Originally a religious holiday to honor St. Patrick, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century, St. Patrickâ€™s Day has evolved into a celebration for all things Irish. The worldâ€™s first St. Patrickâ€™s Day parade occurred on March 17, 1762, in New York City, featuring Irish soldiers serving in the English military. This parade became an annual event, with President Truman attending in 1948. Congress proclaimed March as Irish-American Heritage Month in 1995, and the president issues a proclamation commemorating the occasion each year.
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Seven places in the United States are named Shamrock, the floral emblem of Ireland. Mount Gay-Shamrock, W.Va., and Shamrock, Texas, were the most populous, with 1,585 and 1,929 residents, respectively. Shamrock Lakes, Ind., had 228 residents and Shamrock, Okla., 101. Three Shamrock Townships in Minnesota, Nebraska and Missouri had populations of 1,273, 301 and 40, respectively.