. - If history has anything to do with it, there are countless reasons why people are celebrating St. Patrick's Day in the Holy City.
It is simply tradition, with Irish ties that go back to day one at Charles Towne. One of the original settlers was Captain Florence O'Sullivan, for whom Sullivan's Island is named.
Soldiers got the day off from fighting the Revolutionary War, according to research from the South Carolina History Room at the Charleston County Library.
In 1778, the First Regiment of South Carolina Line was given St. Patrick's Day off, with pay. A dozen years later, in 1790, 14 percent of South Carolina's population was Irish. The U.S. Census Bureau reports the percentage of residents currently claiming Irish ancestry in South Carolina is about 9.6 percent, a little under the national average of 10.4 percent.
In South Carolina, about 464,000 of the 4,800,000-plus people claim Irish heritage.
St. Patrick's Day was originally a religious holiday to honor St. Patrick, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century. The world's first St. Patrick's Day parade was in New York City in 1762. It featured Irish soldiers serving in the British military.
Early Important Dates for Irish history in Charleston, according to the South Carolina History Room at the Charleston County Library:
1670 - Charles Towne is established. One of the original settlers is Capt. Florence O'Sullivan, for whom Sullivan's Island is named.
1680 - South Carolina Lords Proprietors seek Irish immigr ants for the Carolina Colonies.
1716 - 500 Irish Protestants settle in Yemassee.
1719 - Proprietors abandon efforts to settle Yemassee, and Irish lose their title to the land.
1733 - Dublin newspaper announces the departure of the "Charming Sally" for South Carolina.
1751 - Irish Quakers establish a community at Mulberry on the Wateree, near present-day Camden.
1772-75 - About 1,000 Irish immigr ants arrive in Charleston, mostly as indentured servants.
1776 - Edward Rutledge and Thomas Lynch Jr., both of Irish descent, are among the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
1778 - First Regiment of South Carolina Line gets St. Patrick's Day off, with pay.
1786 - Friendly Brothers of Ireland is formed.
1790 - Fourteen percent of the population in South Carolina is Irish.
1801 - Hibernian Society is officially chartered with a mission of helping Irish immigr ants with housing and jobs.
1841 - Hibernian Society opens the Hibernian Hall.
1847 - The Hibernian Society donates more than $10,000 to Irish Potato Famine relief efforts.
Source: The History of the Hibernian Society of Charleston, South Carolina 1799-1981