August 16, 1909
CONGRESSMAN WILLIAM P. BORLAND.
Hot weather did not daunt the Irish-Americans of Kansas City who held their annual picnic at Forest park yesterday. Although the attendance on the grounds was not so heavy in the afternoon by evening no fewer than 10,000 sons, daughters and grandchildren of Hibernia were on the grounds.
Congressman William P. Borland, himself the son of an Irishman, and the orator of the day, spoke on "The Irish in America." After the speaking in the afternoon twelve athletic events took place.
From the early days to the present Congressman Borland traced the wonderful influence of the Irish in the development of this country. He pointed out that the first generation of immigrants turned their hands to anything they could get to do and that for many years most of the unskilled labor was done by Irishmen.
After awhile, he said, the immigration from Ireland fell off, largely for the reason that nearly half of the island's population had already come to live under the Stars and Stripes.
Then a gradual change came in the social status of the Irishman. After having worked for a generation as hewers of wood and drawers of water they arose in the social scale and began to do skilled and professional work until they have entered all fields of endeavor and made good.
"With much condescension," said the congressman, "it has been considered that the Irish are hale and hearty, warm natured and impulsively generous, but the statement has often been made that they lack executive ability. In America they have proved that they can execute ideas as well as conceive them. In fact, as leaders of men, whether it be on the battlefield or in peaceful pursuits, they have demonstrated that they have no superiors."