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Irish culture

There is a large community of Irish-Americans in Kansas City which numbers around 250,000.[38] The Irish community includes a large number of bands, multiple newspapers, the numerous Irish stores, including Browne's Irish Market, and the Irish Museum and Cultural Center is the new center of the community. The first book that detailed the history of the Irish in Kansas City was Missouri Irish, Irish Settlers on the American Frontier, published in 1984. The Irish Center of Kansas City (which used to be called Irish Museum and Cultural Center) is the newest addition to the active Irish American community in Kansas City, Missouri, US. It is a non-profit organization which uses volunteer help. It opened in its current location in Union Station on March 17, 2007, (Saint Patrick's Day.) The museum hosts a number of events, programs, classes, and exhibits. The center's mission encourages knowledge and appreciation of the Irish and Irish-American community, culture, history, and heritage in the greater Kansas City area and region. Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americansestimated at 11.9% of the total populationreported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.[6] Roughly another 3.5 million (or about another 1.2% of Americans) identified more specifically with Scotch-Irish ancestry. The Irish diaspora population in the United States is roughly six times the modern population of Ireland. The only self-reported ancestral group larger than Irish Americans is German Americans.[6] The Irish are widely dispersed in terms of geography, and demographics. Irish American political leaders have played a major role in local and national politics since before the American Revolutionary War: eight Irish Americans signed the United States Declaration of Independence, and twenty-two American Presidents, from Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama, have been at least partly of Irish ancestry. According to the Dictionary of American History,[7] approximately "50,000 to 100,000 Irishmen, over 75 percent of them Catholic, came to America in the 1600s, while 100,000 more Irish Catholics arrived in the 1700s." Indentured servitude was an especially common way of affording migration, and in the 1740s the I ish made up nine out of ten indentured servants in some colonial regions.[8] Most colonial settlers coming from the Irish province of Ulster came to be known in America as the "Scotch-Irish". They were descendants of Scottish and English tenant farmers who had been settled in Ireland by the British government during the 17th-century Plantation of Ulster.[9] An estimated 250,000 migrated to America during the colonial era.[10] The Scotch-Irish settled mainly in the colonial "back country" of the Appalachian Mountain region, and became the prominent ethnic strain in the culture that developed there.[11] The descendants of Scotch-Irish settlers had a great influence on the later culture of the United States through such contributions as American folk music, Country and Western music, and stock car racing, which became popular throughout the country in the late 20th century.[12] Irish immigrants of this period participated in significant numbers in the American Revolution, leading one British major general to testify at the House of Commons that "half the rebel Continental Army were from Ireland."[13] Irish Americans signed the foundational documents of the United Statesthe Declaration of Independence and the Constitutionand, beginning with Andrew Jackson, served as President. The early Ulster immigrants and their descendants at first usually referred to themselves simply as "Irish," without the qualifier "Scotch." It was not until more than a century later, following the surge in Irish immigration after the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s, that the descendants of the Protestant Irish began to refer to themselves as "Scotch-Irish" to distinguish them from the predominantly Catholic, and largely destitute, wave of immigrants from Ireland in that era.[14] The two groups had little initial interaction in America, as the 18th century Ulster immigrants were predominantly Protestant and had become settled largely in upland regions of the American interior, while the huge wave of 19th-century Catholic immigrant families settled primarily in the Northeast and Midwest port cities such as Boston, New York, or Chicago. However, beginning in the early 19th century, many Irish migrated individually to the interior for work on large-scale infrastructure projects such as canals and, later in the century, railroads.