The Irish and the honorary Irish took to the streets across the United States today to honor St. Patrick's Day and the wearing of the green, and in the White House an Irish tenor crooned "Oh Ronnie Boy."
In New York, an estimated million people stood 15 deep along Fifth Avenue to view the annual St. Patrick's parade--the world's oldest and largest. An estimated 200,000 marchers--many of them actually Irish--stepped off for the six-hour parade.
Street vendors frantically hawked everything and anything green from sprigs of shamrock to swaths of green dye for spectators' hair.
President Reagan was just sitting down for a senior staff luncheon in Washington when a door to the Cabinet Room flew open and an Irish bagpiper strutted in, playing "Garry Owen." Behind the piper jigged his wife, in the green dress of an Irish dancer. To top it off, an Irish tenor sang the ageless "Londonderry Air," with its lyrics changed to "Ronnie Boy," and a midget clown decked out as a leprechaun bounded into the room.
Kelly Green Tigers
In Florida, Thomas S. Monaghan--who founded an Italian pizza chain and bought the Detroit Tigers--gave his team special uniforms for the day. They showed up for an exhibition game with the Dodgers in Kelly green uniforms.