Text of Letter from Committee

Troy Tribute To James Connolly
Troy Citizen & Irish Patriot
18 Cortland St., Troy, N Y. 12180

The City of Troy and New York's Capital District have a long and distinguished historical heritage. One of the most important figures in Irish history, James Connolly, once made his home in Troy but his association with our community has heretofore been unacknowledged. With your help, that will be changed forever on August 17, 1986 in an event which will bring national and international recognition to Troy.

James had a life long devotion to the labor movement. Much of his time in the United States was spent teaching working class people methods of organizing themselves to bargain collectively with their employers for better working conditions, hours and wages.

Connolly lived in Troy for two years, 1903-1905. In 1905 there was a national recession which brought very hard times to the workers he had as insurance clients. As a result, Connolly was put out of work himself and had to relocate his family to New Jersey where he found other work.

In 1910 Connolly returned to Ireland where he assumed the leadership of the Irish Transport and General Workers union. During the next few years he devoted his energies to organizing the Irish Citizen Army and creating a plan to free Ireland of the colonial exploitation and oppression it had been suffering under British rule. This work culminated in the "Rising" which took place on Easter Monday. 1916. Under Connolly, as Commander of the Dublin Division, the rebels engaged the British Army for several days. One of the first acts of the burgeoning revolution was the reading, for the first time, of the "Proclamation of the Irish Republic". Signed by Connolly, Padraig Pearse and several other principals, this proclamation of Ireland as a sovereign state was to become the "declaration of independence" of Ireland.

Connolly and other leaders were executed without trial. But this attempt to overthrow British power in Ireland and the public executions became the motivating force behind a popular revolution which several years later did finally result in freedom and independence for the twenty-six southern counties of Ireland.

Today in Ireland James Connolly is considered to be not only a folk hero, but a principal historical figure and one of the most important political visionaries of Ireland's past.

The James Connolly Commemorative Celebration is planned for Troy on August 17, 1986. The events of the day will include a parade and festival at the Riverfront Park, a ceremony enshrining James Connolly as a "son of Troy", and the dedication of a monument to the memory of James Connolly.

The Connolly Commemorative Organizing Committee has already laid the groundwork for this celebration and has made the necessary arrangements with the City of Troy.

Your support is needed to guarantee that this historic day will be as successful as it has the potential to be. Attached is a list of ways you can lend your support to this effort.

"Thank you" from the Organizing Committee

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