County Lot (east), spoke several times about the relationship with Ireland and the family’s humble beginnings. The Pennsylvanian native is very proud of his Irish roots and, after leaving for Ireland as Vice President in 2016, has vowed to return as President. Notably, the 46th U.S. President is actually the 23rd Commander-in-Chief of Irish descent, meaning that half of the presidents in U.S. history are of Irish or Scottish-Irish descent.
Another surprising fact is that the 15 employees in the Oval Office can trace their origins to counties in Northern Ireland, 11 of which are in County Antrim alone, including Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush. Bush, George HW Bush.
Many American presidents have returned to visit their ancestral homes and received an incredible reception from officials, residents and many fans across the country. Among them: JF Kennedy, the first sitting President to visit Ireland in 1963. During his four-day visit, he stopped in Dublin, Wexford, Cork, Galway and Limerick. Barack Obama also returned to his Irish origins and in 2011 visited the village of Manigal in County Ofali. “My name is Barack Obama from the Manigal Obama family, and I went home to find the apostrophe we lost somewhere along the way,” he joked.
During a visit to his ancestral village of Balipore in County Tipperary in 1984, Ronald Reagan became the first American president to publicly taste the infamous black ingredient (Guinness). The locals were very happy and changed the name of the bar after his visit.
The EPC, a museum dedicated to Irish immigration, provides an opportunity to learn more about the 23 American presidents of Irish descent and how they held one of the most powerful offices in the world. In the Leading Change Gallery, the genealogy of President Biden is now on display.
Situated on the banks of the River Liffey in Dockland, Dublin, the starting point for many immigrants, this must-see and fully interactive and digitized museum focuses not only on world politics, but also on sports, music, dance, science, and more.
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