A bowl made from Kilkenny marble

[LBJ Library photo by Ruth Goerger]

This week's artifact is a bowl (1968.9.1) made from Kilkenny marble in Ireland. A tradition starting in 1952, the “Shamrock Ceremony” has the Ambassador from Ireland giving a gift of a bowl filled with shamrocks to the President of the United States. This bowl was given to LBJ in 1968 by William P. Fay, Ambassador of Ireland.

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Then & Now

Did You Know…

According to CNN producer Bill Wunner, the media paid little attention to the shamrock ceremony during the Eisenhower years, but it became a full-blown media event when John F. Kennedy, himself an Irish-American, entered the White House. Interest diminished after his death, but his successor, Lyndon Johnson, kept the tradition alive. Obama committed to continuing the ritual, calling it an affirmation of one of the strongest bonds between peoples that exist in the world." read more

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