The Irish traffic light in Syracuse – upside down signal

When the City of Syracuse first started to install traffic signal lights in the 1920’s, they put one at a busy intersection on the hill, the corner of Tompkins Street and Milton Avenue. Some Irish youths, incensed that anyone would dare put the “British” red above the “Irish” green broke the light continually until the city relented and let the green remain on top. Today at the intersection, a small park and sculpture memorializes the group known as the “Stonethrowers”. On March 15, 2005 Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern visited Tipperary Hill and had his photo taken at the light. His comment: “What they were up to in those days were kept for the future. I’m not sure how legal it was…but anyway …ha ha ha!”.


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