The Irish Famine of 1845 to 1852 was the greatest social calamity, in terms of morality and suffering, that Ireland has ever experienced. Because the potato was easy to grow under a variety of conditions and a good source of food, it became the dominant crop in Ireland. When a fungus ruined the potato crop in three out of four seasons between 1845 and 1849, an estimated 750,000 Irish people, weakened by hunger, died from disease and starvation and another 2 million emigrated to Britain, Canada, Australia, and the United States. "The Great Hunger," also known as the Great Famine or Irish Potato Famine, is considered by many to be the most tragic event in Irish history.
«The Great Hunger» in Ireland in Wisconsin is a special observance day on March 17 (Enacted April 20, 2004, from the 2003 Laws of Wisconsin, Act 305).
"I can find no language nor illustration sufficiently impressive to portray the spectacle to an American reader," - Elihu Burrit (CT Activist and Humanitarian, 1847)
"The Almighty, indeed, sent the blight but the British government sent the Famine," - John Mitchel (Irish activist, 1861)
"Other famines followed, as other famines had gone before, but it is the terrible years of the Great Hunger which are remembered, and only just beginning to be forgiven." - Cecil Woodham-Smith (Author, The Great Hunger, 1962)
Source: wisconsin.gov | ighm.org