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This Day in History

World History

Wednesday, July 12, 1690. :   Today is Orange Day in Northern Ireland, commemorating the Battle of Boyne when England’s Protestant King William of Orange defeated the forces of Ireland’s Catholic King James.

     Protestants in Northern Ireland celebrate Orange day annually on July 12. Orange Day marks when England's Protestant King William of Orange defeated the forces of Ireland's Catholic King James on 1 July 1690 in the Battle of the Boyne. James II of England and VII of Scotland had been deposed and had subsequently raised an army in Ireland where a Parliament had acknowledged him as king. Conflict ensued when James II lost the throne to William of Orange, with forces from both sides fighting on the banks of the Boyne River, just outside of the town of Drogheda on Ireland's east coast.

Though not militarily decisive, the symbolic importance of the Battle of the Boyne has made it one of the most infamous battles in British and Irish history and a key part in Irish Protestant folklore. It is still comemorated today, principally by the Orange Order. Once the Gregorian calendar was adopted, the day came to be commemorated on 12 July every year.

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