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Press ReleaseSource: Welsh Development Agency

U.S. Celebrates St. David's Day: Wales, UK Holiday, March 1
Monday February 27, 11:10 am ET
Empire State Building Lit in Red, Green and White to Honor St. David, Patron Saint of Wales

NEW YORK, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- What do actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant, Sony chairman Howard Stringer and actor Anthony Hopkins have in common? All were born in Wales, and on March 1, they are likely to be wearing daffodils in honor of St. David's Day, a sixth century bishop and patron saint of Wales.

In New York on March 1, daffodils and red dragons will abound around town, as the Welsh community in New York celebrates St. David and Dylan Thomas, Wales' most famous poet, with weeklong events that include lighting the Empire State Building in red, green and white, the colors of Wales.

The connections between Wales and the United States are old and deep. Ellis Island is named after a Welshman. Pennsylvania, Florida, California, Ohio and Washington are some of the states that boast large Welsh populations. Thomas Jefferson, president of the U.S. and author of the Declaration of Independence, spoke Welsh and was proud of his family's Welsh heritage. Common Welsh surnames include Davies, Evans, Jones, Smith, Thomas and Williams, among many others.

    Among other notable Americans with Welsh backgrounds:

    * George Jones, the son of a Welsh immigrant, was one of two founders of
      The New York Times in 1851.

    * The Daniel brothers, who left Swansea for a life in America, founded the
      Jack Daniels distillery and the distillery that now makes Southern
      Comfort. Jim Beam and Evan Williams, key players in the bourbon industry
      in the U.S., had Welsh heritage.

    * The main benefactor of Yale University was Elihu Yale.  He was born in
      Boston of Welsh immigrant parents and became High Sheriff of Denbigh in
      Wales in 1704.  He is buried in St. Giles Church, Wrexham.

    * Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Burton are just three
      of the many Welsh theatrical and cinema stars from Wales.

Welsh Week in New York (February 25 to March 4) showcases Welsh contemporary art and design, poetry, film, food and drink, shopping, parties, music, sport and theater in honor of St. David's Day. Highlights include guided bus tours of Dylan Thomas's haunts, dramatic readings of "Under Milk Wood," whisky tastings and the $100,000 Dylan Thomas Prize Event at the White Horse Tavern and more. Complete details are available at

Source: Welsh Development Agency

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