President Reagan walking back to the oval office after a St. Patrick’s day luncheon at the U.S. Capitol. March 17 1988. Since the days of Thomas Jefferson, various, individual Presidents have chosen to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day. For much of the 19th century and early 2oth century, it was a matter intended less to honor Irish-Americans and more to seek the support of their political power as it grew, particularly after the Civil War and particularly within the Democratic Party machine of northern cities like New York, Boston and Philadelphia. Eleanor Roosevelt in an affectionate gesture towards her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt on St.
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