Joe Shannon was an Alabama National Guard pilot, one of about 60 recruited to train anti-Castro pilots and to fly with them in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961. About 1,500 Cuban exiles trained under CIA guidance in Guatemala and invaded Cuba in April 1961 trying to overthrow Fidel Castro’s Communist regime. Shannon was among about 60 Alabama National Guard members who were recruited to help in the invasion. He both trained Cuban pilots and flew a last-ditch mission into Cuba before the invasion failed. Speaking in an interview with The Associated Press in 2006, Shannon described turning his B-26 bomber into the path of a Cuban T-33 fighter and staying out of the pilot's sight by hugging the ocean. "It was the only way I had to escape," said Shannon, who was barred from publicly discussing his role in the invasion for years because of national security
Conway, Henry: Served in the House of Representatives, 1824, from Arkansas
Andrew Vabre "Andy" Devine (October 7, 1905 – February 18, 1977) was a character actor and comic cowboy sidekick known for his raspy voice. Born in Flagstaff, Arizona on October 7, 1905, Andy Devine grew up in nearby Kingman, where his family moved when he was a year old. His father was Thomas Devine Jr., born in 1869 in Kalamazoo County, Michigan. Andy's grandfather, Thomas Devine Sr., was born in 1842 in Tipperary County, Ireland, and immigrated to the United States in 1852. Andy's mother was Amy Ward, the granddaughter of Commander James H. Ward, the first officer of the United States Navy killed during the Civil War.
He was a star football player at Ball State University. He also played semi-professional football under the pseudonym "Jeremiah Schwartz" -- it was not his birth name as has been erroneously reported elsewhere. His football experience led to his first film role in the silent film The Fighting Football Cardinals. He met his future wife in 1933 on a picture directed by John Ford at Universal Studios, "Doctor Bull", that Andy met his wife-to-be, Dorothy House. They were married on October 28, 1933, in Las Vegas, Nevada, and remained united until his death on February 18, 1977.
Although it was first thought that his peculiar voice would prevent him from moving to the talkies, it became his trademark. Devine told people that his speech resulted from a childhood accident. (He said that he had been running with a curtain rod in his mouth at the Beale Hotel in Kingman, and when he fell, it pierced the roof of his mouth. When he was able to speak, he had a wheezing, duo-tone voice.) However, a biographer explains that this wasn't true, but was one of several stories about his voice fabricated by Devine. Devine's son Tad told an Encore Westerns Channel interviewer that the accident had indeed happened, but that Devine was uncertain whether it was the cause of his unique voice.
He appeared in more than 400 films and shared with Walter Brennan, another character actor, the rare ability to move with ease from "B" Westerns to "A" pictures. His notable roles included ten films as sidekick "Cookie" to Roy Rogers, a role in Romeo and Juliet (1936), and "Danny" in A Star Is Born (1937). He made several appearances in films with John Wayne, including Stagecoach (1939), Island in the Sky (1953), and as the frightened marshal in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962). He also played "The Cheerful Soldier" in The Red Badge of Courage and the First Mate of the S.S. Henrietta in Around the World in Eighty Days (1956). While most of his characters were reluctant to get involved in the action, he played the hero in Island in the Sky, as an expert pilot who leads his fellow aviators through the arduous search for a missing airplane. His film appearances in his later years included movies such as The Over-the-Hill Gang, and "Coyote Bill" in Myra Breckinridge.
Devine also worked in radio. He is well-remembered for his role as "Jingles", Guy Madison's sidekick in The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok, which Devine and Madison reprised on television. He appeared over 75 times on Jack Benny's radio show between 1936 and 1942, often appearing in Benny's semi-regular western series of sketches "Buck Benny Rides Again". Devine died of leukemia at the age of seventy-one in Orange, California. The main street of his home town of Kingman was renamed "Andy Devine Avenue" in his honor. His career is highlighted in the Mohave Museum of History and Arts in Kingman, and there is a star in his honor in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
O'Growney, Eugene: Priest, patriot, and scholar, born in Ballyfallon, County Meath; Ireland, 1863. Although neither of his parent spoke Irish and it was little used where he was born; O’Growney learned the language and was appointed professor of Irish at Maynooth College, and at about the same time became editor of the "Gaelic Journal". He was one of the founders of the Gaelic League, organized in Dublin in 1893 "for the purpose of keeping the Irish language spoken in Ireland", and later became its vice-president, which position he held until his death. In 1894, failing health sent him to Arizona and California, where he died. Some years after, with the aid of the Irish in the United States, his body was brought back to Ireland and buried at Maynooth.
Peck Gregory: Oscar-winning actor whose roles included To Kill a Mockingbird.
Kearney, Stephan Watts: General Kearny, head of the First United States Dragoons, is largely credited with winning the war against Mexico in 1846.
MacNamara, Eugene: In 1844, in an effort to stimulate greater Irish settlement in California, a group of Irish-American leaders secured the endorsement of a plan of an Irish settlement to the San Joaquin Valley. The group was headed by a young Irish priest, Eugene Macnamara. The plan called for 10,000 Irish immigrants to move into the valley. It was felt that doubling of the non-Indian population would serve to strengthen Roman Catholic institutions, which would act as buffers against the usurping Americans. The provincial assembly in Los Angeles approved the request on July 6, 1846 and granted the group 3,000 square leagues of land, extending across the eastern half of the San Joaquin Valley. However, the project died after Federal US forces secured claim to all of Alta California as a result of the United States' victory over Mexico.
O’Connor, Miles: An Irish immigrant, Judge O'Connor, established and endowed a home for orphans at San José, California.
Den, Richard: Dr. Den, a native of County Kilkenny, served as the Chief Physician and Surgeon for the Mexican forces during the war with US in 1848. Although he had difficulty receiving reimbursement from either faction, he treated Californians and the American prisoners alike. Den and his brother Nicholas, also a Doctor, travelled from Ireland in 1836, via India, Australia, Peru and Mexico. He devoted himself to preserving the local mission and establishing a Catholic seminary in Santa Barbara. In later years Nicholas Den was one of the seven organizers of the Society of California Pioneers. Richard Den was summoned by the townsfolk of Los Angeles where he successfully performed several operations and resulted in the citizens granting him the title of permanent physician of the town.
O’Farrell, Jasper: In 1843. O’Farrell, a surveyor, arrived from County Wexford, Ireland to the United States. Noted for the accuracy of his surveys, O'Farrell was appointed official land surveyor by California Governor Manual Micheltorena. In payment, he was granted a ranch in Marin County.
Ferguson, Daniel: The Los Angeles Census of 1836 lists Daniel Ferguson as the sole Irish resident. However, twenty-seven Irishmen, including a dozen soldiers, were listed in the first United States Census of Los Angeles in 1850. More than a third owned farms by 1870. However, as early as 1857 Irishman Matthew Keller held title to 13,316 acres of Rancho Topanga Malibu Sequit.
Los Angeles Centennial parade: Held in 1881 representatives of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, organized by the Irish of Los Angeles six years earlier, marched in the parade. The group succeeded the earlier St. Patrick's Benevolent Society organized in 1870.
King, Henrey: An Irishman, King, beginning in 1879, served two terms as Los Angeles Police Chief. Working with him were Irishmen Richard A. Ryan, Tax Assessor and William B. Lawlor, Justice of the Peace.
Bill Mulligan (Chicago, Feb. 24, 1930- January 16, 2010) was the longtime college basketball coach in Orange County including 11 seasons at the University of California at Irvine, where he was 163-156 (1980-91).
Scott, Joseph: Scott arrived in Los Angeles in June of 1897 and within ten months was admitted to practice at the Los Angeles Bar. Scott and Rev. Peter Yorke of San Francisco, organized statewide support for the Friends of Irish Freedom. Along with John Byrne, a native of County Wicklow, they helped shelter exiles and kept Irish nationalism alive despite press position. When Irish President Eamon de Valera visited Los Angeles, he and Scott were rebuffed by the mayor and the Shrine Auditorium was closed to them.
White, Stephan: US Senator from California in 1896, the son of Irish immigrants. He was noted for his fight against the powerful Southern Pacific Railroad in their efforts to control large parts of the state.
Doheny, Edward L: Born in Wisconsin of Irish parents, Doheny arrived in Los Angeles in 1892 having ventured westward first as a government surveyor and later as a miner at the various mineral strikes which dotted the West. Settling in Los Angeles he noticed the ubiquitous brea (or tar) especially near Westlake Park. He leased a nearby section and using makeshift tools, began to dig, hitting lethal natural gas at 50 feet and an impressive gusher at 600 feet. Inspired by Doheny, Angelinos began drilling for oil in their backyards and in empty lots. By 1897 two thousand wells dotted the landscape in a half-mile swath reaching from Doheny's oil derrick to Elysian Park.
Clarence The MGM Lion: Clarence was Dublin at the Dublin Zoo, which had one time was so successful in breeding Lions that it exported them all over the world including Africa. Clarence went Hollywood in the mid 1930's where he soon landed a prize role as the trade mark of M.G.M pictures.
Los Angeles Bishops: Leadership of the Los Angeles Catholic church by first and second-generation Irishmen was begun in 1917 with the administration of Archbishop Joseph Cantwell and continued with Francis Cardinal McIntyre, Timothy Cardinal Manning and Roger Cardinal Mahoney.
Mulholland, William: Born in Dublin in 1855, arrived in Los Angeles in 1876 after sailing the seas and trekking across a continent as far south as Panama City. Mulholland worked as a ditch tender. By 1878 he was in the employ of the Los Angeles City Water Company and was made foreman. When the city assumed operation of the water company, Mulholland was named chief and undertook the construction of the first long-distance, gravity flow aqueduct in the United States, which he completed ahead of schedule and under budget. The 1928 collapse of the St. Francis Dam, causing the death of 385, for which he unjustifiably assumed full responsibility, clouded his career in later years.
Dinty Moore's: A downtown Los Angeles saloon- bristo, a landmark since 1906, when it opened as a private club for baseball enthusiasts.
Downey, John G: Born in County Roscommon in 1827. He arrived in the California gold fields in 1850, after attending Latin school in Baltimore, serving an apprenticeship in Washington, D.C. and working as a druggist in Cincinnati. Downey was elected to the State Assembly in 1856 and Lieutenant Governor three years later. Four days after Downey's victory, Governor Milton S. Latham, who had been elected to the U.S. Senate, resigned, making Downey at 32, California's youngest governor. His leadership in that office was a critical force in keeping California in the Union ranks, although the majority of Downey's fellow Democrats were secessionists. He delivered six volunteer regiments to the Union cause.
Hayden, Tom: During the 1960s, Hayden was in the forefront of the anti-war movement. Intelligent and well spoken, Hayden was widely viewed as the chief ideologue of the Movement. In 1962, he drafted the famous Port Huron Statement expressing the idealism of the New Left. He was also a co-founder of the Students for a Democratic Society. (SDS) In the early sixties, Hayden participated in civil rights work in the South and in the black ghettoes of Newark. He later shifted his focus to efforts to end the Vietnam War, twice making trips to North Vietnam during the war. After the Chicago Seven trial, Hayden married (and later divorced) actress Jane Fonda. A California State Senator for eighteen years, he was part of the US Commerce Department delegation to Northern Ireland in 1995, and penned a book on the experience, Reunion: A Memoir and Irish Hunger.
Raymond Thornton Chandler (1888-1959), the Irish American writer was born in Chicago and migrated to England with his divorced mother at the age of seven. He later became a British citizen. During a brief stint as a journalist, from 1909-11, he wrote articles on European affairs, along with sketches, poems, and literary essays for various newspapers.
Chandler returned to America in 1912. During the Atlantic crossing, he befriended a Los Angeles attorney, Edward Lloyd, and moved to Los Angeles. He studied bookkeeping and worked as an accountant for an L.A. creamery before enlisting in the Canadian army in 1917.
He was sent to France and fought in the trenches, receiving a concussion during an artillery bombardment. After the war, he worked for a bank in San Francisco, then joined a Los Angeles oil company, where he remained for several years, first as bookkeeper, then as auditor, and finally as vice president. In 1932, he was fired for drunkenness and absenteeism.
At the age of 45, Chandler decided to try his hand as a writer for pulp crime magazines. His first detective story, "Blackmailers Don't Shoot," was published in Black Mask magazine in 1933. Over the next three years he wrote 18 stories for the pulps. Often short of money, he and his wife Cissy moved from furnished apartment to furnished apartment throughout Southern California - sometimes two or three times a year. He later recalled: "I never slept in the park but I came damn close to it. I went five days without anything to eat but soup once." Chandler's first novel, The Big Sleep, set in Los Angeles and featuring the brooding, tough-talking private eye Philip Marlowe, was published in 1939.
Other Marlowe/L.A.-centered books followed: Farewell, My Lovely, The High Window, The Lady in the Lake, The Little Sister, The Long Goodbye, and finally, Playback. In 1994, the city of Los Angeles named a Hollywood street corner "Raymond Chandler Square" in the writer's honor. The square is located at the corner of Hollywood and Cahuenga boulevards, the site of Philip Marlowe's fictitious 6th floor Hollywood office.
Milligan, John: In 1814, John Milligan (or Mulligan)) an Irish sailor, having contracted scurvy, was forced to leave his ship, the Todd, at Monterey. Along with fellow crew member, John Gilroy, a Scotsman, he was allowed by the colonial authorities to become a permanent resident of California. A weaver by trade, Milligan for whom Milligan's Head in the Salinas Valley is named, soon became proficient in Spanish and served as occasional interpreter.
McLeneghan John: In 1864 Irishman John McLeneghan decided that it would be a grand idea to import Mongolian Camels in to the California desert to start the first (and last) Sacramento to Utah camel freight line. It didn't work, in some part due to the fact that Camels are dreadful animals to work with and in some part because it was stupid idea to begin with. McLeneghan reappeared in 1868 in Salt Lake City running camel races. That enterprise failed when it was learned that the races were fixed because camels will never pass the lead camel in the pack. Mr. McLeneghan was asked to leave town shortly afterwards. In fairness, McLeneghan wasn't alone in seeing a future for Camels in the American desert. The United States Calvary tried riding camels for a while in Arizona, all too dismal results
Brown, John (Leadville Johnny Brown) Brown struck it rich in the California Gold Rush of 1849 His wife, Margaret Tobin made her mark when she survived the sinking of the Titanic and will forever be remembered as the "Unsinkable Molly Brown."
Murphy, Edward: Captain Edward Murphy invented Murphy's Law in 1949 while assigned to Edward’s Air Force base in California. Murphy, development engineer by trade, became so angry at fellow technician who had wired a piece of machinery backwards Murphy said "if there is any way to do it wrong, he will" and Murphy law was created. Here are some of the fundamentals of Murphy's Law;
1) If anything can go wrong, it will
2) Nothing is as easy as it looks
3) Left to themselves...things tend to go from bad to worse.
4) Every solution breeds a new problem.
5) It is impossible to make anything fool proof.. Because fools are so ingenious.
6) Nature will always side with the hidden flaw.
7) Mother nature is a bitch.
8) Smile. .tomorrow will be worse.
9) Matter will be damaged in proportion to its value.
10) When it rains, it pours.
O'Toole's commentary on Murphy's Law; Murphy was an optimist.
Bodie: In 1880 Bodie and Aurora California could boast of having branches of the A.O.H and Fenians.
Murphy California: Takes its name from the brothers Murphy Patrick and James from County Wicklow. The brothers were among the first settlers in the area, they settled there in about 1866, and were well liked by the local Indians.
Harold Clayton Lloyd: (April 20, 1893 – March 8, 1971) was an American film actor and producer, most famous for his silent comedies. Harold Lloyd ranks alongside Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton as one of the most popular and influential film comedians of the silent film era. Lloyd made nearly 200 comedy films, both silent and "talkies," between 1914 and 1947.
He is best known for his "Glasses Character", a resourceful, success-seeking go-getter who was perfectly in tune with 1920s era America. His films frequently contained "thrill sequences" of extended chase scenes and daredevil physical feats, for which he is best remembered today.
Lloyd hanging from the hands of a clock high above the street in Safety Last! is one of the most enduring images in all of cinema. Lloyd did many of these dangerous stunts himself, despite having injured himself in 1919 during the filming of Haunted Spooks when an accident with a prop bomb resulted in the loss of the thumb and index finger of his right hand (the injury was disguised on film with the use of a special prosthetic glove, though the glove often did not go by unnoticed). Although Lloyd's individual films were not as commercially successful as Charlie Chaplin's on average, he was far more prolific (releasing twelve feature films in the 1920s while Chaplin released just three), and they made more money overall ($15.7 million to Chaplin's $10.5 million).