Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hibernian Society of Savannah 202nd Anniversary Dinner

In 1812 the Hibernian Society of Savannah was organized by forty-four prominent Savannah gentlemen for the purpose of tendering aid to needy Irish immigrants.

In 1813 the Hibernian Society held a private St. Patrick's Day celebration at Independent Presbyterian Church.
In 1824 James Hunter, President of the Hibernian Society, invited all local Irishmen to attend mass and then join in a parade through the streets of Savannah in honor of St. Patrick's Day. This was the birth of the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Savannah.
Dr. Jurgensen Center Current President
On St. Patrick's Day, 1874, members of the Hibernian Society awakened the whole City of Savannah by firing off an 18 gun salute with Revolutionary War cannons at 6:30 in the morning. We can't imagine why such a great tradition was apparently discontinued after only one year.
In 1908, by pure coincidence, Savannah's two oldest heritage societies, the St. Andrew's Society and the Hibernian Society, held separate meetings on the same night at the Hussars' Club. Afterwards the Scotsmen and the Irishmen gathered together for libations and toasts.
202nd Dinner Savannah, Georgia

In 1912 President William Howard Taft addressed the 100th Anniversary Dinner of the Hibernian Society of Savannah.

In 1937 President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent greetings to the Hibernian Society in a radio address from Warm Springs, Georgia.

In 1940 the cover of the Anniversary Dinner Program honored Tara Hall, the O'Hara Family home in Gone With the Wind, which had premiered the previous year.

In 1962 former President Harry Truman addressed the Society's 150th Anniversary Dinner.

In 1977 Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was the featured speaker at the Society's Anniversary Dinner.

President Jimmy Carter addressed the Society's Anniversary Dinner in 1978.
2012 - Four-star Admiral William McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Forces, was the guest speaker for the 200th Anniversary of the Hibernian Society.  McRaven is credited for organizing and executing Operation Neptune's Spear, the special Ops raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011.

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