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These Pictures Show The History And Controversies Of The NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade

Each year, thousands of people take to the streets of New York City in honor of St. Patrick's Day, in a parade as historic and celebratory as it is controversial.

Posted on March 16, 2019, at 10:05 a.m. ET

People march in the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in 1895. The steeple of the Central Presbyterian Church on 57th Street is in the distance.
Museum Of The City Of New York / Getty Images

People march in the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in 1895. The steeple of the Central Presbyterian Church on 57th Street is in the distance.

A small child is given the best view of the St. Patrick's Day parade, across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral, circa 1940.
New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

A small child is given the best view of the St. Patrick's Day parade, across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral, circa 1940.

A girls tries to join the parade in 1950.
Bettmann Archive / Getty Images

A girls tries to join the parade in 1950.

New York Police Department officers march in the parade, 1964.
Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

New York Police Department officers march in the parade, 1964.

Sen. Robert F. Kennedy is greeted by supporters, shortly after announcing his candidacy for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination.
Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Sen. Robert F. Kennedy is greeted by supporters, shortly after announcing his candidacy for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination.

Children dress warmly to watch the 1987 St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Joe Sohm / Getty Images

Children dress warmly to watch the 1987 St. Patrick's Day Parade.

NYPD on motorcycles escort about 1,000 members of the Irish Gay and Lesbian Organization, barred from marching in the St. Patrick's Day parade, in their own mini march up Fifth Avenue in 1992.
Peter Morgan / Associated Press

NYPD on motorcycles escort about 1,000 members of the Irish Gay and Lesbian Organization, barred from marching in the St. Patrick's Day parade, in their own mini march up Fifth Avenue in 1992.

Members of the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization speak at a news conference to announce their protest march in 1993. The Ancient Order of Hibernians, sponsors of the parade since 1853, have refused to let the LGBT groups join their parade.
Bebeto Matthews / AP

Members of the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization speak at a news conference to announce their protest march in 1993. The Ancient Order of Hibernians, sponsors of the parade since 1853, have refused to let the LGBT groups join their parade.

Members of the Irish Gay and Lesbian Organization protest the 235th St. Patrick's Day Parade in 1996.
Evan Agostini / Getty Images

Members of the Irish Gay and Lesbian Organization protest the 235th St. Patrick's Day Parade in 1996.

A protestor with the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization is lead away after being arrested for walking in the street before the start of the 237th annual St Patrick's Day parade in 1998.
Jon Levy / AFP / Getty Images

A protestor with the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization is lead away after being arrested for walking in the street before the start of the 237th annual St Patrick's Day parade in 1998.

Police officers apprehend members of the Lavender and Green Alliance after they were arrested for forcing their way into a St. Patrick's Day parade in 1999. Police said they arrested eight people from the New Yorkโ€“based Irish lesbian and gay organization who were protesting their exclusion from the parade.
Katherine Leuthold / Associated Press

Police officers apprehend members of the Lavender and Green Alliance after they were arrested for forcing their way into a St. Patrick's Day parade in 1999. Police said they arrested eight people from the New Yorkโ€“based Irish lesbian and gay organization who were protesting their exclusion from the parade.

Members of a bagpipe band tune their pipes before marching in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in 1999.
Don Emmert / AFP / Getty Images

Members of a bagpipe band tune their pipes before marching in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in 1999.

First lady and Senate hopeful Hillary Clinton waves to the crowd along the parade route of the St. Patrick's day parade in 2000.
Chris Hondros / Getty Images

First lady and Senate hopeful Hillary Clinton waves to the crowd along the parade route of the St. Patrick's day parade in 2000.

Protesters demonstrate against Hillary Clinton before the start of the 239th St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2000.
Stan Honda / AFP / Getty Images

Protesters demonstrate against Hillary Clinton before the start of the 239th St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2000.

New York City firefighter Mike Hefferman wipes away a tear after his unit had stopped for a moment of silence for firefighters killed in the Sept. 11 tragedy, during the 2002 St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Ray Stubblebine / Reuters

New York City firefighter Mike Hefferman wipes away a tear after his unit had stopped for a moment of silence for firefighters killed in the Sept. 11 tragedy, during the 2002 St. Patrick's Day Parade.

US Army JROTC students wait to march in the 248th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2009.
Mario Tama / Getty Images

US Army JROTC students wait to march in the 248th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2009.

A green and white ribbon, the colors of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, pinned to the uniform of a Newtown High School Marching Band member after marching in the 2013 St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Tina Fineberg / AP

A green and white ribbon, the colors of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, pinned to the uniform of a Newtown High School Marching Band member after marching in the 2013 St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Gay rights supporters protest against the exclusion of the LGBT community from the St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2014.
Emmanuel Dunand / AFP / Getty Images

Gay rights supporters protest against the exclusion of the LGBT community from the St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2014.

An NYPD officer stands guard as participants march in 2017.
Jewel Samad / AFP / Getty Images

An NYPD officer stands guard as participants march in 2017.

A young girl holds her doll and an Irish flag as she watches the 245th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2006.
New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

A young girl holds her doll and an Irish flag as she watches the 245th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2006.


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