The Hibernian Society of Savannah


Highlights of Our History

In 1812 the Hibernian Society of Savannah was organized by forty-four prominent Savannah gentlemenProgram Cover of the 100th Anniversary Dinner in 1912.   Photo by Paul H. Camp. for the purpose of tendering aid to needy Irish immigrants.

In 1813 members of the Hibernian Society marched from near Colonial Cemetery over to Independent Presbyterian Church for a private St. Patrick's Day celebration .

In 1824 James Hunter, President of the Hibernian Society, invited all local Irishmen to attend mass and then join in a parade through the streets of Savannah in honor of St. Patrick's Day. This was the birth of the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Savannah.

Dr. James A Cullinan addressed the Hibernian Society on Saint Patrick's Day in 1829.  To read his address CLICK HERE

To read the 1845 St. Patrick’s Day Oration by the Rev. William Burke to the Hibernian Society of Savannah, CLICK HERE

On St. Patrick's Day, 1874, members of the Hibernian Society awakened the City of Savannah by firing off an 18 gun salute with Revolutionary War cannons at 6:30 in the morning. We don't know why this fine tradition was apparently discontinued after only one year.

    In 1908, by pure coincidence, Savannah's two oldest heritage societies, the St. Andrew's Society and the Hibernian Society, held separate meetings on the same night at the Hussars' Club. Afterwards the Scotsmen and the Irishmen gathered together for libations and toasts.

In 1912 President William Howard Taft addressed the 100th Anniversary Dinner of the Hibernian Society of Savannah. To read the transcript of  his remarks  CLICK HERE
    In 1937 President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent greetings to the Hibernian Society in a radio address from Warm Springs, Georgia.  To read a transcript of that broadcast  CLICK HERE

The 125th Anniversay Dinner at the old Desoto Hotel - March 17, 1937
The 125th Anniversary Dinner at the Hotel De Soto - March 17th, 1937
Click on the photo to view an enlarged version.

The Program Cover of the 128th Anniversay Dinner in 1940 featured Tara Hall from 'Gone With the Wind'.

In 1940 the cover of the Anniversary Dinner Program honored Tara Hall, the O'Hara Family home in Gone With the Wind, which had premiered the previous year. To see  the letter that  Margaret Mitchell sent about the program cover  CLICK HERE

In 1962 former President Harry Truman addressed the Society's 150th Anniversary Dinner.

In 1977 Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was the featured speaker at the Society's Anniversary Dinner.

President Jimmy Carter addressed the Society's Anniversary Dinner in 1978. To read a transcript of his remarks  CLICK HERE

In 2008 The St. Andrew's Society and The Hibernian Society held a  "Centennial Dinner" to celebrate the 100th anniversary of their joint gathering in 1908. To read more about this and see photos of the event  CLICK HERE

To view raw footage of our 2008 Joint Centennial  Meeting with the St. Andrew's Society of Savannah CLICK HERE

    In 2012 Four-Star Admiral William H. McRaven was the keynote speaker at the 200th Anniversary Dinner of The Hibernian Society of Savannah. Admiral McRaven, Commander of the United States Special Operations Command, is credited with organizing and executing Operation Neptune's Star, the Special Ops raid that lead to the demise of Osama Bin Laden on May 2, 2011. 

Ireland's Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Enda Kenny, sent video greetings to the Hibernian Society's 200th Anniversary Dinner. To view his message CLICK HERE

     To view a short video of the highlights of the 200th Anniversary Dinner CLICK HERE

The 200th Anniversary Dinner
March 17, 2012


The music on this page courtesy of the Youghal Pipe Band.

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Last updated: March 09, 2024