90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Jeanie Johnston: The Legendary Irish Famine Ship

For St. Patrick’s Day, the story of the legendary tall-masted ship – the Jeanie Johnston – that brought thousands of Irish from famine to America.

Replica of the Jeannie Johnston (Kathryn Miles)

Replica of the Jeannie Johnston (Kathryn Miles)

For many Irish-Americans, the story of emigration to this country begins in near-panic and desperation.  In 1845, a terrible blight hit Ireland’s great staple food, the potato.  Governments fumbled, and famine followed.

A wave of Irish men, women and children looked across the Atlantic to flee, to survive.  Many of the ships that carried them were infamous.  “Coffin ships,” they were called, with mortality rates up to 70 percent on the voyage.

One of those tall-masted ships seemed charmed.  A miracle.  Deathless.

This hour, On Point:  before St. Patrick’s Day, the tale of the Jeanie Johnston.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Kathryn Miles, author of “All Standing: The Remarkable Story of the Jeanine Johnston, the Legendary Irish Famine Ship.”

From Tom’s Reading List

Herald (Ireland) “On a chilly, overcast morning in early March, the Jeanie Johnston, with her proud, high masts and string of lights along her deck, is a very pleasing sight. Surrounded on all sides by modern, glass-fronted office blocks, the old-fashioned ship looks gallant and defiant. She speaks of another time.”

BBC News “A variety of potato at the heart of the Irish famine is making a return to cooking pots after almost 170 years. The Irish Lumper potato has been cultivated once more by County Antrim farmer Michael McKillop who has a keen interest in history.”

Excerpt: “All Standing” by Kathryn Miles

Gallery

The Jeanie Johnston’s Journeys

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

From “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

From “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

 
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Three: What Is The Dow Jones Industrial Average?
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We dig in to that all-important, all-confusing daily stock notice: the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 31, 2014
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We tumble for ya, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Tuco the Massachusetts K-9 Unit puppy in training.

More »
1 Comment
 
Awards Season 2014: The Movies Worth Your Time
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

What movies should you watch before 2014 comes to a close? Our critics offer their picks for the movies of the season right here.

More »
Comment