John’s Believe It Or Not… May 14th

* 1847 – First of over 100000 Irish immigrants arrive at Grosse-Île * 1796 Jenner tests smallpox vaccine * 1948 State of Israel proclaimed * 1973 Skylab launched * 1998 Frank Sinatra dies


It’s Monday! Did You Know…

* 1847 – First of over 100,000 Irish immigrants arrive at Grosse-Île.

When the authorities in Quebec heard news of ships arriving with sick passengers, they quickly set up Grosse Île as a port of entry and quarantine station at which all ships were required to dock before moving on to the mainland. The island had dealt with epidemics before. In 1830, about 30,000 immigrants arrived in Quebec, and two-thirds were Irish. These huge waves of immigration were concurrent with cholera epidemics in Great Britain and Europe. Areas in the west of Ireland – mostly Mayo, Donegal and Galway – were also experiencing potato crop failure. In fact, the crop failed to various degrees all over the country throughout the 1830s, though no one is sure exactly when the blight that caused the successive crop failures of 1845-49 arrived in Ireland. Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… May 14th”

John’s Believe It Or Not… May 14th

In 1847, the first ship carrying Irish immigrants arrived at Gross-Île, Quebec. In 1904, the Olympic Games were held in the USA for the first time. In 1948, the modern state of Israel was proclaimed. In 1955, the Warsaw Pact was formed. In 1973 Skylab was launched.

It’s Mother’s Day! Did you know…

Bouquet of pink roses.

* 1847 – First of over 100,000 Irish immigrants, many stricken with famine and typhus, arrive18 at Grosse-Île. (In 1847, 100,000 Irish people traveled to Grosse Île to escape starvation, unaware of the hardships they would encounter upon arrival. The first “Famine ship” arrived on May 14, 1847, the ice still an inch thick on the river. Of that ship’s 241 passengers, 84 were stricken with fever and 9 had died on board. With the hospital only equipped for 150 cases of fever, the situation quickly spun out of control. More and more ships arrived at Grosse Île each day, sometimes lining up for miles down the St. Lawrence River throughout the summer. On these coffin ships – named for their crowded and deadly conditions – the number of passengers stricken by fever increased exponentially. The island was ill-equipped, to say the least. Hastily built, the quarantine hospitals lacked proper sanitation, supplies, and space to accommodate all the sick patients. Many of the doctors dispatched to Grosse Île had never even seen the effects of cholera let alone treated it, and all were overworked. Being taken to a quarantine hospital was soon viewed as more of a death sentence than an opportunity to get better.) Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… May 14th”